Assessment of climate change over the Indian region: A report of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India - India (2023)

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Executive Summary

Observed Changes in Global Climate

The global average temperature has risen by around 1°C since pre-industrial times. This magnitude and rate of warming cannot be explained by natural variations alone and must necessarily take into account changes due to human activities. Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), aerosols and changes in land use and land cover (LULC) during the industrial period have substantially altered the atmospheric composition, and consequently the planetary energy balance, and are thus primarily responsible for the present-day climate change. Warming since the 1950s has already contributed to a significant increase in weather and climate extremes globally (e.g., heat waves, droughts, heavy precipitation, and severe cyclones), changes in precipitation and wind patterns (including shifts in the global monsoon systems), warming and acidification of the global oceans, melting of sea ice and glaciers, rising sea levels, and changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

Projected Changes in Global Climate

Global climate models project a continuation of human-induced climate change during the twenty-first century and beyond. If the current GHG emission rates are sustained, the global average temperature is likely to rise by nearly 5°C, and possibly more, by the end of the twenty-first century. Even if all the commitments (called the “Nationally Determined Contributions”) made under the 2015 Paris agreement are met, it is projected that global warming will exceed 3°C by the end of the century. However, temperature rise will not be uniform across the planet; some parts of the world will experience greater warming than the global average. Such large changes in temperature will greatly accelerate other changes that are already underway in the climate system, such as the changing patterns of rainfall and increasing temperature extremes.

Climate Change in India: Observed and Projected Changes

(Video) Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Temperature Rise Over India

India’s average temperature has risen by around 0.7°C during 1901–2018. This rise in temperature is largely on account of GHG-induced warming, partially offset by forcing due to anthropogenic aerosols and changes in LULC. By the end of the twenty-first century, average temperature over India is projected to rise by approximately 4.4°C relative to the recent past (1976–2005 average) (Fig. 1), under the RCP8.5 scenario (see Box 1).

In the recent 30-year period (1986–2015), temperatures of the warmest day and the coldest night of the year have risen by about 0.63°C and 0.4°C, respectively.

By the end of the twenty-first century, these temperatures are projected to rise by approximately 4.7°C and 5.5°C, respectively, relative to the corresponding temperatures in the recent past (1976–2005 average), under the RCP8.5 scenario.

By the end of the twenty-first century, the frequencies of occurrence of warm days and warm nights are projected to increase by 55% and 70%, respectively, relative to the reference period 1976-2005, under the RCP8.5 scenario.

The frequency of summer (April–June) heat waves over India is projected to be 3 to 4 times higher by the end of the twenty-first century under the RCP8.5 scenario, as compared to the 1976–2005 baseline period. The average duration of heat wave events is also projected to approximately double, but with a substantial spread among models.

In response to the combined rise in surface temperature and humidity, amplification of heat stress is expected across India, particularly over the Indo-Gangetic and Indus river basins.

(Video) Assessment of climate change over the indian region report | Climate change And India

Indian Ocean Warming

Sea surface temperature (SST) of the tropical Indian Ocean has risen by 1°C on average during 1951–2015, markedly higher than the global average SST warming of 0.7°C, over the same period. Ocean heat content in the upper 700 m (OHC700) of the tropical Indian Ocean has also exhibited an increasing trend over the past six decades (1955–2015), with the past two decades (1998–2015) having witnessed a notably abrupt rise.

During the twenty-first century, SST (Fig. 1) and ocean heat content in the tropical Indian Ocean are projected to continue to rise.

Changes in Rainfall

The summer monsoon precipitation (June to September) over India has declined by around 6% from 1951 to 2015, with notable decreases over the Indo-Gangetic Plains and the Western Ghats. There is an emerging consensus, based on multiple datasets and climate model simulations, that the radiative effects of anthropogenic aerosol forcing over the Northern Hemisphere have considerably offset the expected precipitation increase from GHG warming and contributed to the observed decline in summer monsoon precipitation.

