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Climate Crisis: Impact on India

Climate crisis and impact on India

The initial half of July 2023 has witnessed an unprecedented breach in climate records, marking a catastrophic turn in the global climate crisis.

Global Implications

  • Over two-thirds of the world’s population is grappling with the new normal of severe climate impacts.
  • India experienced the onset of this crisis in its northern regions during early July, an occurrence attributed to an unusual interaction between a Mediterranean-originated western disturbance and the monsoon’s low-pressure system.
  • This convergence led to extreme rainfall, cloudbursts, flash floods, and significant landslides in regions like the Himalayas, Rajasthan, and Punjab, reminiscent of a decade ago when a similar event triggered devastating floods in Uttarakhand.
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Regional Climate Disparities

  • While some areas faced severe downpours breaking historical rainfall records. A stark contrast was evident with a substantial portion, about 69% of states and Union Territories, experiencing deficient monsoon rains.
  • States like Jharkhand, Kerala, Bihar, and Karnataka observed rainfall deficits ranging from 25% to 45%. It is indicating the severity of the dry spell in southeastern and southern India.

Factors Behind the Dry Spell

  • Unusual marine heatwaves in the Bay of Bengal contributed to a drier monsoon in central India while enhancing rains in the southern peninsula.
  • Shifts in the duration and trajectory of depressions have altered rainfall patterns, with faster timescale depressions increasing and moving northwestwards, impacting rainfall distribution across the country.

Global Climate Impact

  • This climate crisis extends beyond India, with rising ocean temperatures and a global average temperature exceeding 17°C, marking record-breaking heatwaves worldwide.
  • Notably, the North Atlantic’s temperature variations correlate with extreme weather events in West Africa, while Antarctic sea ice hit record lows, exacerbating temperature anomalies across the globe.

Future Outlook

  • The emerging El Niño phenomenon is expected to intensify land and oceanic heat. Thus fueling further extreme temperatures and marine heatwaves, leading to continued climate turmoil beyond 2024.

The escalating climate crisis demands urgent global attention and coordinated efforts to mitigate its devastating impact, emphasizing the need for proactive measures and international cooperation to address this escalating environmental catastrophe.

Read Also: Impact of Climate Crisis on Jobs and Workers: 3 Critical Insights

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