Mains Daily Question
Feb. 15, 2021

  1. How is climate change changing the disaster profile of India?

 Approach

  • Show types of disasters India is vulnerable to.

  • Discuss change in disaster profile due to climate change.

  • Write a way forward.

Model Answer

Natural disasters and climate change are fast emerging as the most defining challenges of the 21st century. India`s diverse and unique geo-climatic condition makes it highly susceptible to climate change and natural disasters.

India is vulnerable, in varying degrees, to a large number of disasters such as, earthquakes of moderate to very high intensity; floods and river erosion; cyclones and tsunamis, droughts; and its hilly areas are at risk from landslides and avalanches. For Indian subcontinent, the projected temperature changes by IPCC, based on the General Circulation Model, projects warming of 2-4.7°C, with the most probable level being around 3.3°C by the year 2100.

Impact Of Climate Change On Disaster Profile Of India

  1. Floods

In India, the Brahmaputra and the Indo-Gangetic basin are the most flood prone areas. Floods are a perennial phenomenon in at least 5 states – Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Climate change has influenced stream flow patterns through changes in the precipitation, which can be manifested from the flood-like situation in Rajasthan in 2017.

  1. Cyclones

Most of the devastating category-level cyclones make landfall between October and November. But since 2011, Thane and now Phethai impacted the coasts in December. This shows that there is a shift in the cyclonic season and its intensity, which is a clear indication of climate change, due to global warming.

  1. Landslide

The Indian mountains are also warming and thus attracting more clouds and torrential rains, which brings massive landslide in these areas. Studies suggest considerable increase in frequency and magnitude of landslides in recent times over the subcontinent, especially in Himalaya and Nilgiris region.

  1. Extreme Heat

India is already experiencing a warming climate. Under 4°C warming, the west coast and southern India are projected to shift to new, high-temperature climatic regimes with significant impacts on agriculture.

  1. Drought

About 6% of the land area of the country is currently in the Exceptionally Dry category, which is nearly four times the 1.6% area at the same time in 2018. Droughts are expected to be more frequent in some areas, especially in north-western India, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

Conclusion

Thus, while natural variability continues to play a key role in climatological disasters, climate change has shifted the odds and changed the natural limits, making certain types of

disasters much more frequent and more intense.

Technology may provide a ―silver bullet to cope the consequences of climate change and increasing disasters in the country. The catastrophic weight of these events on society can also be reduced through effective disaster management, and in formulating the management and mitigation policies, a composite disaster lethality index will be worth practicing.

 

 

Subjects : Environment
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