Extreme Climatic Events : CEEW Report – UPSC GS3

  • Over 75% of districts in India are hotspots of extreme climate events such as cyclones, floods, droughts, heat waves and cold waves.
  • World is heading for a temperature rise of over 3 degree Celsius in this century : UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2020.
Key Findings:
  • The frequency, intensity, and unpredictability of extreme events have risen in recent decades.
  • While India witnessed 250 extreme climate events in 35 years between 1970 and 2005, it recorded 310 such weather events in only 15 years since then.
  • The current trend of catastrophic climate events results from a mere 0.6 degrees Celsius temperature rise in the last 100 years.
  • India is already the 5th most vulnerable country globally in terms of extreme climate events, and it is all set to become the world’s flood capital.
Changing Pattern:
  • Cyclones: After 2005, the yearly average number of districts affected by cyclones tripled and the cyclone frequency-doubled.
  • Flood Events: The decade 2000-2009 showed a spike in extreme flood events and in associated flood events. Events associated with floods such as landslides, heavy rainfall, hailstorms, thunderstorms, and cloudbursts increased by over 20 times.
  • Rainfall: While the number of rainy days during monsoon has decreased, single-day extreme rainfall events are increasing, leading to flooding.
  • Droughts: The yearly average of drought-affected districts increased 13 times after 2005.
  • Swapping of Nature of Extreme Events: Such as flood-prone areas becoming drought-prone and vice-versa, in over 40% of Indian districts.
  • Develop a Climate Risk Atlas to map critical vulnerabilities such as coasts, urban heat stress, water stress, and biodiversity collapse.
  • Develop an Integrated Emergency Surveillance System to facilitate a systematic and sustained response to emergencies.
  • Mainstream risk assessment at all levels, including localised, regional, sectoral, cross-sectoral, macro and micro-climatic level.
  • Enhance adaptive and resilience capacity to climate-proof lives, livelihoods and investments.
  • Increase the participatory engagement of all stakeholders in the risk assessment process.
  • Integrate risk assessment into local, sub-national, and national level plans.
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