Large Indian cities – specifically Delhi and Mumbai – are adding significantly to the climate issues around those areas. The heat index that these cities have due to concrete structures, population and pollution also impacts the smaller towns and areas nearby.
Now, Indian government-backed research shows that both Delhi andIndia‘s biggest city, Mumbai, are becoming “urban heat islands”, with significantly different climates to their surrounding rural areas.
Preliminary findings from the Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) show that temperatures in both cities have risen 2C-3C in only 15 years. The ongoing study, based on Nasa satellite readings, also shows the cities to be 5C-7C warmer than in the surrounding rural areas on summer nights.
The phenomenon of urban heat islands is recognised as a direct consequence of urbanisation. Like many other cities in developing countries, Delhi and Mumbai have more than doubled in size and population in the past 25 years as rural migrants have flooded in.