India vulnerable to climate change, report says

Featured - September 28th, 2012
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Scientists predict a sharp rise in India’s temperature as the country’s population continues to swell, Financial Times reports.

According to a report jointly released Thursday by India’s environment and forests ministry and the UK energy and climate change department, temperatures will rise sharply while monsoon rains will be more intense and variable, within decades. The report projected that temperature will increase between 2.9 degrees Celsius and 4.3 degrees Celsius and will be most noticeable towards the 2020s. Monsoon rainfall over central and peninsular India is also expected to increase by 10% from the 2050s.

The projections raised concerns on the vulnerability of the country as its population continues to grow to levels which could surpass China within two decades. Rapid climate change can gravely affect India’s population mostly dependent on agriculture. “Overall yields of wheat and soyabean are projected to decline, whilst rice yields increase,” while floods in both the Ganges and the Mahanadi rivers will ‘probably’ become more severe and rainfall more variable, the report says. Scientists also identified Madhya Pradesh and Orissa as particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change.

Indian and British scientists have urged the government to curb greenhouse gas emissions in order to cushion the grave impacts of climate change.