‘Extreme weather events may surge in near future’
Frequency and duration of heatwaves and droughts; the area under dry spells, flash floods, urban floods, and short, intense rainfall events; and the probability of cyclones turning into severe storms will all increase in the coming years because of climate change, M Rajeevan Nair, secretary to the ministry of earth sciences, said at the Hindustan Times Environment Conclave on Thursday.
India needs to be ready and come up with specific projection models on how these changes will affect agriculture, health, water resources, energy and other sectors to cope with their impact, Nair said at a session on Climate Change and the Green Economy.
Agreeing with him, Sunita Narain, director general of the New Delhi-based advocacy group, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said the ministry’s study shows that the impact of climate change was intensifying and India needs to emphasise its vulnerability at international negotiations that are expected to gather steam with the US on Monday deciding to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
On India’s vulnerability, Nair said, based on the climate change projections and past data, the Indian monsoon is robust, rainy days were declining and dry spells were increasing. India is warming at a pace equal to global warming elsewhere and cold waves were reducing. “This will have a serious impact on agriculture and farmers as areas under drought are likely to increase from the present 15-20% to 25-30% in future. We need to devise ways to cope with these changes.”