Earth & Conservation

High Temperatures Arrive Earlier Than Usual in India and Greenland

Above normal temperatures around the world are already having damaging effects in 2016.

<p>Photo: ThinkStock</p>

2016 has seen higher than usual temperatures around the world, most recently in India and Greenland. Temperatures are soaring in India earlier than usual this year, with no sign of cooling down. Dozens of people have been reported dead in India's southern states, according to the BBC. The city of Bhubaneswar in Orissa reached a record high for April on Monday at 114 degrees Fahrenheit (45.8C).

The monsoon season typically starts in mid-June in India, and temperatures always climb beforehand, but this year's heatwave came much sooner than expected. The extreme heat has extended throughout most of the country. Even Kolkata, which normally gets a sea breeze from the Bay of Bengal, is being hit with hot wind from the west, providing no relief from sweltering air temperatures.

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Greenland is also experiencing record high early temperatures in 2016. Greenland's melt season began nearly a month earlier this year than the previous record of May 5 in 2010. Scientists think temperatures could reach up to 57 degrees Fahrenheit above normal at the Summit of Greenland ice sheet, one of the largest stores of ice in the world. If the ice sheet were to melt, it would raise ocean levels by approximately 20 feet.

Greenland's ice sheet surface has been melting for several years now, and if temperatures continue to rise, the entire ice sheet could experience melting by the year 2100. Similarly, this is not the first year that India has experienced earlier than normal high temperatures. A heatwave last summer resulted in over 2,300 deaths.

These events demonstrate the damaging effects of climate change, as Earth's temperatures continue to be above normal in many parts of the world year after year.