Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region: Temperature, cyclones set to be severe in India
The pessimal climate change scenario is listed in the country’s first national climate change assessment by the ministry of earth sciences. Under all climate change scenarios, the extremes will only intensify. The report projected and said following
Warming over India and Indian Ocean
The number of warm days have increased by about 9.9 per decade and warm nights by 7.7 per decade, the report said. Cold nights have decreased by 3.3 per decade during this period.
The mean temperature, as per the report will rise over India by the end of the twenty- first century is projected to be in the range of 2.4-4.4 degree Celsius.
By the end of the 21st century, the number of warm days and warm nights in India is likely to be 55-70% higher compared to the average number between 1976 and 2005.And the frequency of summer heat waves is likely to be three to four times higher and their duration, likely to double .
Sea surface temperature in the Tropical Indian Ocean has risen by 1 Degree Celsius. On an average over 1951-2015 and is projected to increase further during the 21st century.Oxygen concentrations and marine phytoplankton have declined in the recent decades the report said.
With the resultant increase in the temperature and atmospheric moisture the report project a considerable rise in the mean, extremes and interbannual variability of monsoon precipitation by the end of the century. The report has also underlined that climate change has already skewed the monsoon patterns with rains decreasing by 6% between 1951 and 2015. The Indo-Gangetic Plains and Western Ghats have recorded the highest declines, but the frequency of extreme rainfall (over 150 mm) has increased by 75% between 1950 and 2015 in central India. There is a shift towards more frequent dry spells (27% higher than the 1951-1980 period) and more intense wet spells during the summer monsoon season.
DROUGHTS AND FLOODS
The report project an increase in the occurrence, severity and area under drought.
Short duration intense rainfall events and resultant flooding occurrence are projected to increase in the future.The Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra basins are considered particularly at risk of enhanced flooding in the future in the absence of additional adaption and risk mitigation measures; would be detrimental to surface and groundwater recharge, posing threats to the country’s water security.
TROPICAL CYCLONIC STORMS
With continued global warming, the activity of very severe cyclonic storms is projected to further increase during the 21st century. and sea level to rise by 30cm by the end of this century as compared to the recent 2-3 decades
With continued global warming, the temperature in the Hindukush Himalyas is projected to rise substantially and a continued decline in snowfall.
Climate Change : Negative Externalities
The report projects that Climate Change threat will
May seriously compromise human health in the absence of risk mitigation, adaptation, or acclimatization, particularly among children and the elderly
Elevated risk of heat strokes, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, and stress-related disorders. Warmer, higher moisture conditions, on average, are also more favourable for the spread of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
In addition, a decrease in the availability or affordability of food and potable water caused by climate change may lead to reduced nutritional intake, particularly among economically weaker sections
Also likely to increase energy demand for space cooling, In short, climate change could impact the reliability of the country’s energy infrastructure and supply.
Potential coastal risks include loss of land due to increased erosion, damage to coastal projects and infrastructure such as buildings, roads, monuments, and power plants, salinization of freshwater supplies and a heightened vulnerability to flooding.
Several regions in India are global biodiversity hotspots with numerous endemic species of plants and animals. With the climate changing more rapidly than the usual pace of evolutionary adaptability of many species, they may face increasing threats on account of these changes. Species specially adapted to narrow environmental conditions are likely to be affected the most.
The way out
- Heat action plans need to be further developed and calibrated. In the long term, infrastructure needs to be heat-resistant or mortality will increase; cool roofs, efficient cooling should be a part of policy,
- It is crucial to make vulnerability assessment central to long-term planning for developing adaptation and mitigation strategies,
- Inclusion of detailed, regional-scale climate change risk assessments would help develop region and sector-specific mitigation and adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability to climate change,
- Outreach and communication of climate change risk to district and village-level communities would facilitate water-harvesting and farming decisions needed to adapt to a changing climate. Additionally, dedicated educational programmes from school to university would vastly improve awareness about climate change and its implications for humans and natural ecosystems.
- Specific additional examples such as passive reduction of indoor temperatures, water conservation and rainwater harvesting, groundwater regulation, reversing land degradation, reduction in food and water wastage, waste segregation and recycling, low impact urban development, expansion of urban green spaces and urban farming, pollution control, increasing the area under irrigation and improving the efficiency of agricultural water use, forest conservation and
- Proactive afforestation, construction of coastal embankments and mangrove restoration, improvement in disaster response, phasing out fossil fuels and transition to renewables, electrification, expansion of walking, bicycling and public transport infrastructure, and carbon taxation, among others, have been successfully implemented in parts of the country and the world to reduce risk from climate change. Equity and social justice are critical to building climate resilience since the most vulnerable people such as the poor, the disabled, outdoor labourers and farmers will bear the brunt of climate change impacts,
- It is necessary to develop useful to usable (U2U) research and application agenda that can translate research to on-ground, effective decision tools for adapting to climatic change.