How does the climate change threaten India? - Seeker's Thoughts

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How does the climate change threaten India?

300 million people and not 80 million as estimated earlier are currently living in areas that were below the annual coastal flood line. – Nature Communication




Climate change does not only mean that the rising temperature, but it also has multiple consequences attached to it.

Climate change increases sea level, which threatens coastal lives, increases the frequency of storms, and catastrophic events, as well as threaten food, affects the economy, reduces natural resources.

Therefore, when people hear about climate change, they should be able to understand in the sharper term.

India is going to surpass China soon enough in Population, which will make it the number one spot in population will have more difficulties due to climate change. 

  

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Even after the economy is at risk, the new study claims that the larger areas of land were threatened by rising sea levels because of climate change.



According to Nature Communication, 36 million people who live in coastal areas as well as on land will fall below the annual flood level by 2050.


The risk of flooding, damage to the infrastructure, loss of livelihood, and permanent displacement will haunt humanity if policies are not made from now.

Who did the Study?

There were Researchers Scott Kulp, and Benjamin Strauss of Climate Central, which is an independent organization of climate scientists.

Their study claims that previous methods to measure land elevation suffered from large errors in most of the world apart from the US, Australia, and parts of Europe.

 Land elevation data in most of these other areas came from satellite measurements done by a NASA project called Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, or SRTM.




The study says the error in the measurements came from the fact that often the tops of trees or buildings were taken to be the protrusions of earth.

 Thus, SRTM measurements even in the coastal cities of the US often overestimated land elevations by as much as 15.5 feet on average.


Their new tool, called CoastalDEM (or Coastal Digital Elevation Model), which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning on 51 million data samples, brought down this error to less than 2.5 inches on an average, it says.

The study found that 300 million people and not 80 million as estimated earlier, across the globe were currently living in areas that were below the annual coastal flood line.

By the turn of this century, land that is now home to 200 million of these people would be permanently below the high tide line.

Almost 80 per cent of these 300 million people live in China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand. China alone accounted for 43 million.

Vulnerable areas in India

The new tool has found that in particular, the western coastline near Bhuj, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Surat, Bharuch, and Mumbai are much more susceptible to rising sea levels than earlier assessments.

On the eastern side, almost the entire coastline of West Bengal and Odisha have been found under threat. Except for some areas near Kakinada, the threats to the coastlines of the southern states have not been affected by the new measurements.

The study has a serious prediction for India for 2050. 

“By that year, projected sea level rise could push average annual floods above land currently home to some 36 million people. West Bengal and coastal Odisha are projected to be particularly vulnerable, as is the eastern city of Kolkata,” it says.



India lost 80 billion dollars by disasters events in the last 20 years. Flood takes away lives and castles, but it has reduced the death rate since 1971- 80. However, floods bring economic losses. There are other natural disasters like droughts, which harm lives and have an economic burden on the world itself. 


According to the United Nation’s report, the five major countries which have suffered due to disasters are the United States, India, China, Japan, and Puerto Rico. These countries come in the category of the most vulnerable countries.

India has been ranked as the fourth worst-hit country among others

Almost half the country is at high risk from events such as loss of a job or ill health of a family member.  

 Combined with damage from a severe cyclone, flood or drought, each subsequent shock will have a multiplier effect on hundreds of millions, potentially pushing them deeper into poverty


Countries have to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and disaster will continue to be a major set back as the economic incentive to build and develop hazard-prone locations outweigh perceived disaster risks.  

There have been rise in the wildfire, which impacts on human- animal- forests and livestock.

Polar bears and other species have been facing hunger, and due to which they have shifted towards Russian village. That declared a state of emergency in Russia.


Hurricane Harvey’s price tag topped $125 billion, according to NOAA. Hurricanes Irma ($64-92 billion) and Maria ($40-80 billion) reduced much of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean to ruins. And of course, these numbers only tell part of the story. The humanitarian impact is incalculable.

The data has different number for different countries. India, Bangladesh, Chile and Indonesia are the some of the names which also lost in billions due to disasters.  

These all events are somewhere connected to the human- and his ignorance towards the natural world. 
The Constant Warning

There have been constant reports, for example- IPCC (Intergovernmental Penal on Climate Change) published a special report on the impacts of Global Warming at 1.5 Degree C. In the report we were given just 12 years to act of dangerous climate change is to be avoided. 


The Glaciers have been melting due to warming, and that is visible. Glaciers melting will rise the sea level as well will release the unknown bacteria and huge source of carbon hidden beneath the glaciers. 

There have been rise in the wildfire, which impacts on human- animal- forests and livestock.

Polar bears and other species have been facing hunger, and due to which they have shifted towards Russian village. That declared a state of emergency in Russia.


Hurricane Harvey’s price tag topped $125 billion, according to NOAA. Hurricanes Irma ($64-92 billion) and Maria ($40-80 billion) reduced much of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean to ruins. And of course, these numbers only tell part of the story. The humanitarian impact is incalculable.

