Climate Change and India, a report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

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admin August 30, 2021
Updated 2021/11/04 at 1:17 PM

In its most recent report, released on August 9, the IPCC said categorically that human activities were the primary driver of changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere, or climate change.

What is the most important takeaway from the IPCC’s Report?

The scientific basis for global warming and climate change, according to the paper, is the contribution of GHG emissions from various activities. These actions include the use of fossil fuels for energy and transportation, agricultural and waste emissions, and building energy profiles. The increase in global surface temperature for the decade 2011-2020, compared to the period 1850-1900, is expected to be 1.09°C, indicating how much the world has warmed. Even in the best-case scenario, global surface temperatures might rise by 1.0°C to 1.8°C on average between 2081 and 2100, but in a high-emissions scenario, they could rise by a scorching 3.3°C to 5.7°C. Since the Paris Agreement’s original promises are insufficient to keep warming well below 2°C, large and early reduction in greenhouse gas emissions are required. 2015 Paris Agreement: The world should act to keep warming well below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

What will the consequences be if global warming continues?

Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on temperature and rainfall extremes, with implications for human health, ecosystem survival, and long-term economic activity. According to the research, “hot extremes (including heatwaves) have been more frequent and more intense throughout most land regions” since the 1950s, while cold extremes (including cold waves) have “become less common and less severe.” The scientific consensus is that human-caused climate change is the primary cause of these changes. There are other consequences as well. According to the paper, increased land evapotranspiration has contributed to an increase in agricultural and ecological droughts in some places as a result of climate change. Increased warming is predicted to hasten permafrost thawing (subsurface soil in the polar areas that remains below freezing point all year), as well as the loss of seasonal snow cover, land ice, and Arctic sea ice. Under growing CO2 emissions scenarios, two of the world’s largest carbon sinks — the oceans and land — may become less effective at decreasing CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere. Continued warming would have an impact on the global water cycle, increasing it even more, with ramifications for variability, global monsoon precipitation, and the intensity of wet and dry events.

What would be the ramifications for India?

The health of the yearly monsoon, the destiny of Himalayan glaciers, land warming, floods, droughts, and the overall impact on people’s well-being, agriculture, and food production are among India’s primary issues. “Heatwaves and humid heat stress will be increasingly extreme and frequent over the twenty-first century,” the research predicts with moderate confidence. In addition, both yearly and summer monsoon rainfall will increase, with greater year-to-year variability. It’s worth noting that over the twentieth century, aerosol emissions, primarily from human activity, had a cooling effect over South Asia, among other locations, which countered increases in monsoon rainfall caused by warming. Persistent warming may overcome the aerosol effect, resulting in future high rainfall amounts. In most parts of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, snow volumes are expected to diminish in the twenty-first century, with snowline heights rising and glacier volumes declining, with greater mass loss in scenarios with higher CO2 emissions.

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