Alarming portents from global warming report

Coastal nations and agricultural economies like India would be the worst affected. Decline in crop yields, unprecedented climate extremes and increased susceptibility could push poverty by several million by 2050, said the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C,’ commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that saw as many as 91 authors and review-editors from 40 countries, convene in Incheon, South Korea and, over the last week, assess the scientific evidence, feasibility and benefits from countries striving to keep the average global temperature from rising above 1.5 C from pre-industrial times.

“Even at a little over 1.0°C warming, India is being battered by the worst climate extremes – it is clear that the situation at 1.5°C is going to worsen. The new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has served us a final warning that we must get our act together — now and quickly,” said Sunita Narain, director general, CSE, in response to the release of the Panel’s latest study.

Officials from the Union Environment Ministry, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Indian Institute of Human Settlements and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences were part of the Indian delegation at Incheon. One of them, who didn’t want to be identified, told The Hindu that the report gave a more comprehensive assessment of the differences in a 1.5C world and 2C world and quantified the carbon dioxide that would need to be removed from the atmosphere to achieve this.

India hadn’t made any scientific contribution — in terms of modelling possible climate change-impact to its agriculture, monsoon, urban dwellings — to this report but gave critical inputs to the scientific basis underlying these assessments. “We discussed, for instance, how much land would need to be diverted from agriculture to forestry (for creating carbon stocks) for capturing carbon, or growing biofuel,” the person told The Hindu. “These are impossible targets but will contribute to future discussions.”

The next major climate discussions are scheduled in December in Katowice, Poland where countries are expected to discuss rules to implement the Paris agreement.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 12:47:56 AM |

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