Skip to content

How will India deal with global warming?

June 29, 2007

The doomsday scenario is this: The Himalayan glaciers will all melt and there will be great floods. Then the rivers will dry up causing a shortage of water and a desert like situation. And temperatures will rise so high (over 50-57 degrees centrigrade) that heat waves will kill thousands of people. And ofcourse food production will be affected.

Sounds like fiction or the stuff of horror? Well, its whats scientists have predicted will happen if the emission of greenhouse gases is not checked.

This was a scenario we never envisaged when we were kids…although when I was growing up in Pune, we did frequently talk about the increasingly hot summers. At one time houses in Pune didn’t have ceiling fans built in during construction as it wasn’t necessary…in fact our ancestral house or wada had no ceiling fans, except in one room, and this one had been installed later. As temperatures soared every summer, the older generation was bewildered, and blamed it all on the concrete buildings and reducing tree cover. We realised that temperatures were rising in all the cities of India, and the logical explanation was that concrete buildings and tar roads trap heat and let it off during the nights. It was a temporary thing, everyone said. Just plant more trees.

We know the real reason now. Global warming. A term no one had even heard of then. But now everyone knows that the major cause of rising temperatures is the emission of greenhouse gases. They trap heat…and do god alone knows what else. This article explains what global warming will do to India. The floods, the shortage of water, the heat…all created as the rivers dry up and temperatures rise.

The writing is on the wall:

West Bengal: Rising sea levels have flooded about 18,500 acres (7,500 hectares) of mangrove forest during the past three decades.

The Himalayan Region. The glaciers are retreating at average rate of 50 feet (15 m) per year. At this rate scientists predict the loss of all central and eastern Himalayan glaciers by 2035!!

Since the mid-1970s the average air temperature measured at 49 places in northern India has risen by 1 degree centigrade, with hill stations showing the greatest warming. Remember this is just the average and the situation is worse in some places. And this average is twice as fast as the average 0.6 degree centigrade average warming for the northern hemisphere, which shows that mountainous regions are more susceptible to climate change.

Ten years ago no one was quite sure as to why this was happening. There were theories, and a lot of conjecture…but now there is nothing but certainity.

India is vulnerable. Some foretell that in some places, temperatures could rise by up to 8 degrees by the end of this century!! Some cities will be in deep trouble. If cities like Delhi, Gwalior and Nagpur and Pune are seeing temperatures in the range of 40-49 degrees centigrade during the summers, just imagine how bad it can get thirty years from now!

This summer has been one of Delhi’s hottest April. In April 2005 for example, the temperature in Delhi was not as high as it was this year…in fact Delhi was usually never as hot as it was this April.

What bothers me is how will a developing country like India cope with rising temperatures that will invariably affect food production? We may not have caused these greenhouse emissions, but its us who will have to cope with it. Is the government prepared at all? At this point of time we find it difficult to even dispose off our garbage… how in the world are we going to manage global warming? The only thing I can think of as a layman is to start a strong people’s movement to create a greater awareness. And as to the real solutions, I am not sure I know. But its not something that India can do alone.

(Photo credits: bbc)

Related Reading: Rising sea-levels will affect the east coast in India
Clotheslines help save energy

14 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2007 11:22 pm

    Had your topic been How will South Asia deal with Global warming that would be more correct.
    Anyways, I hardly disagree with your points.

  2. June 30, 2007 6:37 am

    I am concerned with the whole problem of food production for a place like the area of BC I live in. We have nowhere near the population of India, yet we do not have the arable land and agricultural practices in place here to support our population. Much of our food comes from far away – California, Mexico and Chile; Australia and so forth, even a lot of our canned tuna comes from Indonesia. Transporting much of our food here adds to the greenhouse gas levels. Any way one cares to look at it, North America may be a major producer of GHGE, but is at the same time, just as a rapidly developing country like India, is not immune to the problems that face the whole world. I expect that the geographic displacement of large numbers of people from places stressed by global warming and lack of food, will occur in the not too distant future, and be the cause of much political unrest. That is just a portion of this nightmare scenario; mass starvations will be major events , I am afraid, during our lifetime!
    Political will to tackle this issue in my neck of the woods is extremely slow in developing. This is very frustrating.

  3. June 30, 2007 6:44 am

    Miss Million: Actually, my blog focuses on India. I do compare with other countries, but the main focus is India.

