Climate change predictions

By 2030, the average temperatures in India will rise by 1.7-2.2°Celsius in India and extreme temperatures by 1-4°Celsius in comparison to the 1970s. The hotter summers and warmer winters will lead to substantial changes in agricultural production, water flows and cause dramatic changes in the country’s weather, a report of the government’s Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment has said. The report noted that in all regions of the country, rainfall will increase, with central and north-western Himalayan regions suffering the brunt of the highest increases. Worse, the high rainfall days (extreme rainfall events) in the country are bound to increase. The 7,500km coastline will face its own problems with sea levels along the coast rising at the rate of 1.3mm/year and the intensity of cyclones expected to increase, though the frequency would reduce. The report notes that severe droughts will see a moderate to extreme increase in the Himalayan region and floods will intensify by 10-30% in all the regions of the country. The government’s attempt to start a second green revolution in dryland areas could also be tested with the nonirrigated crops suffering a productivity decline though the irrigated paddy areas may gain productivity in some zones. Maize and sorghum are projected to have reduced yields in all the regions. The coconut productivity is projected to rise in the western coast and reduce in the eastern coastal region. The story of failing production of apples in states like Himachal Pradesh is bound to continue in future, the study done by 18 Indian scientific institutions for the government notes. Lifestock productivity — backbone of the farming sector — will decrease in general and there will be substantial changes in the fisheries too with some gains and losses and shifts in patterns causing fisherfolk to adjust to such alterations. The incidence of malaria will increase in the Himalayan region though it will come down in the coastal belts by 2030 due to the changes in moisture and temperatures caused by climate change. The government plans to produce another report by May 2012 studying the impact of climate change on all 16 agro-climatic zones and also hold an Indian International Climate Science Congress once every two years starting with the first one in November 2011

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