News Of The Month
Indian Floods, Climate change hits hard

Torrential rains, damaged crops, unprecedented damage to life, houses, public utilities and human settlement across the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Northeastern states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. The scale of devastation has crippled the rescue efforts of the governments. The Indian Airforce, Indian Army, Border Security Force and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have launched massive operations working 24*7 to save lives and offer help to people stranded in areas which have been cut off.

Floods may be a common occurrence in India every monsoon, but the flood fury in the desert state of Rajasthan and worst affected state of Gujarat, is it normal? We are forced to ask ourselves if climate change and global warming has already showed its first sign of danger. Though many suggest climate change has impacted the rainfall patterns but flooding is not alone affected by rains, it does involve other circumstantial factors like excessive capacity of reservoirs and dams, unplanned urbanization etc. But the amount of rainfall recorded this season sure is an anomaly. According to news reports, “Ahmedabad may break a 112 years old record of highest rainfall in July it had set in 1905. Gujarat, especially in the northern and western parts, received good rainfall this year. Ahmedabad has already received 828.2 mm rains, as against a normal level of 291.1 mm.” What further led to a degradation in the flood hit state was the flowing back of water from neighboring state of Rajasthan which also saw incessant rains.

A recent report by ADB and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, has mentioned that Asia – especially Bangladesh, India, China and Indonesia facing the biggest threat when it comes to flooding. The report predicts that nearly 130 million people in low-elevation coastal zones in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan are at risk of being displaced due to constant exposure to floods. Unabated changes in the climate will impact the development and growth of these countries also impacting the quality of life.

Picture credit: The Indian Express

How do we track the changes in climate change and be better prepared for such nature’s outbursts? Many are working on this as the threat is new by nature and still there are these other countries and leaders who deny even its existence. But floods are soon becoming a new normality of many regions and better management of these have become the need of the hour.

In the last few years, delayed erratic Indian monsoons with steady rise in summer temperatures the highest being recorded in 2016, suggest the land is getting heated faster than the sea and thus creates disruption in rainfall pattern. It would attract winds carrying moisture from the sea surface and cause rainfall.

Excessive pollution, vehicular smoke is adding to the global warming. The impact of modernization of man and his world has now started showing its adverse side with such outbursts. The question is now how fast can we act and if our ‘fast act’ still has scope of saving this planet for our future generations.

News Round Up

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Climate change: South India may face a decline in rice yield

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