  4. Padmini permalink
    July 1, 2007 3:51 am

    With global warming , the prediction is that the Ganga river will dry up by as early as 2030. This will have a great impact on practicing Hindus which may hopefully, impel authorities to take action to see what (if anything) can be done about this.

  5. July 1, 2007 9:54 am

    Surburban: I think people generally have little imagination to see into the future, thats why these kind of problems. After all, global warming has been on for many years but now when the effects are being seen, there are people who have suddenly woken up! I guess the more ‘evidence’ that people see, the more on a war-footing will they go! But at least Canada, the US etc have the money to tackle these problems…
    Padmini: Its a horrifying future, the Ganga drying up. The whole Gangetic plain is what feeds millions of people because of the fertile land. I shudder to think what can happen. I don’t usually like to believe in doomsday scenario as basically I am a positive thinking person…in fact I have never beleived those SF movies where they show everything in shambles. But Global warming is something else. The whole world needs to fight it together…

  6. July 22, 2007 12:42 pm

    iam very worried about warming has affected india a lot.

  7. CV Prakash permalink
    March 30, 2008 4:47 pm

    India will need to adopt new kinds of protected cultivation technologies where ever possible. I live in Australia where more than 8o pc of the vegetables are from protected greenhouse cultivation and mainly using soil less cultivation techniques.

  8. Gulab permalink
    April 4, 2008 5:05 pm

    I appreciate your concerns about global warming and i personally and very firmly believes in countering this problem. We should initiate the conservation of energy and fuel from our home first and let our actions speaks more than our words. All are well aware of this horrifying global warming but there is an element of doubt in common man about its reality. therefore, government in the interest of people should advertise on the global warming on the TV channel during prime time so that this will sink into the mind of a common men.

  9. June 9, 2008 10:23 am

    i havint no that will india face such kind of problem, this is a major problem for our country, so people should join and to save our country from this kind of problem. from today onwards we need to control the raising problem by redusing the heat

  10. chumbit permalink
    August 4, 2008 2:05 am

    Global warming is a problem that can be tackled if and only if every individual is made well acquainted with it like what are its causes and how it can be disastrous leaving no life on the Earth and then most importantly how we can prevent it by eliminating its causes before its too late.Otherwise we would find our sons and grandsons pinching us for not saving our environment when the reasons and keys were in our hands.We can’t let this planet to ruin over.Its our only home.Where would we go if this place crumbles.To check global warming movements must be made making people aware of its devastating effects and ways to prevent it .Most preferably ways to prevent Global warming must be simple and individually applicable.It would be better to make people watch “INCONVENIENT TRUTH”…by “AL GORE”..

  11. April 19, 2009 12:35 pm

    Global warming is a global phemenon.This means the Earth is getting hotter day by day.Nature is not responsible for this. Anthropogenic or human activity is making the Earth warmer. 20% of the world’s population(developed) is contributing equal amount of heating effect in the air which the remaining 80% less-developed population is making.We Indians are within this 80% .Within a few decades, this increasingly hotter air will first melt the ice or glaciers causing flood and then dry up the rivers of India.I think, our immediate duty is to make arrangements to save the people of our country from this disaster ,rather than to do research on the cause of global warming,which we will not be able to solve alone.We will have to use more convensional energy sources to develop this rescue-infrastructure.The horrible thing is,even if we do not switch on a single light bulb in India or dot run a single motor for years together, the evil effect of this global warming will not stop ! It will kill us eventually!

  12. Santhosh BN permalink
    December 3, 2009 11:55 am

    The serious challenge ahead on whole world are Terrorism and Globle warming. Basically the cause of globle warming is mainly because of so called developed countries.They are emitting the corbon dioxid to nature in unlimmited amount.Their habit of meterilistic living style has been the main cause of this disaster.Today the rest of the world has been following the same way of living style and contibuting their amount for the further comming dusaster.I think we shold fallow the our own idea of LIVE SIMLE THINK GREAT to save our only home in this nature.The whole world may have to work in this direction to avoid the earth to became more heater and beater.

  13. sudipta permalink
    June 8, 2010 12:22 pm

    we hope we can not save ourselves after 2012


  1. Global Warming, Climate Change, and India « An Unquiet Mind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: