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'UN climate change report nothing new for India'

Dr Sugata Hazra of Jadhavpur University says most of the findings of the report are already known, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2007 22:08 IST

A new United Nation’s report on climate change has predicted tougher times ahead for India with the earth’s expected to become much more warmer, than predicted earlier, because of rise in the green house emissions.

Higher sea level rise on the eastern coast, more rainfall in the post monsoon period, effecting crop patterns, and the drought zone widening are said to be predictions of the fourth assessment report of International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The global report, prepared by 500 lead authors and scientists, also says that India will emerge as one of the major carbon dioxide contributors to global green house emissions if the remedial steps are not taken fast. India’s booming economy and consequent rise in energy consumption are the cause.

The IPCC, before the release of the report in Paris on Friday, clarified that any reference to the contents before approval at the IPCC plenary session does not represent authorised IPCC findings. “The process leading to the release is “long, complicated and far from complete,” IPCC said, in a recent statement. Dr RK Pachauri, who heads the panel, was not available for his comments.

The findings of the report have not surprised Indian scientists. “Most of the findings of the report are already known,” said Dr Sugata Hazra, head of Department of Oceanography at Jadhavpur University. His team had recorded submersion of the world’s first habituated island in Sunderbans in 2006. “There are many more islands heading for a similar fate if the sea level rises at the present rate,” he said.

Hazra has a slightly different take on sea level rise as predicted in the UN report. “The 60-70 cm rise in seal level predicted by IPCC for the end of 2100 is very moderate and less than its earlier prediction. I believe that seas will rise much more leading to submersion of low lying areas,” he said, admitting of IPCC’s limitation on CO emission data and the pressure from industry and rich countries.

The draft assessment report of the IPCC is first validated by 154 nations before adoption at the plenary session. The draft report was send to all nations, including United States, which put the report on its website for comments inviting furious remarks from the scientists.

The report not only provides models for possible rise in temperature on earth’s surface and its impact on humanity, it also provides solutions for the government to adopt. The last IPCC report was released in 2001.

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First Published: Jan 30, 2007 22:08 IST