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Climate Change and Megacities: South Asian Mega-cities are in extreme heat stress

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kumar Biswajit DebnathORCiD, Professor Ben BridgensORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by PLEA , 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Of 33 Global Megacities, ten are situated in South Asia. Extreme heat waves are becoming an annualphenomenon due to climate change in South Asian megacities. In this study, we evaluated 29 years (1990-2019)of historical data on heat stress in ten selected megacities (existing and prospected) —New Delhi, Dhaka, Mumbai,Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chittagong, and Pune—predominantly in India andBangladesh. We used Heat Index (HI) and Environmental Stress Index (ESI) analysis to evaluate stress andvulnerability. Our results showed that most megacities are already experiencing 'Extreme caution' and 'Danger'levels of heat stress which may lead to heat cramps, exhaustion, stroke, and even death. Furthermore, thefrequency of 'Danger' levels of heat stress and vulnerable level of ESI has increased significantly since 2011 in theselected megacities, which elevated the heat-related vulnerability among the millions of inhabitants.KEYWORDS: Extreme heat, Megacities, South Asia, Climate change, vulnerability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Debnath KB, Jenkins DP, Patidar S, Peacock A, Bridgens B, Mitrani H

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 36th PLEA Conference 2022: Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design

Year of Conference: 2022

Pages: 1009-1014

Print publication date: 23/11/2022

Acceptance date: 27/03/2022

Date deposited: 07/12/2022

Publisher: PLEA

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/pmfp-f526