The world’s biggest review report on climate change released by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that even a half degree increase in the global warming temperature can lead to severe effects on human health and cause various natural disasters.
IPCC’s special report on Global Warming, “Global Warming of 1.5 °C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty”, suggested that if the world gets warmer by 2°C from 1.5 °C which could be easily breached as early as 2030, the repercussions will be manifold.
The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5 °C compared to 2°C, or more.
The report stated that India being one of the largest carbon-emitting nations, is prone to the deadly heatwaves, equivalent to the one that happened in 2015, killing many.
“One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I.
“It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change,” said a press release.
Speaking to Pune365, A K Srivastava, Head of Climate Monitoring and Analysis Group at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), says, “There is no denying that temperatures are increasing, and global warming is a given phenomenon.
But, it doesn’t always mean that the temperature increases every year. A comparative study of the last few years and future predictions can only suggest the rise and fall in the temperature.
However, till now we do not have any suggestive facts keeping in mind the monsoon levels in the city that can determine how the summers can be,” Srivastava adds.
“If temperatures are not contained, not only would people, animals and plants die due to heat waves, but also because of food and water scarcity resulting from climate change,” says Dr. Anupam Saraph, Researcher, Innovator and Future Planning Expert.
“It will result in mass migrations across nations as temperatures become unbearable and sea levels rise as the polar caps melt.”
Explaining the phenomenon and its implications, Saraph adds, “An economy focused on growth of consumption is one of the root causes of global warming. All growth in consumption requires energy, mostly fossil fuels today. This results in increased carbon emissions per unit of GDP.
“Consumption also destroys forests and non-forest trees as real estate and transportation take precedence over trees. Decreased tree cover reduces carbon absorption. Increased carbon in the atmosphere causes the earth to retain the incident solar radiation causing global warming.
“To contain global warming we need to reduce our consumption by at least half by using existing goods longer, recycling goods, and reusing things.
“The implications is that life as we know it may not survive. There is nothing more important than dealing with climate change.
“The single most important challenge before the government is to halt and reduce global warming.
India has made and ratified it’s commitments on October 2nd 2015. The commitments require increasing the carbon absorption from 0.25 billion tons of carbon to 3 billion tons of carbon by 2030. It also requires decreasing the carbon emissions of the GDP by 30% by 2030.
“Sadly, the government has not even intimated other departments of its commitments or appointed any officers to monitor the commitments.
The Cabinet Secretary and the NITI Aayog need to monitor every project in the country to ensure these commitments are met long before 2030,” Saraph suggests.
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