There has been a shift in the recent period toward more frequent dry spells (27% higher during 1981–2011 relative to 1951–1980) and more intense wet spells during the summer monsoon season. The frequency of localized heavy precipitation occurrences has increased worldwide in response to increased atmospheric moisture content. Over central India, the frequency of daily precipitation extremes with rainfall intensities exceeding 150 mm per day increased by about 75% during 1950–2015.

With continued global warming and anticipated reductions in anthropogenic aerosol emissions in the future, CMIP5 models project an increase in the mean (Fig. 1) and variability of monsoon precipitation by the end of the twenty-first century, together with substantial increases in daily precipitation extremes.

(Video) 1st Climate Change Assessment over the India | By Aniket Aggarwal | UPSC CSE/IAS 2020

Droughts

The overall decrease of seasonal summer monsoon rainfall during the last 6–7 decades has led to an increased propensity for droughts over India. Both the frequency and spatial extent of droughts have increased significantly during 1951–2016. In particular, areas over central India, southwest coast, southern peninsula and north-eastern India have experienced more than 2 droughts per decade, on average, during this period. The area affected by drought has also increased by 1.3% per decade over the same period.

Climate model projections indicate a high likelihood of increase in the frequency (>2 events per decade), intensity and area under drought conditions in India by the end of the twenty-first century under the RCP8.5 scenario, resulting from the increased variability of monsoon precipitation and increased water vapour demand in a warmer atmosphere.

Sea Level Rise

Sea levels have risen globally because of the continental ice melt and thermal expansion of ocean water in response to global warming. Sea-level rise in the North Indian Ocean (NIO) occurred at a rate of 1.06–1.75 mm per year during 1874–2004 and has accelerated to 3.3 mm per year in the last two and a half decades (1993–2017), which is comparable to the current rate of global mean sea-level rise.

At the end of the twenty-first century, steric sea level in the NIO is projected to rise by approximately 300 mm relative to the average over 1986–2005 under the RCP4.5 scenario, with the corresponding projection for the global mean rise being approximately 180 mm.

Tropical Cyclones

(Video) 16th Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences

There has been a significant reduction in the annual frequency of tropical cyclones over the NIO basin since the middle of the twentieth century (1951–2018). In contrast, the frequency of very severe cyclonic storms (VSCSs) during the post-monsoon season has increased significantly (+1 event per decade) during the last two decades (2000–2018). However, a clear signal of anthropogenic warming on these trends has not yet emerged.

Climate models project a rise in the intensity of tropical cyclones in the NIO basin during the twenty-first century.

Changes in the Himalayas

The Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) experienced a temperature rise of about 1.3°C during 1951–2014. Several areas of HKH have experienced a declining trend in snowfall and also retreat of glaciers in recent decades. In contrast, the high-elevation Karakoram Himalayas have experienced higher winter snowfall that has shielded the region from glacier shrinkage.

By the end of the twenty-first century, the annual mean surface temperature over HKH is projected to increase by about 5.2°C under the RCP8.5 scenario (Fig. 1). The CMIP5 projections under the RCP8.5 scenario indicate an increase in annual precipitation (Fig. 1), but decrease in snowfall over the HKH region by the end of the twenty-first century, with large spread across models.

Conclusions

Since the middle of the twentieth century, India has witnessed a rise in average temperature; a decrease in monsoon precipitation; a rise in extreme temperature and rainfall events, droughts, and sea levels; and an increase in the intensity of severe cyclones, alongside other changes in the monsoon system. There is compelling scientific evidence that human activities have influenced these changes in regional climate.

(Video) Ministry of Earth Sciences 15th Foundation Day 2021

Human-induced climate change is expected to continue apace during the twenty-first century. To improve the accuracy of future climate projections, particularly in the context of regional forecasts, it is essential to develop strategic approaches for improving the knowledge of Earth system processes, and to continue enhancing observation systems and climate models.

FAQs

What did the report assessment of climate change highlight? ›

The global average temperature in the last century has gone up by 1.1°C, according to the latest estimates by the IPCC.

