Climate Change is putting India in danger
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Sudden fluctuations in the weather are posing a threat to people, animals, and vegetation. Climate scientists believe that to prevent the worst effects of climate change, temperature rises must be curbed by 2100 and global warming limited to 1.5°C. However, a forecast from the independent Climate Action Tracker organisation in 2021 estimated that the planet will warm by 2.4°C by the end of the century. Scientists believe that if nothing is done, global warming may surpass 4°C in the future, causing severe heatwaves, the loss of millions of houses to rising sea levels, and the irrevocable extinction of plant and animal species.
See how India is currently facing the impacts of climate change.
Impact on agriculture
This industry has been suffering for the past few years, and it will continue to do so.
As temperatures in certain areas were 10°C above average in late February, the Indian Wheat and Barley Research Institute urged Indian farmers to spray potassium chloride on wheat crops to prevent heat-related damage. A month later, they released a new warning and urged farmers to regularly monitor the most recent weather conditions to prevent fields from becoming flooded during light to heavy rains. Farmers were also advised against using chemical sprays in these environments. These suggestions are similar, yet over the course of a month, they delivered a distinct message. This illustrated the unpredictable weather that farmers experience. In the year 2022 as well, India banned exports in May 2022 after the heatwave affected production.
“Without adaptation measures, rainfed rice yields in India are projected to decrease by 20% in 2050 and by 47% in 2080, while irrigated rice yields are projected to decrease by 3.5% and 5%, respectively,” said Narendra Tomar, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, in a statement to the Parliament on March 21. Wheat yield is predicted to decrease by 19.3% in 2050 and by 40% in 2080 as a result of climate change, with notable geographical and temporal differences.
According to a study, farmers are experimenting with adaptation strategies themselves that are consistent with the meteorological data. Farmers are systematically adopting new or enhanced sowing methods, switching to climate-ready cultivars, enhancing pest control, etc. In the meantime, farmers are switching to a completely new crop system, moving the agriculture field, or altering the structure of the policy.
The effects of climate change will be felt for several decades, even if we implement all the mitigating strategies. The importance of adapting in this situation increases. To combat the effects of climate change, we should combine local adaptation with national and international mitigation efforts. We need a focused effort like training to facilitate adaptation so that it can be more useful.
Hydropower projects are more vulnerable
With a share of 11% of India’s total installed capacity, followed by coal and renewable energy sources at 50% and 30%, respectively, hydro power projects in India are the third largest source of energy.
According to one analysis, the bulk of Indian hydro projects’ power generation capacity would increase as precipitation and warming increased. However, it would raise the hazards associated with hydroelectric projects, such as flooding and dam failure. The study looked at the hydroelectric generation of the country’s 46 major hydropower dams. It was discovered that in a warmer climate with high precipitation (between 5-33%), the flux of water to large dams is likely to increase by 7% to 70%, depending on the region. This could lead to an increase in hydropower generation (9–36% at most dams) in the future. The influence of these changes in reservoir storage and streamflow on hydropower output suggests that hydropower is becoming more important. This showed that the influence of these changes in reservoir storage and stream flow on hydropower generation demonstrates that hydropower is vulnerable to climate change. It was discovered that hydropower projects in Central India are likely to receive more funding.
Most dams are expected to experience a simultaneous increase in extreme inflow and high reservoir storage circumstances under future climate conditions. “Future reports project a better hydroclimate for hydropower production, but the associated risks are also extreme,” according to the report. It also stated that significant adaptation measures would be required in the future to deal with extremes.
Increasing human-animal conflict
Climate change is intensifying forest fires, diminishing vegetation, and deteriorating natural habitats, forcing wildlife to disperse and collide with humans, conservationists said on Friday.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) underlined the “silent and surmounting” concerns of climate change-related habitat impacts and forest quality decline in its latest all-India tiger estimation assessment. Climate change, it added, is one of the greatest concerns facing wildlife in the Western Ghats and threatens the existence of tigers in the Sunderbans.
According to Mohammad Sajid Sultan, the NTCA’s assistant inspector general of forests, climate change is affecting animals, with new pests and diseases arising. Rain patterns are also altering gradually. There have been reports of tigers clashing their territory with snow leopards, which has never occurred previously. “This demonstrates that changes are occurring in the ecosystem, affecting vegetation and species that rely on the forest,” he said.
Another report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds that due to climate and other associated reasons, over half of the global population faces severe water scarcity for at least one month every year. This drives wildlife and people to wander out in search of new water sources.
“Climate change has resulted in erratic weather patterns, causing crop yields to decline and farmers to become increasingly reliant on forests for a living,” said the president of the Wildlife Conservation Trust and NTCA member. As a result, poor people are becoming even more reliant on forests for food and fuelwood, thus contributing to a rise in human-wildlife conflicts,” he stated. Moreover, because of drier rainfall conditions, there is a rise in forest fires, which are burning undergrowth and trees. This causes the destruction of entire forests and forces animals to leave their ranges and come into conflict with humans, according to the conservationists.
Even if all mitigation efforts are implemented, the effects of climate change will be obvious for several decades. In this circumstance, the role of adaptation becomes critical. To deal with the effects of climate change, we should combine local adaptation with national and global mitigation activities. We need a specialized initiative, such as training, to make adaptation more meaningful.
What are the 5 effects of climate change?
There will be many effects of climate change but ones that will majorly impact are increased temperatures, severe drought storms and floods, changing rainfall patterns, poverty and displacement, food and health industry will disrupt.
How can we solve climate change?
- Few methods that can be the solution of climate change are:
- GO organic for your food choices
- Reduce dependency on fossil fuels
- Be energy efficient and transition to renewable energy resources
- Adopt sustainable transportation
- Shop consciously
- Say a big no to plastic products
Can we stop climate change?
While we cannot stop global warming overnight, we can reduce its rate and restrict its extent by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our dependency on natural resources.