Climate Change Report Predicts More Weather Disasters
As fatal rains batter parts of the north Indian hill state of Uttarakhand, following a summer that also saw hundreds of deaths from heat waves, a new assessment out on June 19 from the World Bank warns of increasingly difficult effects of climate change on several parts of South Asia in the next 20-30 years. It argues that extreme weather events are likely to get more frequent, as temperatures rise.
The report, peer reviewed by 25 scientists worldwide, projects the stressful impacts a world warmer by 2 and 4 degrees celsius would have on agricultural production, water resources and coastal ecosystems across South Asia and other parts of the world. The rise in temperatures would cause extreme rain patterns (ranging from heavy rains in some parts to droughts elsewhere), flooding, and disease, with all of this having the worst impacts on the economically vulnerable, especially those living in coastal areas. Disturbances to the monsoon system, rising sea levels and peak temperatures would have particularly harmful effects on food and water resources in the sub-continent.
The report says that the steps South Asia would need to take to cope with the effects of increased temperatures include increasing investments in infrastructure, flood defense, development of high temperature and drought resistant crop cultivars, and major improvements in sustainability practices in areas such as groundwater extraction, and a reduction in dependence on fossil fuels, as well as subsidies for it.
Link to the report:
4 degree-Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience, The World Bank
Infographic: What Climate Change Means for Africa and Asia, 19 June, 2013, The World Bank
On the ongoing weather in Uttarakhand:
Rains over past three days extreme weather event: scientists by Indrajit Bose, Down to Earth, 18 June, 2013,
Resource on understanding and reporting climate change
India’s National Action Plan on countering climate change, and criticism of it
Assessing Vulnerability to Climate Change in India-Architesh Panda, EPW, Vol-XLIV No. 16, April 18, 2009,
Flash floods are man-made -Anupam Chakravartty, Down to Earth, 30 September, 2012, http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/flash-floods-are-man-made
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia.org, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2b/Kumaon_Garhwal.jpg