Guest Post By Madhav Khandekar From India

“For last two weeks or about most of north and central India are witnessing cold wintry weather; some places in Kashmir and the Himalayan foothills have low temperatures at -5C to -20C! This is cold for India, since most houses are not insulated, not heated (except some small room heaters in north India) so most people, especially elderly people feel cold all day long and become sick with a cold, cough, flu etc. In Mumbai it is reported that about 40% of the sick children had contacted pneumonia, due to low temperatures in Mumbai ( at 15C or below). Mumbai is the largest Indian city with a population of over 25 million and many people live in poorly built houses and are feeling the impact of this cold winter. In north India, many large cities reported temperatures as low as 3c to 5C and TV footage show people huddled around roadside campfires to keep themselves warm.

IPCC science did NOT adequately analyze the impact of cold events on world humanity. Over south Asia, where about 3 billion people live and where temperatures are almost always in the 20-35C range, a low temperature of 10C and below can be stressful and more harmful than a HOT weather event with temperatures at 40C or above. Most people are in south Asia are used to “hot” weather and can comfortably adjust to extra hot weather events, but cold weather extremes, as being witnessed in India this January (also last January’s (2010) very cold weather with over 500 deaths in north India), and in last few years are adversely impacting human health more than ‘hot’ weather extremes.

There is an urgent need to analyze the impact of cold weather extremes the world over.  In the 2002/03 winter, several hundred people died of long cold exposure, mostly in January 2003, in countries as far south as Bangladesh and Vietnam. Also in eastern Europe in January 2010, many people died in Poland and elsewhere due to extreme cold.

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