The effects of global warming on India vary from the submergence of low-lying islands and coastal lands to the melting of glaciers in the Indian Himalayas, threatening the volumetric flow rate of many of the most important rivers of India and South Asia. In India, such effects are projected to impact millions of lives. As a result of ongoing climate change, the climate of India has become increasingly volatile over the past several decades; this trend is expected to continue.

Greenhouse gases in India Edit

Elevated carbon dioxide emissions contributed to the greenhouse effect, causing warmer weather that lasted long after the atmospheric shroud of dust and aerosols had cleared. Further climatic changes 20 million years ago, long after India had crashed into the Laurasian landmass, were severe enough to cause the extinction of many endemic Indian forms.[1] The formation of the Himalayas resulted in blockage of frigid Central Asian air, preventing it from reaching India; this made its climate significantly warmer and more tropical in character than it would otherwise have been.[2]

Effects of global warming on India and BangladeshEdit

Several effects of global warming, including steady sea level rise, increased cyclonic activity, and changes in ambient temperature and precipitation patterns, have affected or are projected to affect India. Ongoing sea level rises have submerged several low-lying islands in the Sundarbans, displacing thousands of people.[3] Temperature rises on the Tibetan Plateau, which are causing Himalayan glaciers to retreat, may reduce the flow rate of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Yamuna, and other major rivers; hundreds of thousands of farmers depend on these rivers.[4] According to a 2007 World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report, the Indus River may run dry for the same reason.[5]

Environmental Edit

Increased landslides and flooding are projected to have an impact upon states such as Assam.[6] Ecological disasters, such as a 1998 coral bleaching event that killed off more than 70% of corals in the reef ecosystems off Lakshadweep and the Andamans, and was brought on by elevated ocean temperatures tied to global warming, are also projected to become increasingly common.[7][8][9]

The first among the unfortunate countries to be affected by severe climate change is Bangladesh. Its sea level, temperature and evaporation are increasing, and the changes in precipitation and cross boundary river flows are already beginning to cause drainage congestion. There is a reduction in fresh water availability, disturbance of morphologic processes and a higher intensity of flooding and other such disasters. In comparison to the United States, Bangladesh only contributes 0.1% of the world’s emissions yet it has 2.4% of the world’s population. In contrast the the United States makes up about 5 percent of the world's population, yet they produce approximately 25 percent of the pollution that causes global warming. [10]

Economic Edit

The Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research has reported that, if the predictions relating to global warming made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change come to fruition, climate-related factors could cause India's GDP to decline by up to 9%; contributing to this would be shifting growing seasons for major crops such as rice, production of which could fall by 40%. Around seven million people are projected to be displaced due to, among other factors, submersion of parts of Mumbai and Chennai, if global temperatures were to rise by a mere 2 °C (3.6 °F).[11]

Villagers in India's North Easter state of Meghalaya are also concerned that rising sea levels will submerge neighbouring low-lying Bangladesh, resulting in an influx of refugees into Meghalaya

See also: Error: Template must be given at least one article name—which has few resources to handle such a situation.

If severe climate changes occur, Bangladesh will lose land along the coast line [12]. This will be highly damaging to Bangalies especially because nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. The economy has grown 5-6% over the past few years despite inefficient state-owned enterprises, delays in exploiting natural gas resources insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. However, Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation [13]. If no further steps are taken to improve the current conditions global warming will effect the economy severely worsening the present issues further.

Past climate change Edit

File:Hazesmoke Gangeticbasin.jpg

However, such shifts are not new: for example, earlier in the current Holocene epoch (4,800–6,300 years ago), parts of what is now the Thar Desert were wet enough to support perennial lakes; researchers have proposed that this was due to much higher winter precipitation, which coincided with stronger monsoons.[14] Similarly, Kashmir, which once had a warm subtropical climate, shifted to a substantially colder temperate climate 2.6–3.7 mya; it was then repeatedly subjected to extended cold spells starting 600,000 years ago.[15]

Pollution Edit

Thick haze and smoke, originating from burning biomass in northwestern India[16] and air pollution from large industrial cities in northern India[17], often concentrate inside the Ganges Basin. Prevailing westerlies carry aerosols along the southern margins of the steep-faced Tibetan Plateau to eastern India and the Bay of Bengal. Dust and black carbon, which are blown towards higher altitudes by winds at the southern faces of the Himalayas, can absorb shortwave radiation and heat the air over the Tibetan Plateau. The net atmospheric heating due to aerosol absorption causes the air to warm and convect upwards, increasing the concentration of moisture in the mid-troposphere and providing positive feedback that stimulates further heating of aerosols.[17]

Awareness Edit

Tribal people in India's remote northeast plan to [18] honour former U.S. Vice President Al Gore with an award for promoting awareness on climate change that they say will have a devastating impact on their homeland.

