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Brace for sizzling winters: Report

delhi Updated: Mar 01, 2009 01:15 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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Get ready to face hot winters, which can lead to fall in wheat and rice production, with pre-winter and winter temperature in India rising the most in the last century.

India, which witnessed 0.4 degrees Celsius increase in temperature in the last century, saw a temperature increase of 0.7 degrees in the pre-winter period and 0.67 during winter, a parliamentary standing committee told Lok Sabha recently. The least temperature increase was during monsoons followed by summers.

It was the plains of northern, central and western India, which recorded maximum temperature increase in India whereas regions in Kashmir and parts of southern India recorded a fall in average yearly temperature, the report said.

With increase in temperature, the report recorded, central India and western India and Kerala have recorded a fall in monsoon rainfall of six to eight per cent.

Only in the western coastal states of Andhra Pradesh, higher rainfall during monsoon has been recorded.

The temperature in India is expected to rise by three to six degree Celsius by end of 2100, the report said, it can lead to fall in production of wheat by four to five million tonnes for one degree Celsius rise in temperature.

For rice, which contributes about 23 per cent of green house gas (GHG) emission from agriculture sector, the production is estimated to fall by 20 per cent, the report said. Agriculture sector contributes 28 per cent of India’s total burden of GHGs.

India’s wheat and rice production should almost double by end of the century to meet the domestic demand, said a recent Food and Agriculture Organisation report.

Higher temperature will have huge impact on animal husbandry with annual milk production expected to fall by 1.8 million tonnes by 2020, about two per cent of present production, and 15 million by 2050. “The cattle loss will be highest in Uttar Pradesh followed by Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and West Bengal,” the report said, while pointing out that it would mean loss of Rs 2,661 crore.

The scientific findings on impact of climate change on Indian agriculture caused the committee to recommend that each village in India should have a “climate risk manager” to assist people in adopting climate friendly technologies.

It also asked the government to make climate change mitigation an integral part of all government polices including Bharat Nirman and give financial incentive to farmers to adopt energy efficient technologies.