change is starting to impact India’s breadbasket. Record high
temperatures over the Gangetic Plain — India’s productive farming
region south of the Himalayas — are starting to take hold as a
result of a human-forced warming of the globe"
Mass Casualties Strike India in April Amidst Severe Drought,
of water from snow melt in the Himalayas, increasing temperatures and
instances of drought over the food-producing plains, and a potential
endemic weakening of the annual monsoonal rains. These are all
climate change related impacts that appear to be settling in over
India as global temperatures consistently begin to hit levels higher
than 1 C above 1880s values. Impacts that are setting up conditions
for sustained and increasingly severe droughts and heatwaves.
of India baked under a severe heatwave yesterday [April 11] as the
number of lives lost to heat stroke mounted and a water train was
dispatched to far-flung drought-stricken regions. Image source: Earth
impacts are quite widespread. Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand has
declared a water emergency. And the Ganges River is now so low that
it is unable to provide water to cool one of the largest coal-fired
electrical power stations in West Bengal — forcing
it to suspend operations.The
great river is dramatically shrunken — causing islands of mud to
emerge even as pollutants concentrate in its thinning thread. A
diminishing flow that India’s 1.3 billion people rely on for much
of their water. It’s a greater crisis so extreme that late last
month one of BBC’s India correspondents asked — is
this the worst water crisis India has ever faced?
Monsoon for 2016? Or Will A Warming Globe Dim India’s Hopes For
from India’s Meteorological Division have called for a normal to
above normal monsoon to provide replenishing rains this year.
However, monsoonal predictions over the past two years were overly
optimistic, which is cause for caution over last week’s forecast.
the early extreme record heat and drought over India provides a
barrier to any influx of monsoonal moisture. In addition, El Nino
conditions — possibly hanging on in the Central Pacific through
June — may help to dull or delay monsoonal development even as a
predicted progression to La Nina later in the year provides some hope
for additional moisture during late Summer and Fall. A switch to
rains that may well be quite intense for some regions given the
unprecedented atmospheric moisture content as a result of record high