Why is Delhi So Hot This Summer?

Hanging in Mid Air, Public Art Ecology Festival
A tree hangs not knowing where to go (and neither able to): an art piece from the 48c Public.Art.Ecology Festival 

The summer this year has been unusually–yet predictably–very hot. Hotter than previous Delhi summers in ways more than one: with not just a peak daily hot session but the high heat intensity starting earlier in the day and not giving any real relief until long after dusk. The city has become an ideal case study for the proponents of climate change, and with the monsoon both arriving late and only giving a guest apperance, the impact of global warming has never been so evident to so many.

But is there more to the Delhi summer (heat) of 2009? The city is clearly under construction at present: both under and over ground. Delhi Metro, BRT corridor, Games Village, Malls and what not. And the heat from the large number of drilling machines, construction equipments, ACs needed to make the underground in working conditions etc. surely adds to the city’s heat budget. But that is not all. This ‘development’ also requires and has already removed a large number of trees that provided relevant ecosystem services.

Aravallis – one of the two lifelines of Delhi city have been in the news almost for a major part of this year. Their manmade denudation, especially in the southern, south-western part of the city sells excellently as construction material for developing Delhi. The remaining land returns excellent real estate capital. However, the denudation is only the first self-alert sign of Delhi’s climate changing from semi-arid to completely arid, and the warning of a desert like situation in the near future.

The sale and use of Air Conditioners (AC) in the city this year has been at an all time high. A shift from Coolers to the AC has more to do with survival than inflation and this is further adding more to the heat budget – a vicious cycle of no return that I am afraid we’ve entered 2009 summer onwards.

DG Correspondent

DG Correspondents are staff and members comprising writers, researchers and contributors of the Delhi Greens Blog team. Support Delhi Greens by sponsoring a post with your donation. Click here to Donate to Delhi Greens. Remember, it is in giving, that we receive.

5 thoughts on “Why is Delhi So Hot This Summer?


    Dear All,
    Good Day!
    Through this network, I would like to appeal for the following. We all know about the havoc already been done by us towards environment. Here is a chance to do our bid today, on the Environment Day. May I request you not to drive your car 5th June unless you have medical reason for the same? If your workplace is far off, you may try to use a public transport system rather than your own car; if it is nearer, go for cycling or walking. By doing so we may register our contribution towards a low carbon economy and a cleaner environment.
    Kindly forward the request to all your acquaintances since contribution of
    everyone counts.
    I am sure you will feel good for doing something rather than only discussing on
    carbon emission.
    With best regards,
    Yours truly,
    Pradip Dey (A Feeler for Mother Earth)

  2. Well I think it is “Heat of Hydration” coming from the solidification of the concrete and urban heat island. During the night travel out of the Delhi you can feel the difference of temperature, the moment you start to go away from Delhi the cooler it is. CO2 is a heavy gas such that it occupy place near to earth and absorb heat coming from sun whole day however during night it is becoming difficult for the earth of delhi region to release this heat in the absence of proper circulation of the air near the surface of the earth and the heat load is continually mounting up and making Delhi unfit for living.
    The point is Delhi do not have a weather of its own and warming of desert of Rajasthan and Cooling of hills in Shimla also plays an inportant role in its weather.

  3. Hm..all said and done, what is difficult to understand is the meaning of greening a structure built on the floodplains of a river! The cost maybe as huge as setting up a new river course and I’m sure economics will not allow such green business.

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