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India at high flood risk: Study

delhi Updated: Jun 19, 2013 01:37 IST
Vanita Srivastava

A new global study has predicted a large increase in the frequency of floods in South Asia and peninsular India due to climate change.

The study titled ‘Global flood risk under climate change’, published online in international journal Nature’s website on June 9, predicts a large increase in flood frequency in southeast Asia, peninsular India, eastern Africa and northern half of the Andes.

In some parts of the world, however, flood frequency is projected to decrease.

“The report should prompt the region’s scientists and policy makers to call for an urgent look at the ‘ad-hoc’ national flood management policies and, more importantly, cross border water issues,” says Subhra Priyadarshini, editor of Nature India, in her article — ‘Higher risks of flooding fuels demand for South Asian water charter’.

The mega study based on 11 climate models predicts an increase in flood risk with global warming. Projections show a large increase in flood frequency in some areas, and a decrease in few others. Vulnerability depends on the degree of warming and the inter-annual variability in precipitation.

Lead researcher Yukiko Hirabayashi from the University of Tokyo stresses on adaptation to intensified floods and the introduction of further strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Rajiv Sinha, professor of geosciences in the department of civil engineering at IIT Kanpur says flood risk in countries like India is more serious due to unplanned interventions in the rivers.