What is the current situation of climate change in India? ›

Heat waves' frequency and intensity are increasing in India because of climate change. Severe landslides and floods are projected to become increasingly common in such states as Assam. Climate change performance index of India ranks eighth among 63 countries which account for 92% of all GHG emissions in the year 2021.

How do you assess climate change? ›

Climate Change Impact Assessments

An analysis often begins by looking at changes to temperature, precipitation, and other climatic variables under multiple scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions (6). The analysis then considers the potential impacts on the focus area as a result of the anticipated changes.

How will climate change affect India UPSC? ›

Climate change can make weather patterns less predictable.

These unforeseen weather patterns can make it difficult to maintain and grow crops In an agricultural economy like India where rainfall is so vital, climate change has an immediate impact on the Indian economy.

What are the 3 main impacts of climate change? ›

Earth Will Continue to Warm and the Effects Will Be Profound

The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions, and an increase in the duration and intensity of tropical storms.

What is the current state of climate change 2022? ›

Extreme heatwaves, drought and devastating flooding have affected millions and cost billions this year, according to the WMO Provisional State of the Global Climate in 2022 report. The tell-tale signs and impacts of climate change are becoming more dramatic. The rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993.

What are the main causes of climate change in India? ›

The main causes of climate change in India are as follows: An increase of greenhouse gases like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Carbon dioxide (CO2), and Ozone (O3) in the atmosphere. Deforestation to develop human settlements. Excessive usage of fossil fuels.

What are the 5 main effects of climate change? ›

Humans and wild animals face new challenges for survival because of climate change. More frequent and intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans can directly harm animals, destroy the places they live, and wreak havoc on people's livelihoods and communities.

What are the solutions for climate change in India? ›

Replacing conventional wood-burning stoves with more efficient ones. Providing solar-powered lighting. Promoting scientifically and economically sound climate-smart farming techniques through use of information technology platforms like smart-phone apps.

What is the purpose of a climate assessment? ›

The goal of the climate assessment survey is to gain insight into the climate for employees within a specific department or division. We hope to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement in an effort to reinforce high performance and positive morale.

Why are climate assessments required? ›

Climate risk assessments identify the likelihood of future climate hazards and their potential impacts for cities and their communities. This is fundamental for informing the prioritisation of climate action and investment in adaptation.

What is the key tool for assessing the impact of future climate change? ›

Further guidance on managing uncertainty within assessments (both qualitative and statistical) is provided by Morgan and Henrion (1990) and, on communicating risk, in Morgan et al. (2001). The major tool used to assess the impacts of future climate is the climate scenario.

How can we solve climate change problems? ›

What are the solutions to climate change?
  1. Keep fossil fuels in the ground. ...
  2. Invest in renewable energy. ...
  3. Switch to sustainable transport. ...
  4. Help us keep our homes cosy. ...
  5. Improve farming and encourage vegan diets. ...
  6. Restore nature to absorb more carbon. ...
  7. Protect forests like the Amazon. ...
  8. Protect the oceans.

What are the 4 main effects of climate change? ›

Effects of Climate Change
  • Hotter temperatures. As greenhouse gas concentrations rise, so does the global surface temperature. ...
  • More severe storms. ...
  • Increased drought. ...
  • A warming, rising ocean. ...
  • Loss of species. ...
  • Not enough food. ...
  • More health risks. ...
  • Poverty and displacement.

What are the 4 main causes of climate change? ›

Burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests and farming livestock are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth's temperature. This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming.

What are the main causes of climate change essay? ›

Human activity is the main cause of climate change. People burn fossil fuels and convert land from forests to agriculture. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, people have burned more and more fossil fuels and changed vast areas of land from forests to farmland.

Why is climate change an important issue? ›

Changes in weather and climate patterns can put lives at risk. Heat is one of the most deadly weather phenomena. As ocean temperatures rise, hurricanes are getting stronger and wetter, which can cause direct and indirect deaths. Dry conditions lead to more wildfires, which bring many health risks.

