For the first time, India has released its own national report on the state of the climate crisis. It takes a close look at where we stand regarding long-term changes in climate patterns, and their attendant risks.
The report describes the observed changes and future projections of Precipitation, Temperature, Monsoon, Drought, Sea-level, Tropical-Cyclones, and extreme weather events.
The report reveals that local climate change is influenced not only by the increase in greenhouse gases, But also by the increase in Air-pollution and the local changes in the land-use pattern. India’s First Climate Change Assessment Report
KEY FINDINGS OF THE REPORT
India’s average temperature has risen by around 0.7°C during 1901-2018.
By the end of the 21st century, Average temperature over India is projected to rise by approximately 4.4°C relative to the recent past (1976-2005 average).
This rise in temperature is largely on account of GHG-induced warming.
It projects that the frequency of summer (April—June) heat waves over India will be 3 to 4 times higher by the end of the 21st century. This in turn will lead to a high likelihood of an increase in the frequency and intensity of Droughts, compounded by the increased variability of monsoon precipitation.
The overall decrease of seasonal summer monsoon rainfall during the last 6-7 decades has led to an increased propensity for droughts over India.
In particular, areas over central India, southwest coast, southern peninsula and north-eastern India have experienced more than two droughts per decade.
The area affected by drought has also increased by 1.3 percent per decade over the same period.
Changes in the Himalayas
The Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) experienced a temperature rise of about 1.3°C during 1951-2014. Several areas of HKH have experienced a declining trend in snowfall and also retreat of glaciers in recent decades.
In contrast, the high-elevation Karakoram Himalayas have experienced higher winter snowfall that has shielded the region from Glacier shrinkage.
By the end of the 21st century, the annual mean surface temperature over HKH is projected to increase by about 5.2°C.
Since the middle of the 20th century, India has witnessed a rise in average temperature; a decrease in monsoon precipitation; a rise in extreme temperature and rainfall events, droughts, and sea levels; and an increase in the intensity of severe cyclones, alongside other changes in the monsoon system.
There is compelling scientific evidence that human activities have influenced these changes in regional climate.
Human-induced climate change is expected to continue apace during the 21st century.
To improve the accuracy of future climate projections, particularly in the context of regional forecasts, It is essential to develop strategic approaches for improving the knowledge of Earth System Processes and to continue enhancing observing systems and climate models. India’s First Climate Change Assessment Report