Meghalaya -- meaning 'Abode of the Clouds' in Hindi -- is home to the towns of Cherrapunji and Mawsynram, which are credited with being the wettest places in the world due to their high rainfall.

But scientists state that global climate change is causing these areas to experience an increasingly sparse and erratic rainfall pattern and a lengthened dry season,[19] affecting the livelihoods of thousands of villagers who cultivate paddy and maize. Some areas are also facing water shortages.

See also Edit

Citations Edit

  1. Karanth KP (March 2006). "Out-of-India Gondwanan origin of some tropical Asian biota" (PDF). Current Science 90 (6): 789–792, Retrieved on 8 April 2007. 
  2. Wolpert 2000, p. 4.
  3. Harrabin, Roger (1 February 2007). "How climate change hits India's poor". BBC News.
  4. Times News Network (3 April 2007). "Himalayan meltdown catastrophic for India", Times of India, Times Internet Limited. Retrieved on 19 April 2007. 
  5. "Rivers run towards 'crisis point'", BBC News (20 March 2007). Retrieved on 20 March 2007. 
  6. Dasgupta, Saibal (3 February 2007). "Warmer Tibet can see Brahmaputra flood Assam", Times of India, Times Internet Limited. Retrieved on 18 March 2007. 
  7. Aggarwal D, Lal M. "Vulnerability of the Indian coastline to sea level rise" (PDF). SURVAS (Flood Hazard Research Centre). Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
  8. Normile D (May 2000). "Some coral bouncing back from El Niño". Science 288 (5468): 941–942. doi:10.1126/science.288.5468.941a, Retrieved on 5 April 2007. 
  9. "Early Warning Signs: Coral Reef Bleaching". Union of Concerned Scientists (2005). Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
  10. “Bangladesh.” MERIC. 18 Oct 2008. 18 Oct. 2008. < cty5380.stm>.
  11. Sethi, Nitin (3 February 2007). "Global warming: Mumbai to face the heat", Times of India. Retrieved on 18 March 2007. 
  12. Ahmed, Ahsan. Koudstall, Rob. Werners, Saskia. “Key Risks.” Considering Adaptation to Climate Change Towards a Sustainable Development of Bangladesh.08 Oct. 2006. 18 Oct. 2008 <>.
  13. “Climate change: The big emitters.” BBC News. 4 July 2005. 18 Oct. 2008. <>.
  14. Enzel Y, Ely LL, Mishra S, Ramesh R, Amit R, Lazar B, Rajaguru SN, Baker VR, Sandler A (1999). "High-Resolution Holocene Environmental Changes in the Thar Desert, Northwestern India". Science 284 (5411): 125. doi:10.1126/science.284.5411.125. ISSN 0036-8075. 
  15. Pant GB (2003). "Long-term climate variability and change over monsoon Asia" (PDF). Journal of the Indian Geophysical Union 7 (3): 125–134, Retrieved on 24 March 2007. 
  16. Badarinath KVS, Chand TRK, Prasad VK (2006). "Agriculture crop residue burning in the Indo-Gangetic Plains—A study using IRS-P6 AWiFS satellite data" (PDF). Current Science 91 (8): 1085–1089, Retrieved on 16 April 2007. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Lau, WKM (February 20 2005). "Aerosols may cause anomalies in the Indian monsoon" (php). The Climate and Radiation Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  18. Das, Biswajyoti. "India tribe to honour Gore on global warming". Reuters.
  19. Kharmujai RR (3 March 2007). "Wet Desert Of India Drying Out". Retrieved on 2007-12-01.

Further reading Edit

  • Toman, MA; U Chakravorty & S Gupta (2003), India and Global Climate Change: Perspectives on Economics and Policy from a Developing Country, Resources for the Future Press, ISBN 1-8918-5361-9.

External links Edit