Coastal cities will be hit hard by climate change: expert

January 05, 2015 12:54 am | Updated 12:54 am IST - VIJAYAWADA:

TERI Director General Rajendra .K. Pachauri interacting with children at the Jandhyala Dakshina Murthi Memorial Lecture programme in Vijayawada on Sunday.

TERI Director General Rajendra .K. Pachauri interacting with children at the Jandhyala Dakshina Murthi Memorial Lecture programme in Vijayawada on Sunday.

Cities like Vijayawada which are close to coastline will be hit hardest by effects of climate change, according to Rajendra K Pachauri, Director General of New Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

The average sea level will rise impacting the people, more particularly fishermen, living on the coast. Shortage of food and drinking water, rise in poverty and displacement of people could be possible, he said delivering the 10 Jandhyala Dakshina Murthi memorial lecture here on Sunday.

It is human activities that directly induce global warming. Over the period 1900 to 2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 metres. Global greenhouse gas emissions growth between 2000 and 2010 has been larger than in the previous three decades. Energy production remains the prime driver of growth in emissions, with the energy sector accounting for 35 per cent of total emissions globally, he said.

Sea level will continue to rise if the trend of global warming has not been effectively curbed and the temperature rises two degrees, which is higher than pre-industrial times.

Climatic changes are likely to exacerbate this trend. Water supply, already a serious concern in many parts of the country, will decline dramatically, affecting food production. Export industries such as fisheries will also be affected, while coastal areas risk being inundated, flooding the homes of millions of people living in low-lying areas, he said.

Developing countries are going to be the worst victim of these changes. It is estimated that 95 per cent of natural disasters led to deaths in developing countries in the period of 1970- 2008, he pointed out. “What we need to do present is to stabilise global climate ,” he said.

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