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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

India among the countries worst affected by global warming

Unprecedented droughts, heat waves claiming more than a hundred lives: the summer of 2019 has made it clear for the whole world that India is in big trouble. How will climate change shape the future of the country?

Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicates that India’s future is bleak: part of the country may become unfit for human habitation by the end of the century.

“The future of heat waves is looking worse even with significant mitigation of climate change, and much worse without mitigation,” said Elfatih Eltahir, a professor of hydrology and climate at MIT.

That prediction is particularly ominous given that the current situation is already quite desperate:

The mean temperature of India increased by 1.7 degrees Celsius between 2000 and 2017. Last year, there were 484 official heat waves in the country, up from only 21 in 2010.
In June 2019, the absolute temperature record of the nation was almost broken when 50.6 °C was measured.

The MIT scientists studied two of the scenarios presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Under the more optimistic scenario, in which global warming is stopped at around 2.25 degrees Celsius, residents would have to face a number of negative impacts of climate change, but no part of the country would actually become unfit for human habitation. However, if the pessimistic scenario were to play out, the Chota Nagpur Plateau would no longer be suitable for sustaining human life, and large parts of South Asia would be near the limits of survivability.

This would impact the homes of
more than a billion people –
in South Asia alone.

Completely dry water reservoir in Karnataka Region, India Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: CNN

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European Union aid for drought-stricken Africa

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