Which country is most affected by climate change 2022? ›

CANADA (Climate Risk Index: 21.83)

It may surprise you to see this giant among the places most affected by climate change, but a government study suggests that Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

What are the effects of climate change 2022? ›

Floods, droughts, heatwaves, extreme storms and wildfires are going from bad to worse, breaking records with alarming frequency. Heatwaves in Europe. Colossal floods in Pakistan. Prolonged and severe droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States.

What is climate change examples? ›

Droughts are becoming longer and more extreme around the world. Tropical storms becoming more severe due to warmer ocean water temperatures. As temperatures rise there is less snowpack in mountain ranges and polar areas and the snow melts faster. Overall, glaciers are melting at a faster rate.

Who is the biggest cause of climate change? ›

Human activity, such as burning fossil fuels and changing how we use the land, is the leading cause of climate change.

What are the major 4 controls affecting the climate of India? ›

Complete answer: The six controls that affect the climate of India are latitude, altitude, pressure and wind system, ocean currents, distance from the sea and relief features. 1.

Who is most responsible for climate change? ›

Rich countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan and much of western Europe, account for just 12 percent of the global population today but are responsible for 50 percent of all the planet-warming greenhouse gases released from fossil fuels and industry over the past 170 years.

What are positive effects of climate change? ›

The chief benefits of global warming include: fewer winter deaths; lower energy costs; better agricultural yields; probably fewer droughts; maybe richer biodiversity.

What is climate change essay? ›

The climate change essay is information on changing weather conditions and its impact on the environment.

What steps are taken by government for climate change? ›

These include:
  • National Solar Mission.
  • National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency.
  • National Mission on Sustainable Habitat.
  • National Water Mission.
  • National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system.
  • National Mission for a Green India.
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture.
5 days ago

What is the government doing to help climate change? ›

Reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030. Reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035. Achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

What is the best solution to prevent climate change? ›

Here are a dozen easy, effective ways each one of us can make a difference.
  • Speak up! ...
  • Power your home with renewable energy. ...
  • Weatherize, weatherize, weatherize. ...
  • Invest in energy-efficient appliances. ...
  • Reduce water waste. ...
  • Actually eat the food you buy—and compost what you can't. ...
  • Buy better bulbs. ...
  • Pull the plug(s).
20 Apr 2022

How many National climate Assessments are there? ›

Although the National Climate Assessment was mandated to release a report every four years, there have only been four reports since Global Change Research Act of 1990 was enacted.

What is the main purpose of a climate model? ›

Climate models are important tools for improving our understanding and predictability of climate behavior on seasonal, annual, decadal, and centennial time scales. Models investigate the degree to which observed climate changes may be due to natural variability, human activity, or a combination of both.

What are the three reasons for performing assessing the environment? ›

The environmental assessment will have to do the following: Identify possible environmental effects. Propose measurements to mitigate adverse effects. Predict whether there will be significant adverse environmental effects, even after the mitigation is implemented.

How many risks has the climate risk assessment report released? ›

The Technical Report for the third Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) identifies sixty-one climate risks cutting across multiple sectors of our society.

What are climate assessments? ›

A climate assessment involves gathering information from employees with different perspectives and insights about diversity experiences. It sheds light on what an organization is doing well – potentially better than other organizations, with respect to DEI– and how it can do better.

What is the purpose of an environmental risk assessment? ›

​An environmental risk assessment is a document that outlines the health risks associated with exposure to environmental contaminants at a site and provides the justification for taking action to remediate or remove the contamination.

What are three methods for assessing historical climate change? ›

Paleoclimatologists have several means of measuring the changes in climate, including taking ice core samples, observing remnant glacial land forms, surveying the sediment on the ocean floor and studying the fossils of ancient vegetation.