The data has different number for different countries. India, Bangladesh, Chile and Indonesia are the some of the names which also lost in billions due to disasters.  

These all events are somewhere connected to the human- and his ignorance towards the natural world.


Every Year, the new data arrives, and every year becomes the warmest year. The warming of the Earth is visible everywhere from the impact on the crop- food to the temperature of seasons.


What is the solution?

Disasters will increase in the future, and to increase the resilience, there should be climate-resilient infrastructure. The urbanization should be planned as well, but countries like India have a huge population, that overcrowding creates a challenge in the planning.

The planned urbanization is critical for sustainability, as flood disasters witnessed in Mumbai and Chennai.

The floodwater can be utilized for depleting water resources through planning.

Since the development of roads and technologies, the urbanization has grown, and some other cities are leading towards the urbanization, the government should plan the cities well.

The responsibility should not be concentrated on the central government only, it should be shared by the smaller units for reaching out far.

The government should not be hesitant to act against the encroachment of lakes, catchment, river courses and floodplains.

Even after the extreme distress in Chennai, for instance, has not persuaded the State government against allowing structures such as a police station being constructed on a lake bed, after reclassification of land.

Granting such permissions is an abdication of responsibility and a violation of the National Disaster Management Authority Guidelines to prevent urban flooding.

As a nation that is set to become the most populous in less than a decade, India must address its crippling cycles of drought and flood with redoubled vigor. Scientific hydrology, coupled with the traditional wisdom of saving water through large innovative structures, will mitigate floods and help communities prosper.
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Involvement of technology is must

Disaster Management through technologies aims to reduce the negative impacts of natural calamities and safeguarding the interest of people. 

Effective monitoring of disasters is a global challenge, and detailed information about disasters is unavailable and the available information remains un-managed. 
That big information often does not help in getting the conclusions 



Impacts of technologies like Big Data and Machine Learning

Big data is a big and complex data sets that cannot be executed by simple application. Data sets grow daily and Big data methods can help in maintaining and predicting the data. 
Same way artificial intelligence or machine learning is intelligence demonstrated by machines.

New technologies like Big Data and Artificial Intelligence can execute information with more accuracy than human mind. It can store big amount of data as well as can analyse it.
Integration of data base will be easier, and processing from information will be easier.

Security issues must be considered as there may be chances of data tempering from some online enemies of the nation.

The Inclusion of Social Media 

Some of the most useful data generated during a crisis comes from social media users and on-the-ground aid workers. Images and comments from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, for example, can help experts make initial damage assessments. This information can also help rescue workers find disaster victims more quickly, while identifying and mapping new disaster sites in need of aid.

Finally, combining data from satellite imagery, seismometers, with location-tagged social media comments can help relief organizations to provide early warnings and verify reports in real-time.
Identifying the population hotspot will be a lot easier with the help of technologies.

Governments and relief agencies are beginning to use these tools to coordinate better disaster relief programs. For example, large-scale behaviour and movement data, run through predictive machine learning models, can help officials distribute supplies to where people are going, rather than where they were.

Building Leadership on Climate Change

The government alone cannot tackle the challenge of Climate change.  There is a need to build leadership among the youth- the innovation is the need of the hour. The technological design of the products should help in warming less than 1.5 Degree Celsius.

Scientists are calling for artificial trees to fight climate change
The researchers from German Scientist suggest that artificial photosynthesis could help. However, it can be too costly to be practical.

Individual’s Duty

Individuals can contribute a lot towards greener world. They need to adopt greener lifestyle.
Individual has to come out from the tendency of ‘it will not make a difference if I do it alone”. Everyone has to stop using plastic and go for more greener vehicles. 

When every citizen is responsible, collectively better actions to tackle the climate change will generate. 

Individuals need to realise that the protecting the environment remains the ‘moral responsibility’. Individual needs to be demanding from governments and corporates to go forward towards the tackling the climate change. 

They need to reject the product which hurts the climate more, and accept the product which supports in tackling the climate change. 

Individual needs to be responsible as in the end every politician, policymaker or business person is an individual.
Therefore, individuals are the key to tackle the climate change.
Individuals need to count their foot print on the climate, and they need to put pressure on governments to increase the speed to tackle the climate change.

Misconception about Global Warming

The temperature of the earth is rising constantly, but that does not indicate that everywhere there has to be hotter days at the same time. 

The Global warming is always related to temperature, as most of the people think, but it is more than rising temperature- Global warming and climate change are associated with drought, more intense storm, ocean acidification, food shortage etc. 

Some researchers during 1970’s predicted that the earth was cooling, but a dominant percentage of the scientists at that time was against it.
The satellite data has evidence that temperature is on the rise, while some people prone to deny it. 

The global warming has been human induced, as according to the data, ocean has been major source of global warming, but that was in balance with nature as land has forests. b
Since human build civilization, more CO2 was released in the atmosphere and due to rise in temperature, now there is more water in the atmosphere – that again leads to more catastrophic events.

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