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Guwahati
Sunday, April 21, 2024

Threat From Global Warming

A climate update by WMO and UK Met Office warned last year that the world overall temperature is moving in a dangerous direction and it is almost certain that 2022-2026 will see the warmest year on record though there is close to fifty-fifty chance of breaching 1.5°C. The report emphasised that all South Asian nations were lagging in taking key crucial initiatives that would directly contribute to both climate change adaptation and mitigation in the region. The future outlook for the region is bleak, the report said

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The unprecedented rise in temperature touching 40 degrees Celsius, in parts of India in February, which is technically a winter month, has threatened not only the food security of the country but also various sectors of the economy – ranging from availability of potable water to electricity impacting almost all aspects of life, particularly the health services. It’s a matter of serious concern for the country since it has already been predicted that there is a possibility of an intensely hot summer and extended heat waves this year. Only a year before in 2022, India had recorded its warmest March on record, with an average maximum temperature of 33.1 degree Celsius or 1.86 degree Celsius above the long-term average. Heatwaves generally occur in April but are less common, but May is usually the month of excessively high temperatures. Hence, the Centre’s mere setting up of a committee to monitor the situation and issuing advisories to farmers is only an ad hoc act while the country needs a comprehensive policy and strategy to deal with the crisis to prevent a catastrophe that is likely to be triggered by heating up of the land and the atmosphere.

IMD has said that the higher day-time temperatures might hurt wheat that is approaching the productive growth period, which is sensitive to temperature. High temperatures during the flowering and maturing period lead to a loss in yield. There could be a similar impact on other standing crops and horticulture. Their advisory said, “Add much material in the space between two rows of vegetable crops to conserve soil moisture and maintain soil temperature.” However, the government must accept that the poor farmers don’t even have the means to implement the advisories issued by the government. It has been estimated that the standing wheat crop which was sown in December-January will be impacted to an extent of 5-10 percent, and mustard between 4-6 percent if the present heat condition worsens. The crops sown late that amount to about 40 percent may suffer more severe damage.

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India needs to plan something more than the advisories issued and what is already in place, such as heat-related health action plans, or the national framework of the heat action plan through the National Disaster Management Authority which is supposed to coordinate the network of state disaster response agencies and city leaders to prepare for soaring temperature and ensure that everyone is aware of heatwave Do’s and Don’ts. India is one of the most densely populated countries, and hence severe heatwave conditions would impact hundreds of millions of people, livestock, and the entire ecology. Moreover, heat waves have a cascading impact not only on human health but also on ecosystems, agriculture, water, energy supplies, and all sectors of the economy. A climate update by WMO and UK Met Office warned last year that the world overall temperature is moving in a dangerous direction and it is almost certain that 2022-2026 will see the warmest year on record though there is close to fifty-fifty chance of breaching 1.5°C. The report emphasised that all South Asian nations were lagging in taking key crucial initiatives that would directly contribute to both climate change adaptation and mitigation in the region. The future outlook for the region is bleak, the report said.

 

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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