What are the main tools we use to detect climate change? ›

  • Tools for studying climate and climate change.
  • Data. Climate models.
  • Natural recorders of climate or proxy data. Instrumental measurements (direct) Historical documents. ...
  • Quantitative (put numbers on ideas) and.
  • Predict the future.
  • External factors → climate system.
  • Feedbacks.
  • Weather Stations.

What are three technologies that can help solve climate change? ›

Climate technologies that help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions include renewable energies such as wind energy, solar power and hydropower.

What is the conclusion of climate change? ›

Impacts of climate change are occurring now

Nevertheless, the conclusion is that natural systems around the world are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases, and that these temperature increases are very likely to be the result of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.

What are the top 10 ways to prevent global warming? ›

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
  2. Walk, Bike (run, skate, move yourself!)
  3. Ride the bus to work (or carpool)
  4. Plant a tree.
  5. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning.
  6. Change a Light Bulb.
  7. Buy a fuel efficient car (or hybrid vehicle)
  8. Buy local goods and products.

What 5 factors control climate? ›

The most important natural factors are:
  • distance from the sea.
  • ocean currents.
  • direction of prevailing winds.
  • shape of the land (known as 'relief' or 'topography')
  • distance from the equator.
  • the El Niño phenomenon.

What is climate change causes and effects? ›

Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and destroying rainforests, have an increasing influence on the climate and the Earth's temperature. This adds huge quantities of greenhouse gases to those naturally present in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming.

What is the purpose of the National Climate Assessment report? ›

The NCA is a congressionally mandated report to the president and Congress that “analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity.”

What were the conclusions of the UN climate report? ›

WMO | Greenhouse Gas Bulletin 2022

The latest report warns that atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide - reached new record highs in 2021, showing the biggest year-on-year jump in methane concentrations since systematic measurements began nearly 40 years ago.

What are some of the main points of the IPCC's 2022 assessment report on climate change? ›

IPCC climate report 2022 summary: The key findings
  • We are set to pass the 1.5ºC threshold by 2040.
  • Humans are the main drivers of climate change.
  • We need to take notice of methane levels.
  • We are close to reaching irreversible tipping points.
  • Five tips to limit your impact on the environment.
4 Jul 2022

What is the purpose statement of climate change? ›

Immediate and coordinated actions to limit and adapt to human-caused climate change are needed to protect human and ecological health, economic well-being, and global security. Human activities are changing Earth's climate, causing increasingly disruptive societal and ecological impacts.

What is the purpose study of climate change? ›

Studying climate change will help us understand why global temperatures continue to rise, how the climate affects us, and how we can tackle this challenge before things get much worse.

When was last National Climate Assessment? ›

The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), completed in November 2018, is a comprehensive and authoritative report on climate change and its impacts in the United States.

Who Made the National Climate Assessment? ›

The Federal government is responsible for producing these reports through the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a collaboration of 13 Federal agencies and departments.

What is the most recent National Climate Assessment? ›

Development of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) is currently underway, with anticipated delivery in 2023. This content will be updated as new information becomes available.

What is the best conclusion of climate change? ›

Climate change poses a growing threat to sustainable development. The expected effects of climate change could seriously compromise the ability of the agriculture sectors to feed the world, and severely undermine progress toward eradicating hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

What is the latest climate change report? ›

UN Climate Change News, 26 October 2022 – A new report from UN Climate Change shows countries are bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward but underlines that these efforts remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

What are the 4 main contributors to climate change? ›

Transportation, Industry, Agriculture, and Land Use and Forestry are four global emission sectors that roughly correspond to the U.S. sectors.

What are the 3 findings of the IPCC report? ›

The IPCC estimates that in the next decade alone, climate change will drive 32-132 million more people into extreme poverty. Global warming will jeopardize food security, as well as increase the incidence of heat-related mortality, heart disease and mental health challenges.

When was the IPCC report released 2022? ›

The Working Group II contribution, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, was released on 28 February 2022. The Working Group III contribution, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, was released on 4 April 2022.

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