You don’t have to wait long to witness climate change impacting your life. Two climatic events in the last fortnight — cyclone Nargis that claimed 20,000 lives in Myanmar, and torrential rains and thunderstorm — indicate the impact of climate change is becoming visible.
Although RK Pauchari, head of Nobel Prize winning organisation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said to blame intensity of Cyclone Nargis on climate change, Mark Lander, a meteorology professor at University of Guam, UK, found the link. Sea surface temperature in Bay of Bengal was over one degree Celsius above average when Cyclone Nargis intensified before landfall, Lander said. He was quoting National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s global satellite map.
In a 2007 report, IPCC had said the rise in sea surface temperatures causes increase in intensity of cyclones. It had quoted evidence suggesting tropical cyclones in North Atlantic had intensified because of rise in tropical sea surface temperatures.
Even Pachauri admitted climate change has resulted in increase in cyclones and may have contributed to its intensity.
Sunita Narain of Centre for Science and Environment said, “What happened in Myanmar was a clear indication that climate change i0s showing its impact in the region. It is a sign of things to come. Last year, Bangladesh was devastated by a tropical cyclone. It will continue if rich countries fail to cut greenhouse emissions.”