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RSTV: IN DEPTH- CLIMATE CHANGE & INDIA


RSTV: IN DEPTH- CLIMATE CHANGE & INDIA


Introduction:

            Over the past few days, large parts of Bihar and several areas in Uttar Pradesh have been reeling under floods due to excessive rainfall. A similar situation was witnessed in Mumbai last month, where heavy downpour and massive water logging caused mayhem. A few months ago, more than three dozen people died in one of the longest heatwaves in the country with temperatures reaching 48 degrees Celsius. Not just in India, such extreme weather events have been witnessed globally, making it the most pressing issue in the present times.

 

            Prime Minister Modi’s speech at the recent United Nations Climate Action Summit displayed his seriousness about climate change. He emphasized the renewable energy and water conservation goals and even talked about the country’s plans to ban single use plastics.

 

Major initiatives of the Government towards combating climate change:

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): The Action plan covers eight major missions on Solar, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, Green India, Sustainable Agriculture and Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA): ISA was jointly launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the then President of France, Francois Hollande in Paris on the side-lines of CoP 21 in 2015. The vision and mission of the alliance is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries that lie completely or partial between the Tropics of Capricorn & Cancer.
  • State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC): State governments have drafted climate strategies aligned with the eight National Missions under the NAPCC. The strategies focus on issues ranging from climate mitigation, energy efficiency, and resource conservation to climate adaptation.
  • FAME Scheme for E-mobility: Union Government in April 2015 launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme with an aim to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country. It is a part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Smart Cities.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: The scheme provides LPG connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries. The connections are given in the name of women beneficiaries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and conventional fuel like cow dung for cooking food, thus reducing air pollution.
  • UJALA scheme: The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. The usage of LED bulbs will not only result in reducing electricity bills but also help in environment protection.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement) is a campaign that was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2014. The campaign seeks to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country’s 4041 statutory cities and towns.

 

Impacts of climate change on India’s regions :-

1)Indo gangetic plain:

  • The Indo-Gangetic plain is one of the most populous and productive agricultural ecosystems in the world.
  • Climate change will result in both flood and drought, impacting agriculture in the region
  • Floods :
    • High-intensity precipitation events projected to increase, leading to floods, particularly in the eastern parts of the basin.
  • Drought :
    • Western parts of the basin both Haryana and Punjab are likely to become vulnerable to drought.
  • Punjab:
    • Drought days to extend by 23-46 days in lower Sutlej basin
    • Increase in flash floods
    • Severe water-logging in south-western region
  • West Bengal:
    • Intensity of cyclone to increase
    • Sea surge height may increase to 7.46 metres
    • Sea level rise will be higher than global average
    • Sunderbans and Darjeeling hill to have more rain
  • Haryana:
    • Increase in water evaporation
    • Not much change in groundwater recharge despite high rainfall
    • Increase in agricultural water stress by 2100
  • UP and Bihar:
    • A mere 1°C rise in temperature to reduce wheat yeilds significantly in UP
    • Rice yeilds are expected to decline in Bihar
    • Drought to increase in UP and Bihar
  • The Indian Himalayan region:-
    • The Himalayas, which represent about 16.2 per cent of the total area of the country, are not only a key watershed of India but also play a crucial role in the monsoon system. Climate change impacts on the mountain range can affect the entire sub-continent
    • The mean temperature of the Himalayas has gone up by 0.6°C in the past 30 years; the frequency of warmer days is also increasing
    • The northeastern states of India, particularly parts of Assam and Manipur, are vulnerable
    • Flash flood due to glacial lake outbursts may lead to landslides and affect large-scale food security
    • Himalayan glaciers melting faster than others elsewhere in the world
    • Productivity of apple has decreased by 2-3% over the past few years. This will go down further
    • Projected increase in intensity of rainy days is 2-12% in the Himalayan region
  • Central and Peninsular India:
    • The region covers most of India’s rainfed areas that contribute more than 40 per cent of the country’s foodgrain production. Already ravaged by frequent floods and droughts, this region will be severely impacted by climate change, affecting the country’s food security
    • Temperature:
      • Six of the 11 states will witness a temperature rise of 1°C to 4°C. Maharashtra will record a 3.4°C increase by 2100
      • Most states will have hotter summer and winter.
      • The winter temperature in Jharkhand will rise to such an extent that the lowest minimum temperature in the 2080 will be higher than the highest minimum temperature in the 2020s
    • Rainfall:
      • Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand will witness increase in rainfall.
      • Summer rainfall will increase by the end of this century and the number of rainy days during summer will increase by up to 10 days by 2100 in Jharkhand
      • The post-monsoon and pre-monsoon increase in rainfall is projected to be more than the increase in rainfall projected for the monsoon period for 2100
      • Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh, parts of Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka will witness less rainfall. In Andhra Pradesh, there will be drastic decrease in southwest rainfall over Anantapur and Kadapa districts
      • Northern Karnataka, already witnessing less rainfall and higher temperature, will see the temperature trends accentuated
    • Impact:-
      • The number of days with `high’ or `very high’ rainfall (>25 mm/day) is projected to increase over Maharashtra, while the number of days with `low’ to `modrate’ rainfall is expected to reduce
      • Fluctuating weather to affect agricultural yield in all the states
      • For Karnataka, an increase in droughts is projected for 2021-50 for the two growing seasons. Most of the northern districts of Karnataka would have 10-80% increase in drought incidences
    • The desert region:
      • The Thar desert, covering 10 per cent of the total geographic area of India, is the seventh largest desert in the world. The region has witnessed unheard of floods in the recent past.
      • Drought=Parts of Rajasthan and the Kutch region of Gujarat have the highest probability of occurrence of drought
      • Rajasthan:The share of water for agriculture is set to reduce from 83% to 70% by 2050
      • Gujarat:
        • There will be heat stress and water shortages in the state
        • Luni and the West-flowing rivers of Kutch and Saurashtra to experience acute water shortage
        • The severity of drought for the Mahi and Sabarmati rivers will increase between 5% and 20% by 2050
      • The coast and islands:-
        • The region is already witnessing climate change impacts like frequent, severe cyclones and sea ingression due to sea level rise.
      • Cyclone
        • The Kutch region in Gujarat and the entire eastern coastal region are projected to have the highest incidence of cyclone.
        • Coconut yields in Kerala are projected to increase by 30%
        • Sea water intrusion will impact drinking water sources
        • A one-metre rise in sea level will displace 7.1 million people in India
        • Temperature fluctuation will negatively impact winter crop in AP.

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