Deadly heatwaves could strike India again: Report

According to the world’s biggest review report on climate change, released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), India may face an annual threat of deadly heatwaves, like the one in 2015, which killed more than 2,500 people, if the earth gets warmer by 2 degree Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

The IPCC report particularly mentions Karachi and Kolkata among cities that could face an increased threat of heat waves. The implications of the report will be discussed at the Katowice climate change meeting in Poland in December, where countries will review the Paris Agreement to deal with climate change.

The report warned that average global temperatures could break the 1.5 degree stage as early as 2030. It said “Global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degree Celsius (over pre-industrial levels) between 2030 and 2052 if it persists to increase at the same rate”. The report said, for global warming to be contained at 1.5 degrees Celsius, the total human-caused carbon emissions would have to go down by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030.

The report made by experts from the University of Washington, World Health Organization and Climate tracker, clearly mentioned that Pakistan and India could be worst affected by the 2 degree Celsius increase.

Further the report said poverty will also increase with rise in global warming.  It said that “Limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius as against 2 degree Celsius can drop the number of people exposed to climate-related risks and poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050”. And the same limit can result in reduced losses in production of maize, wheat, rice and other cereal crops, mainly in Asia.

Aromar Revi of Indian Institute for Human Settlements said “For a developing nation like India, planning according to the under-1.5 degree Celsius temperature increase scenario is an opportunity since it presents a chance for us to develop a more sustainable energy and agriculture industries as well as manage cities.” He said rise in temperature will also increase temperature of the oceans.

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