Heatwaves linked to man-made climate change: TNQ-Janelia webinar

The three millimeter rise in sea level could trigger a greater number of extreme climate events, such as flooding that could devastate India’s coast, scientists warn. However, nature-based solutions, such as increasing forest cover, can be done as part of India’s climate adaptation program.

The three millimeter rise in sea level could trigger a greater number of extreme climate events, such as flooding that could devastate India’s coast, scientists warn. However, nature-based solutions, such as increasing forest cover, can be done as part of India’s climate adaptation program.

India is gripped by a long spell of heatwaves and there is compelling evidence that a significant portion of it is due to human-induced climate change, said scientists who were part of an online webinar on climate change organized as part of the TNQ -Janelia Climate Change Summit on Friday.

Three leading scientists with expertise in how atmospheric, land and ocean systems were affected by greenhouse gas emissions draw on their decades of research to explain how the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere exacerbated the temperature in the oceans and land and increased glacier melt, increased sea level rise and led to changes in the biosphere.

Fiamma Straneo of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, drew on her research in Greenland to show evidence of warming water around glaciers and how it even heated ice sheets, accelerating warming.

“India could cut pollution in half by supplying clean cooking fuel to rural households in the Indo-Gangetic plains. Societal transformation, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and adaptation were all needed to buffer against climate change.”Veerbhadran RamanathanScripps Institute of Oceanography

Although global sea levels rose just three millimeters a year, it would be a mistake, said Dr. Straneo, to dismiss it as a small increase, because even those increases were responsible for a greater number of extreme climate events, such as flooding that could cause devastation. coastal areas, especially in India.

Her colleague at Scripps, Veerbhadran Ramanathan, referred to a simulation study conducted jointly at Princeton University, Columbia University, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that stated that if carbon emissions are left unchecked, half of the planet will be exposed to the planet. would be in severe drought at the end of the century . There has already been a threefold increase in extreme precipitation events in India, a decrease in rainfall in North India and an increase in rainfall in South India, he said, citing research from India. Together with carbon dioxide emissions, pollution from biomass burning in India caused 1.5 million deaths every year.

“India could cut pollution in half by supplying clean cooking fuel to rural households in the Indo-Gangetic plains. Societal transformation, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and adaptation were all needed to buffer against climate change,” he added.

The world would be fooling itself if it thought it could limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, as the Paris Agreement seeks, and India would have to put together a ten-year plan to ensure that India’s poor, those most affected by climate change were protected from heat waves and wildfires, he said.

Yafinder Malhi of the University of Oxford, and an ecologist, made connections between the biosphere and its role in absorbing carbon dioxide emissions. Nearly a third of the carbon dioxide emitted did not enter the atmosphere because it was reabsorbed into the soil by forests and other vegetation, slowing the temperature rise. Therefore, nature-based solutions, such as increasing forest cover, would be valuable to India’s climate adaptation programs. Because of its population density, it would be difficult to find regions where forests could expand, he said, citing research conducted on land use change in India since the 18th century, but there were regions in central and eastern India. which could be expanded. used for the purpose. “Nature-based solutions aim not only to tackle climate change, but to do so in an ethical, equitable way and also increase biodiversity,” says Malhi.

SOURCE – www.thehindu.com

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