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The Urgent Threat of Climate Change in India: Understanding its Impacts

One of the most critical global issues of our day is climate change. India is not an exception to the repercussions of a fast-changing climate that are being felt throughout the world. India is dealing with a wide range of effects that could destabilise its social, economic, and environmental systems, from rising sea levels to rising temperatures. The country must act today to reduce its effects and develop resilience for the future because the effects of climate change are widespread. This article examines the impact of climate change in India and potential solutions to the problems ahead.


The average temperature increased by 0.6 degrees Celsius (° C) between 1901–10 and 2009–18, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). This might seem insignificant on an annual basis, but the estimates for the future are alarming. The World Bank predicts that by the end of the century, the average temperatures in India might rise as high as 29.1° C if climate change continues. They are at 25.1 ° C at the moment.


Summertime temperatures on the west coast and in south India are known for being moderate. However, this may alter in the future. As a result, these regions may move to higher temperature ranges with even a tiny change, impacting living conditions, agriculture, etc.


  1. Higher temperatures and heatwaves


There is anecdotal evidence that India’s summers have gotten hotter and longer. Furthermore, according to research, they will get worse. According to studies, the frequency of summer heat waves over India (April to June) is expected to increase three to four times by the end of the 21st century compared to the baseline period of 1976 to 2005. Additionally, the heatwave’s typical duration is expected to increase. The Indo-Gangetic region may be the most affected, but this might be an all-India phenomenon.


  1. More unpredictable monsoons are expected.


According to research, India’s yearly monsoon rainfall has been steadily declining. The frequency of heavy rain is released at the same time, though.

However, doing to the World Bank, India’s summer monsoon will become more unpredictable with a two °C increase in global average temperatures. An unreliable monsoon might negatively impact every part of India because it depends significantly on the rains for its agricultural and river water supplies.


Floods The major depends on the monsoon rains to develop their crops, and if the rains become erratic, it will endanger India’s ability to feed itself. For example, consider the grain of rice. Although new cultivars have enhanced rice yields, rising temperatures, and irregular rainfall could cause harvests to decline.


  1. Rise in the number of droughts and floods

Since 1950, studies have demonstrated an increased frequency of droughts and an expansion of drought-affected areas, including those conducted by the Indian government. Due to the lack of food and water, drought is also a humanitarian issue. People may migrate inside their own country as a residue tot as they leave their homes in search of work.


In India, there have been more flooding incidents. These have primarily been brought on by sudden, heavy rain. According to experts, these occurrences can become more frequent as the monsoon becomes less predictable.


The upper Himalayan ranges could be threatened not just by rain melting of glaciers caused by global warming, which would increase river flows and raise the risk of flooding. Particularly vulnerable to rising flooding are the basins of the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra.


  1. Sea level rise

Sea levels have been rising in India’s coastal regions as a result of climate change. Coastal mangrove forests have been crucial in defending human homes from storm surges, but as sea levels have risen, a large number of mangroves have been wiped out in the country’s western and eastern regions.


According to some experts, the removal of mangroves and haphazard building in Mumbai’s coastal areas has only made floods worse. The effects of modern buildings and rising sea levels have been especially harsh on mangroves.


Long protecting the area from tropical storms, the Sundarbans mangrove forest in West Bengal and Bangladesh has been submerged in several places due to rising sea levels. Tropical storms have become more violent as a result of the destruction, which has resulted in loss of life and property.


The deterioration of groundwater quality, an increase in infections because some germs flourish in salt water, and the loss of livelihood for those who live in coastal areas have all been brought on by the rise in sea levels.


  1. Higher intensity tropical storms

It was known that strong cyclonic cyclones occasionally made landfall on both Indian coasts, but these occurrences were uncommon. However, studies have revealed that during the past ten years, tropical storms have become more frequent. The main explanation given for this is global warming.


Storms under climate change

In recent years, India’s beaches have been battered by cyclones of the category 4 and 5 varieties. In the years to come, stronger cyclones are expected, which will likely result in even more fatalities in India’s coastal regions. These might have an impact on weather patterns.


According to a 2016 Nature study, global warming has increased the frequency of exceptionally violent cyclonic storms over the Arabian Sea. India is particularly at risk because 14% of its 1.3 billion people reside in coastal districts, and by 2060, the number of people living in coastal areas with an elevation below 10 meters is expected to more than triple.


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