The current state of Chennai, the floods in Uttarakhand, Kashmir, the heat waves in Telangana, are all such events caused by these changes, explained Dholakia.
Looking at how to deal with the fallout of climate change in India, at the damage done and the changes already underway, a new report estimates that the country will need $1 trillion from now till 2030, to adapt to these adverse effects. The study carried out and released by IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Gandhinagar and Council on Energy, Environment and Water, also sees how 800 million people in India, across 450 districts out of the 636 in the country, are living through a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius.Using high-resolution data from climate models that are specifically about India, the kind used by NASA, as Dr Hem Dholakia from CEEW told dna, the study closed in on the kinds of adverse effects different parts of India will be facing. Using current government expenditure on development and relief projects, it projected what the expenditure in adaptation — to enable people to deal with such changes — and in loss and damages — in cases of extreme, unpreventable events — will be.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thought the global target is to limit the temperature rise to 2 degree Celsius by 2100, as the study pointed out, such changes are already happening in India along with shifting rainfall patterns, another marker of climate change.”We’re facing a deadly combinations of temperature rise, reduced rainfall and erratic monsoons in certain areas, with a threat of drought,” said Dholakia, the co-author of the study. This will mostly occur in central and north eastern parts of the country. Other areas, such as the coasts, will see “extreme precipitation events”, giving rise to floods.”The current state of Chennai, the floods in Uttarakhand, Kashmir, the heat waves in Telangana, are all such events caused by these changes,” explained Dholakia.This will affect farmers, fishermen and all those who live off the coast. “The night time temperatures are also set to rise by 1-1.5 degrees Celsius, which will lead to crop failures,” said Dholakia.He added that the money India needs to spend and the efforts it needs to make for development will be put under acute strain because of climate change. “The climate change negotiations for the past 20 years have been about reducing carbon emissions,” he said, “but what about what’s already happening. Already we’re losing $5-6 billion annually due to loss and damage.” This is what gave rise to the study, which the CEEW reckons is the first of its kind in India, looking at the cost of adaptation and the loss and damage, and the gap in between. If we continue on our current path, with the temperature increase, we will rack up a cost of a trillion. However, the finance is also policy dependent, as Dholakia admits, and such decisions could either bring this number up or down. Globally countries have to work towards the 2 degrees limit. India could also invest in adaptation measures, such as early warning systems for example, to reduce loss and damage.”There is still a knowledge gap in the country, as there isn’t enough data available on what technological measures work and what don’t,” he added, which hobbles these efforts.
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