Climate change is no more an environmental concern. It has emerged as the biggest developmental challenge for the planet. Its economic impacts, particularly on the poor, make it a major governance issue as well. The debates and discussions building up for the next conference of parties (CoP) in Copenhagen and beyond are an indicator of this.
- India emitted 2,136.84 million tones of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases in 2010.
- Enery sector was the prime contributor to emissions and with 71% of totol emissions in 2010.Energy sector includes-electricity production,fuel combustion in industries,transport and fugitive emissions.
- Industrial processes and product use contributed 8%;agriculture and waste sectors contributed 8% and 3% respectively to the national GHG inventory.
- India’s per capita GHG emission in 2010 was 1.56t CO2 equivalent,which is less than one-third of the world’s per capita emissions and far below than many developed and developing countries.
- India will continue to be a low carbon economy(World Bank Study).
- India’s primary focus is on “adaptation”,with specific focus for mitigation.
Changes Observed In India’s Climate:
Temperature Rise Over India:
India’s average temperature has risen by around 0.7°C during 1901–2018. This rise in temperature is largely on account of GHG-induced warming, partially offset by forcing due to anthropogenic aerosols and changes in LULC. By the end of the twenty-first century, the average temperature over India is projected to rise by approximately 4.4°C relative to the recent past (1976–2005 average) under the RCP8.5 scenario. In the recent 30-year period (1986–2015), temperatures of the warmest day and the coldest night of the year have risen by about 0.63°C and 0.4°C, respectively.
Changes in Rainfall:
While the observed monsoon rainfall at all INDIA levels does not show any significant trend, regional monsoon variations have been recorded. There has been a shift in the recent period toward more frequent dry spells (27% higher during 1981–2011 relative to 1951–1980) and more intense wet spells during the summer monsoon season. The frequency of localized heavy precipitation occurrences has increased worldwide in response to increased atmospheric moisture content. Over central India, the frequency of daily precipitation extremes with rainfall intensities exceeding 150 mm per day increased by about 75% during 1950–2015.
Sea Level Rising:
The records of coastal tide gauges in the north Indian Ocean for more than 40 years report that sea-level rise was between 1.06-1.75 mm per year. These rates are consistent with 1-2mm per year global sea-level rise estimates of IPCC. At the end of the twenty-first century, the steric sea level in the NIO is projected to rise by approximately 300 mm relative to the average over 1986–2005 under the RCP4.5 scenario, with the corresponding projection for the global mean rise being approximately 180 mm.
The frequency and spatial extent of droughts have increased significantly during 1951–2016. In particular, areas over central India, southwest coast, southern peninsula, and north-eastern India have experienced more than 2 droughts per decade, on average, during this period.
The frequency of very severe cyclonic storms (VSCSs) during the post-monsoon season has increased significantly (+1 event per decade) during the last two decades (2000–2018). However, a clear signal of anthropogenic warming on these trends has not yet emerged.
Himalayan Glaciers Impacts:
The Himalayas possess one of the largest resources of snow and ice and its glaciers from a source of water for the perennial rivers such as the Indus, the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra. Glacier melt may impact their long-term lean season flows, with adverse impacts on the economy in terms of water availability and hydropower generation. The Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) experienced a temperature rise of about 1.3°C during 1951–2014. Several areas of HKH have experienced a declining trend in snowfall and also retreat of glaciers in recent decades. In contrast, the high-elevation Karakoram Himalayas have experienced higher winter snowfall that has shielded the region from glacier shrinkage.
Also Read : Climate Change Policy of India
Climate change is expected to affect human well being in many different ways such as capital, ecosystem, disease and migration since most of the labor force—about 70%—directly and indirectly, depends on the sector for livelihood and employment, it is when this sector is more productive and ensures food self-sufficiency that it will release the necessary labor and capital for the manufacturing and service sectors. In the context of the current debate about climate change, it is necessary to show, far from being inactive in India, that considerable actions in terms of policies, programs and projects are being taken. Technology transfer can speed up the modernization process and additional funds can accelerate government in energy conservation. However, policies for poverty alleviation must be given priority.