Climate change is having a significant impact on the Indian subcontinent and the evidence of it was presented by the Government of India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) department during the ongoing Monsoon Session. Union Minister of Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju released ‘Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region’ report, in the Lok Sabha which presented a comprehensive assessment of the impact of climate change on the Indian subcontinent.
India’s average temperature has increased by around 0.7° Celsius from 1901 to 2018, Rijiju mentioned in his written reply to the lower house of the Parliament. Recently, India saw an intensive period of heatwave across the country, where over 90 people succumbed to the heat. And with the world recording its hottest month in July, this was not just limited to India.
The report highlighted the drastic increase in the daily rainfall intensity. According to the data, there has been an increase of 75 per cent in the frequency of rainfall from 1950-2015. In the last couple of months, the northern-belt of India has faced a slew of flash floods and cloudbursts. From the Himalayan region to the National Capital, cities were submerged in water. And the data is, simply, emphasising the alarming situation this is.
On one hand, there is a rise in flash floods. On the other hand, the drought situation is only going to get worse. As per the report released, the frequency and the severity of droughts have spiked significantly during 1951 to 2015. This will play a crucial role in the food security of the country, as the ongoing water scarcity will only deepen.
The report also highlights the rising sea levels in the North Indian Ocean, which escalated at a rate of 3.3 mm per year, between 1993 and 2017. This will impact the coastal regions of the country, and put vulnerable communities at risk due to the possibility of a rise in natural disasters like cyclones.
As per the data findings, there has been a cyclonic formation over the Arabian Sea during the post-monsoon season, which has increased from 1998 to 2018. These cyclones unleash devastation on coastal areas, causing human casualties, displacements, and infrastructure damage. Recently, cyclone Biparjoy, which made landfall in Gujarat on June 15, was recorded as the longest cyclonic storm that lasted for 10-long days in the Arabian Sea.
These findings only show us the intensity of climate change over the subcontinent and how we need to come up with climate mitigation at an international level at the earliest.