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Friday, August 15, 2008

India to be 4° hotter in 40 yrs

Monsoons To Be Shorter & More Intense, Mumbai's Flood Woes Won't Ease: Pune Study

New Delhi: The effect of climate change on India could be far worse than previously estimated. Latest projections indicate that after 2050, temperatures would rise by 3-4 degrees over current levels and rainfall would become both heavier and less regular, posing a grave threat to agriculture.
    This is part of the research conducted by scientists at Pune's Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, one of the key government institutions studying climate change in India. The findings are currently under review by a well-recognized scientific journal.
    This provides another, more serious wake-up call for India's planners to look at adapting to the impending climatic changes. Just as importantly, it demands that developed countries reduce their emissions substantially before their accumulated emissions turn these projections into a reality
for India and the developing nations.
    If even a part of the projections turn into reality, the IITM modelling has dire implications for almost all aspects of life—agriculture, power, water resources and biodiversity.
    The team, led by Dr Krishna Kumar, used what is known as "A1B scenario" to pick a curve against which greenhouse emissions are calculated. The A1B scenario refers to a UN-accepted set of changes in the world economy that drive greenhouse gas emissions. It presumes a global economy growing by 3% annually with high rates of investment and innovation, use of varied sources of energy and an economic convergence between the developed and developing countries.
    With the emissions growth curve drawn from the scenario, the team used data relevant to India in complex climate models to generate future projections for dozens of climate parameters that allowed them to map out how temperatures and monsoon would change
if emissions rose.
    The results will be used by others to calibrate how vulnerable India could be on different fronts if the projections come true.
    The study says the rise of temperatures would be far more over northern India than the peninsular region. Temperatures would begin rising in northern and western regions and then the pattern would shift eastward. The increase would occur in both night and day temperatures.
    Global modelling results have suggested that average annual precipitation in the country may see about an 8-10% increase. The pattern of increase in rainfall is predicted to move from the north and north-west towards the east.
    The consequences are easy to see—cities like Delhi that are unable to handle the occasional heavy shower even today, could get flooded rapidly. The scene may not be much better for cities like Mumbai.

The results of the study are key as they will be used by others to calibrate how vulnerable India could be on different fronts if the projections come true


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