Global Warming is Global Warning for India

I have summarised the impending dangers to India due to global warming in this article. It should act as a wake up call for all of us.

Why this picture right in the beginning? It is to emphasize how dangerous global warming is for us! I have begun by posting this dangerous picture and that is the sole intent of this article, to warn its readers about the impending and very real dangers of global warning.

Not many years ago when global warming issues were in their infancy, it was generally presumed that the environment activists had the responsibility to deal with them. Not any more! Time has come when each one of us has to become an environmental activist to save and nurture our planet if we want to leave something for our future generations.
Ecological imbalance, climate change, global warming and carbon emissions are issues that have set the alarm bells ringing. This is a fact which was acknowledged by the assembly of world leaders in Copenhagen last month to seek lasting solutions. Global warming has become global warning for India.

Global Warming - a Wake Up Call for India

We keep reading about rising temperatures and sea levels in other parts of the world like United States and the U.K. and have shut our eyes and minds towards the threat that is looming large right at our doors! India is one of the most vulnerable countries when it comes to global warming. India has a vast coastal line and the rising sea levels caused by global warming will wreak an ecological havoc in the country. The writing is there on the wall! According to the research of United Nations Environment Program it has been forecasted that as the mercury rises, the Indian subcontinent which is home to one sixth of humanity will be one of the worst affected regions. The glaciers are retreating at a rate of fifty feet per year. It is predicted that if this continues then all the central and eastern Himalayan glaciers will be lost by as early as 2035! Take a look at some of the scary projected impacts:

Global Warming – Warning for the East Coast of India

Jawaharlal Nehru University of India carried out a study and projected a scenario when the sea levels would rise by just one meter. According to the portrayal, seven million people would be displaced and 5,764 sq km of land would be lost!

East coast of India would be the worst affected because of its Geographical locations and features. It is landlocked from three sides and the rivers Brahmaputra and Ganga form a big delta and will also transport water from the melting snows from the Himalayas. East coast is more vulnerable than the West coast though both would be adversely affected.

Global Warming in India: Warning for West Bengal

It is a well established fact now that the Himalayan Glaciers are melting at the rate of almost 34 meters per year. This in turn is going to cause the temperatures and sea levels to rise and there will be a domino effect on the crops and the monsoons. The predictions are that entire islands are going to vanish. It seems that the worst is going to be true because as reports indicate two islands already have. Two islands in the Sunderbans have already submerged! Temperatures in this group of islands have already risen by one degree centigrade.
Rising sea levels have flooded about 18,500 acres of mangrove forest during the past three decades in West Bengal

Global Warming – Warning for Kerela

The affects and impacts of global warming are already being felt in Kerela which is said to be God's own country. Kerela has witnessed dramatic changes in the climate in recent times. Almost all the districts of Kerela saw unprecedented rise in temperatures during summers.
The evolving weather patterns in Kerala with sudden cloud bursts interspersed with long dry spells all point towards the shadows of global warming right at our doorstep.

Global Warming – Warning for Orissa

Orissa is being projected as one of the states which is going to bear the brunt of global warming. In fact whole villages in the coastal regions have already disappeared. It has been reported that many villages from the Kendrapara district have submerged into the Bay of Bengal. Orissa is extremely vulnerable to the impact of rising sea levels because of its location. It is located at the head of Bay of Bengal with a landlocked sea and a deltaic plain, factors based on which the predictions have been made.

According to a survey conducted by the researchers at the National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research based on people's perception on climate induced natural disasters in the Kendrapara district of Orissa. The results clearly showed that not only the frequency and intensity of droughts have increased but the incidence of flooding has gone up as well. According to the observations of the local people the sea water has become warmer and the cyclones have become more intense.

Climatologists can interpret and translate these innocent observations of the locals and attribute them to global warming. It is a paradox that the survey showed that these villagers hardly contributed to global warming and none of their activities emitted any greenhouse gases. In fact it is an irony that Australia, Canada and United States are the greatest contributors of greenhouse gases.

Global Warming – Warning for Andhra Pradesh

The floods that occurred in Andhra Pradesh during October 2009 are a clear impact of global warming.
The heat wave which has been traversing the state and taking its toll on human lives is also being put down on global warming. The temperatures went up to as high as 48.9 degrees centigrade and the highest one week death toll was recorded. Andhra Pradesh has been experiencing continuous warming trends.

Global Warming – Warning for Agriculture in India

The rise in average temperatures is bound to create an impact on agriculture. Some agricultural crops will be adversely affected by higher temperatures and may lead to shortage of food. It is predicted that there is going to be a substantial drop in the production of wheat and corn in India. It is estimated that the production of wheat in winter will be decreased by about 55% in India. It will in turn also affect those countries which are dependent on India for its food supply.

Another aspect that needs to be considered is the affect of global warming on the increase in the growth of weeds and harmful insects which can destroy harvests on a very large scale. It would be an uphill task to cope up with that.

Global Warming – Warning for Health

India being a tropical country has always been plagued with many diseases. The first impact of global warming on human life which is highlighted is the tremendous loss of human lives. The catastrophic impacts on health have so far been sidelined but are equally significant.

Climatic changes can affect the health of human being in various ways. Vector born diseases will rise exponentially like Malaria, Dengue fever, Yellow fever etc. due to the thriving of organisms carrying contagious diseases. Frequent flooding and higher atmospheric temperatures will also increase the incidence of cholera and food poisoning.

The elderly will also face a negative impact on their health due to the hot summer temperatures. It is reported that the death rate increases among those aged 65 and above, when the daily maximum temperature exceeds 33 .

Global Warming – Warning for Plants and Animals

Global warming will cause animals and plants to shift their habitats to northern and mountainous areas. It is anticipated that some will become extinct if they are unable to migrate or cope up with the climate changes. It is predicted that the alpine flora growing near mountainous regions will become extinct and that many beech forests will disappear and be replaced by oak forests which are widely distributed in warm regions. According to Rajasekhar, Associate professor in the department of Environmental Sciences more than 3320 plant species and 630 animals face the danger of extinction due to global warming. As a result of this wild animals that live in or feed on these trees will be badly affected. It will also vastly affect fruit cultivation and forestry.
Protected zones of flora and fauna and many animals may become extinct. It would be impossible to recreate and rectify the ecological imbalance that will arise out of this.

Global Warming – Warning to Do something Now

'Tick…tick…tick…' the bomb of global warming is ticking away and is a very potent one. India has to awaken to this threat and do everything possible to minimize its implications. The laws of nature are pretty harsh and will not give us a second chance and have been warning us time and again against the hazards of global warming. India has to accelerate its efforts to combat global warming and not just talk about mitigating it

Copenhagen Summit held recently is a very positive and promising move but should not remain limited to drafting and signing accords.

Efforts like the 'earth hour' are good to create awareness but the time now has come to take the next step.


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