New Delhi,9 May:Climate Change is one of the most important global environmental problems. According to Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is estimated that the Earth’s surface temperature has increased by 0.6+0.2o C over the twentieth century. The global mean sea level has rising at the rate of 1 to 2 mm annually during the 20th century. It projects that globally averaged surface temperature would rise by 1.4 to 5.8o C and the global mean sea level may rise by 0.09 to 0.88 m during 1990.2100.
India is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (NUFCCC). The UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 and entered into force on March 21st, 1994. the objectives of the Convention is to stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system within a time frame sufficient to allow the ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
Salient features on various sectors are as under:
(i) Impacts of climate change on water resources
It is projected that quantity of surface run off due to climate change would vary across the river basis as well as sub-basins of major rivers.
However, there is a general reduction in the quantity of the available run off.
(ii) Impacts of Climate change on Agriculture in India
Variable impacts of climate change on agriculture have been projected.
A mixed projection of yields of various crops across regions.
No definite trends have yet been established.
(iii) Impacts of climate change on forestry and natural ecosystem
Forests are projected to be vulnerable.
Biodiversity is also likely to be adversely impacted due to this.
Impacts of climate change on human health
Increase in vector borne diseases such as Malaria in areas not reported earlier.
(v) Impacts of climate change of infrastructure
Large infrastructure such as dams, roads, bridges incurring high costs of constructions are vulnerable to extreme events like cyclones, heavy rains, land slides and floods, which may increase in the later half of the century due to climate change.
(vi) Impacts of climate change on coastal zones in India
To holistic data of sea level reveals a high variability along the Indian Coastline with an increase along Gulf of Kutchh and West Bengal coastline and decrease along Karnataka coast.
The observation indicate a long term average rising trend of 1mm/year in sea level and a projection of rise in sea level in the range of 46-59 cm by the end of twenty first century.