Climate Change over Indian Region
The first ‘Assessment of Climate Change over Indian Region’ was recently released by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. It warns of tropical cyclones, thunderstorms, heat waves, floods and droughts in India unless mitigation measures are adopted soon. The projections are for the decades leading to the end of the 21st century.
What are the findings of the report?
- Temperature: By the end of the 21st century, average temperature over India is projected to rise by 4.4°C, relative to the average temperature during 1976-2005.
- Heatwaves: In coming decades, the average duration of heatwaves during April-June is projected to double, and their frequency to rise by 3 to 4 times compared to 1976-2005.
- Monsoon: The coming decades are projected to witness a considerable rise in the mean, extreme and inter-annual variability of rainfall associated with monsoon.
- Sea level: In an extreme climate scenario, a risk of inundation looms over Andhra Pradesh and Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta basins. By 2030, some 340 million coastal residents of the North Indian Ocean and its islands would be exposed to coastal hazards.
- Tropical cyclones: Storms in the Arabian Sea are gaining more strength and the trend is projected to continue. The number of extremely severe cyclonic storms formed in the Arabian Sea has increased in the last 20 years.
- Himalaya snow cover: By the end of the century, the Hindukush Himalayas are projected to be warmer by 2.6-4.6°C.
- Floods: Flood risks are higher over the east coast, West Bengal, eastern Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Konkan and cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The Himalayan flood basins are projected to greater floods, due to the faster glacial and snow melting.
- Droughts: Eastern India could face two more droughts per decade compared to what was experienced during 1976-2005, while the Southern Peninsula is projected to experience one or two droughts fewer.