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Climate change to pose dire consequences to Indian agriculture

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source: skymetweather.com

Climate change will soon be a threat of huge magnitude to India, which will face dire consequences in the Agriculture sector, despite contributing a very small proportion of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, stated government data released on Friday.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation released climate change statistics, which states that India contributes to only 3.96 per cent of global emissions, amounting to 1,146 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Yet, the overall climate change will change the weather pattern of the country significantly.

The impact of climate change on India’s agricultural sector constituted the main focus of the report.

It states that India’s wheat production will come down by four to five million tonnes with the rise of every one degree in temperature. Rabi crops would be directly affected by climate change.

The past 130 years has shown a rising trend in case of drought-affected areas. Data concerning droughts, which is collected every five years, states that in 2009, 46 per cent of the country was already affected.

The famous Indian monsoons have undergone serious regional changes. Areas along the west coast, North-West India and northern Andhra Pradesh encountered a 10-12 per cent increase in rains over the last century. However, eastern Madhya Pradesh, some areas of Gujarat, Kerala and North-Eastern India faced decreasing rainfall by 6-8 per cent.

The air temperature has also fluctuated over the past century. While a warming trend prevailed along the west coast, interior regions of the southern peninsula, and central India, temperatures cooled in the southern and north-western parts of the country.

The sea level is rising globally at an average rate of two millimetres per year, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As a result, 634 million people, constituting 10 per cent of the world population, who live in areas below 10 metres of elevation from the sea level, will come under direct threat.

Areas under threat from rising sea level include the administrative capital of Lakshadweep, Kavaratti, which lies just about two-five metres above the sea level. The delicate mangrove ecosystem in Sundarban, West Bengal, along with the coral reefs in the Indian Ocean will also particularly come under danger.

The rising population also poses a huge issue and needs to be urgently addressed, states the report. The population of 59 major Indian cities produced 50,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste a day in the period of 2010-2011.

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Rising Global Warming Temperatures Could Make Greenland Sand Exporter

The study said that sand and gravel might also be used in the future to reinforce beaches and coastlines.

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greenland, global warming
FILE - The Greenland ice sheet is seen in southeastern Greenland, Aug. 3, 2017. VOA

Greenland could start to export sand in a rare positive spinoff from global warming that is melting the island’s vast ice sheet and washing large amounts of sediment into the sea, scientists said Monday.

Mining of sand and gravel, widely used in the construction industry, could boost the economy for Greenland’s 56,000 population who have wide powers of self-rule within Denmark but rely heavily on subsidies from Copenhagen.

By mining sand, “Greenland could benefit from the challenges brought by climate change,” a team of scientists in Denmark and the United States wrote in the journal Nature Sustainability.

The study, headlined “Promises and perils of sand exploitation in Greenland,” said the Arctic island would have to assess risks of coastal mining, especially to fisheries.

Rising global temperatures are melting the Greenland ice sheet, which locks up enough water to raise global sea levels by about seven meters (23 ft) if it ever all thawed, and carrying ever more sand and gravel into coastal fjords.

Greenland
FILE – A man walks to his boat past a number of abandoned and dry-docked boats in the town of Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 15, 2018. VOA

“You can think of it [the melting ice] as a tap that pours out sediment to the coast,” said lead author Mette Bendixen, a researcher at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.

Worldwide demand for sand totaled about 9.55 billion tons in 2017 with a market value of $99.5 billion and is projected to reach almost $481 billion in 2100, driven by rising demand and likely shortages, the study said.

That meant a rare opportunity for the island.

“Normally the Arctic peoples are among those who really feel climate change — the eroding coast, less permafrost,” said Bendixen. “This is a unique situation because of the melting ice sheet.”

David Boertmann of Aarhus University, who was not involved in the study, said there was already some local mining of sand for the domestic construction industry in Greenland.

Drawbacks for Greenland, common to other mining projects on the island ranging from uranium to rare earth minerals, include the distance to markets in Europe and North America, he said.

Still, Bendixen said sand was already often transported long distances, such as to Los Angeles from Vancouver or from Australia to Dubai.

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The study said that sand and gravel might also be used in the future to reinforce beaches and coastlines. The study said that sand and gravel might also be used in the future to reinforce beaches and coastlines

“At the moment it is an inexpensive resource, but it will become more expensive,” she said.

The study said that sand and gravel might also be used in the future to reinforce beaches and coastlines at risk of rising sea levels, caused in part by Greenland’s thaw. (VOA)