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1.5°C Warmer World To Be Catastrophic For India


The latest analysis of IPCC data shows that 1.5°C warmer world can significantly impact temperature, rainfall patterns and other associated Climate risks in India’s states


GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Climate Change and its impact)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Impact of Climate Change on India
  2. Causes of Climate Change
  3. About COP26
  4. About Kyoto Protocol

Impact of Climate Change on India

  • According to the assessment by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences in June 2020, since the middle of the 20th century, India has witnessed a rise in extreme temperature and rainfall events, drought, and sea levels, increase in the intensity of severe cyclones, alongside other changes in the monsoon system.
  • This is the situation of India when the Earth is 1.1°C hotter than in the pre-industrial period. These extreme events can increase when the global temperature rises by 1.5°C.

How Climate Change impact Indian states and Union Territories (UTs)?

  • As per the latest information released by IPCC in 2021, the following data is projected to understand how the temperature and rainfall patterns in Indian states and Union Territories (UTs) will change in a 1.5°C warmer world.
  • India could become 1.2°C warmer and receive almost 10 per cent more rainfall every year, suggests the analysis.
  • Ladakh is likely to be the worst hit (2.23°C warmer). Annual mean temperatures may rise in five other Himalayan states / UTs:
    • Jammu & Kashmir (1.76°C)
    • Himachal Pradesh (1.73°C)
    • Uttarakhand (1.62°C)
    • Sikkim (1.55°C)
    • Arunachal Pradesh (1.47°C).
  • The temperature rise is most likely to trigger the rapid melting of glaciers and precipitation change.
  • The northern and western parts of India will likely be more vulnerable than the eastern part, in terms of temperature rise.
  • Arid Rajasthan and Gujarat will likely see 1.43°C and 1.33°C increases respectively in annual average temperatures. Kerala (1.31°C), Punjab (1.27°C) and Chandigarh (1.26°C) may also experience a substantial temperature rise.
  • Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha, on the other hand, can record less than 1°C increase in their annual average temperature, when the world crosses the 1.5°C threshold.
  • The warmer temperatures may translate into an increase in the number of days of heatwaves.
Current Affairs 05 August 2022
  • Rajasthan can record 13 additional days with temperatures beyond 40°C, followed by Delhi, Gujarat (12 additional days each), Telangana (10 additional days) and Andhra Pradesh (8 additional days).
  • A change in precipitation for a world warmer by 1.5°C,  most of India is expected to see an increase in rainfall, the distribution of this increase is likely to be uneven.
  • The maximum increase in rainfall is expected in northwestern India. Rajasthan can receive up to 22.87 per cent more rain than the 1850-1900 average, followed by Gujarat with 22.16 per cent and Punjab with 20.54 per cent.
  • Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Andaman and Nicobar are the only three states and UTs where rainfall levels are most likely to go down.

Causes of Climate Change

  • The causes for climate change are many. They can be grouped into
  • Astronomical – [Sunspot activities and Volcanism ]
  • Terrestrial causes – [Green House gases, Pollution and aerosols, Ground level ozone]
  • The astronomical causes are the changes in solar output associated with sunspot activities.
  • Sunspots are dark and cooler patches on the sun which increase and decrease in a cyclical manner.
  • According to some meteorologists, when the number of sunspots increase, cooler and wetter weather and greater storminess occur.
  • A decrease in sunspot numbers is associated with warm and drier conditions
  • Volcanism is considered as another cause for climate change. Volcanic eruption throws up lots of aerosols into the atmosphere.
  • These aerosols remain in the atmosphere for a considerable period of time reducing the sun’s radiation reaching the Earth’s surface
  • The most important anthropogenic effect on the climate is the increasing trend in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which is likely to cause global warming.

About COP26

  • COP26 will see leaders from more than 190 countries, thousands of negotiators, researchers and citizens coming together to strengthen a global response to the threat of climate change.
  • It is a pivotal movement for the world to come together and accelerate the climate action plan after the COVID pandemic.
  • According to the UNFCCC, COP26 will work towards four goals:
  • Secure global net-zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach: The UNFCCC recommends that countries ‘accelerate the phase-out of coal, curtail deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles and encourage investment in renewables’ to meet this goal.
  • Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats: Countries will work together to ‘protect and restore ecosystems and build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives.’
  • Mobilise finance: To deliver on first two goals, developed countries must make good on their promise to mobilise at least $100bn in climate finance per year by 2020.
  • Work together to deliver: Another important task at the COP26 is to ‘finalise the Paris Rulebook’. Leaders will work together to frame a list of detailed rules that will help fulfil the Paris Agreement.

About Kyoto Protocol

  • The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
  • The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 and entered into force in February 2005.
  • The first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol was from 2008-2012. The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Qatar in December 2012. The amendment includes new commitments for parties to the Kyoto Protocol who agreed to take on commitments in a second commitment period from January 2013 to December 2020 and a revised list of greenhouse gases to be reported on by Parties in the second commitment period.
  • Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the Kyoto Protocol places commitments on developed nations to undertake mitigation targets and to provide financial resources and transfer of technology to the developing nations.
  • Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

-Source: Down To Earth

February 2024