The sobriquet “air-conditioned city” could be contested today, but by the turn of this century, it will be an outright misnomer.
By the year 2100, temperatures are expected to touch 40 degrees Celsius, according to J. Srinivasan, Chairman of the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IISc.). The maximum temperature Bangalore has ever witnessed was 38.9, recorded in May, 1931.
The city's temperature has been rising with every successive decade, with a 1.8 degree rise recorded over the last century for the month of March, Prof. Srinivasan said in his lecture, ‘The Science and Politics of Climate Change', at IISc. on Saturday.
India as a whole will see a 3 degree mercury rise by 2080, he added. While 3 degrees may not seem very high, it is enough to cause major agricultural losses and socio-economic devastation, he said.
Worldwide, this mercury rise by the end of the century is enough to leave 80 million prone to hunger and coastal flooding; 300 million at the risk of vector diseases such as malaria; and 3,500 million suffering from water shortage.
Dismissing the conspiracy theories offered by naysayers such as Thomas Gale Moore in his Climate of Fear: Why We Shouldn't Worry about Global Warming and Michael Crichton in State of Fear, Prof. Srinivasan illustrated through graphs the unmistakable correlation between the rise in carbon dioxide emissions and rise in temperature over the last 40 years.
And the consequences cannot be ignored, he said. There are already indications of climate change in the country: these include the increased incidents of heat waves and of heavy rainfall, such as the devastating torrent in Mumbai in 2005 that killed scores.
Keywords: Climate study