Study predicts increased floods in India in 2030s
Large parts of India are likely to experience a 10- to 30-per-cent increase in flooding in the 2030s because of climate change, the government said Tuesday.
The study, released by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, assessed the impact of climate change on agriculture, water, health, and natural ecosystems and biodiversity in climate-sensitive regions in the country.
Overall warming along with the increased flooding and heightened drought in the Himalayan region were likely to impact crop yields and livestock, the report said.
"There is no country in the world that is as vulnerable on so many dimensions to climate change as India," Minister for Environment Jairam Ramesh said when releasing the report.
All four regions considered - the Himalayan region, the Western Ghats, the coastal belts and the north-east region - were expected to see rainfall increase by five to 10 days compared with the 1970s, the report said.
While rice yields in these regions were expected to rise marginally, other crops like maize and sorghum were expected to have reduced yields, the report said.
Increased warming ranging from 1.7 to 2.2 degrees Celsius, especially in summer, was expected to affect livestock and reduce milk production, the report added.
While moderate to extreme drought was predicted in the Himalayan region, all other regions were likely to see floods increase by 10 to 30 per cent, which would hurt infrastructure such as dams, bridges and roads, it said.
The Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment brought together more than 220 scientists across the country for the report, an environment ministry release said.
The network also published a report in May on India's greenhouse-gas emissions.
It was imperative for a country like India to have sound, evidence-based assessments on the impact of climate change, Ramesh said.
He said the study was the first comprehensive, long-term assessment made for the 2030s.