Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first part of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) titled Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.
What is climate change?
Climate change involves human-induced global warming and significant shifts in weather patterns.
- Climate change is a periodic modification of Earth’s climate caused by interactions between the atmosphere and various factors.
- It is also causing damaging weather events like more frequent and intense hurricanes, floods, cyclones, flooding etc.
- The cause of the current rapid climate change is due to human activities and threatening the very survival of humankind.
- Land temperature rise is twice the global average, causing desert expansion, heatwaves, and wildfires.
- Temperature rise is also amplified in the Arctic, where it has contributed to melting permafrost, glacial retreat and sea ice loss.
- Warmer temperatures are increasing rates of evaporation, causing more intense storms and weather extremes.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a series of reports that project significant increases in these impacts as warming continues to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) and beyond. Additional warming also increases the risk of triggering critical thresholds called tipping points.
What causes global warming?
Climate Change Affecting India
India was the fifth most affected country by global warming:
- It was not shocking when Germanwatch, an environmental non-profit think tank, reported in 2018, that India was the fifth most affected country by climate .change, globally.
- In the last two years, the country has been hit by at least one extreme climate event every month.
- According to the World Risk Index 2020, India is the fourth-most-at-risk country in South Asia, after Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Historically, internal migration in India was driven by factors like ethnicity, kinship, work opportunities, healthcare, and education.
- More recently, climate disasters also contribute to displacement (involuntary and unplanned) and migration (voluntary and planned) in India.
- In 2018 alone, nearly 7 million Indians were either displace or have migrate due to climate-induced distress.
Impacts of Climate Change on the Indian Economy
- It is estimates that if action is not taken to address the carbon emissions, climate change could cost about 5 to 20% of the annual global GDP.
- In contrast, the cost to lessen the most damaging effects of climate change is just 1% of the GDP.
- Climate change can alter shoreline habitats. This may lead to the need for relocation of ports and near-shore infrastructures and habitats, costing about millions of dollars.
- The increased hurricanes and other related natural disasters can bring forth extreme economic losses caused by damaged properties and infrastructures.
- Declining crop yields due to the lengthy droughts and high temperatures can lead to a risk of starvation of thousands of people.
- Coral reefs generate approximately $375 billion each year in goods and services. Their very survival is currently under threat.
Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health
Impact of Climate Change on Envionment
India’s Efforts to Counter Climate Change
- India is the world’s third largest economy and fifth largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter, accounting for about 5% of global emissions. India’s emissions increased 65% between 1990 and 2005 and are project to grow another 70% by 2020.
- India has allocated about 200 million US dollars for the ‘National Adaptation Fund’, setting-up of Ultra Mega Solar Projects, Ultra-Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology, and the development of Solar Parks on canals.
- The “100 Smart Cities” initiative allocates 1.2 billion US dollars to reduce urban vulnerability to clima te change and improve energy efficiency.. India has put in place stringent norms for the cement industry.
- Our Action Plan for cleaning River Ganga will bring benefits of pollution reduction and climate adaptation. We have also taken initiatives for protecting coastal, Himalayan, and forest areas.
- India has initiated preparations to develop a National Air Quality Index and have launched a National Air Quality Scheme. Setting-up of Ultra Mega Solar Projects in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Ladakh to promote renewable energy.
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
Global Warming with its adverse effects has reached our doorsteps. Humans must act wisely, adapt to changes, and protect the environment to prevent future disasters.
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