Annual mean temperature in India has increased by about 1.2°C since the beginning of the 20th century
To see the INDIA WARMING spiral and understand what it says and means, please join Down To Earth's Facebook page our FACEBOOK LIVE session with Sunita Narain and Chandra Bhushan today at 3.30 PM IST.
Late last week, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the Paris Agreement, driving the proverbial nail into the coffin of the already insipid accord (see our press release on this on www.cseindia.org). As the world starts to grapple with the fact of one of the top emitters reneging on all its promises, the realisation is sinking in that we have lost ground and gone back in time in our fight against global warming.
Today, on World Environment Day, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is re-emphasising the crisis that we are faced with today – by releasing the results of a study it has done to find out how India has warmed over the years. The analysis looks at temperature trends in the country – both annual and seasonal – from 1901 till recent years. And it finds that the country has been getting warmer continuously, consistently and rapidly.
CSE researchers have plotted this rise in temperature on an animated spiral – the first such visual representation to come from India. A similar climate spiral graph depicting global rise in temperatures is already in existence.
What the analysis says
What are the implications of this temperature increase?
The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is increasing with rising temperature. For example, in winters of 2017 when the average temperature was 2.95°C higher than the 1901-1930 baseline, the worst drought in a century happened in southern India: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala were worst-hit, with 330 million people coming under the grip of drought.
Similarly, during summers of 2010, when the average temperature was 2.05°C higher than the baseline, again the highest in recorded history, severe heat wave conditions prevailed over large parts of India. These conditions claimed more than 300 lives. In addition, four cyclonic storms hit India that year.
Says Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE: “India is warming and warming rapidly. The implications of this fundamental fact are serious for economic, social and ecological well-being of the country. We are experiencing frequent extreme weather events, and our weather is becoming unpredictable. Losses due to extreme weather events are mounting and it is our poor who are suffering the pains of climate change.
Adds Sunita Narain, director general, CSE: “With the US exiting the Paris Agreement, controlling emissions and temperature is now a tougher task for the world. We appeal to the global community to come together and take strong actions.”
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