In his foreword in the paper, Skymet Weather Services CEO Mr Jatin Singh said , “prior warning about the perils approaching becomes even more imperative in a rapidly changing climate. Fluctuating weather patterns are increasingly manifesting themselves in stronger and more formidable ways. The recent Chennai deluge, El Nino induced back to back droughts and heat records setting new standards every year – all of these hearld bigger calamities in the future unless we treat climate change as a serious threat to the environment and to humanity”.
With prominent increase in the number of hot days and day and night temperatures , India is drying out marked by persistent moisture deficit conditions which are translating into Latur like water crisis, according to a latest study jointly taken by ASSOCHAM and Skymet Weather Services .
“Today nine states are reeling under drought…India has seen two back to back droughts….India is drying out. In addition, there is an increase in the mean annual air temperature in many regions of the country. Prominent increase has been observed in the number of hot days and day and night temperatures from 1951 to 2013. The overall temperature has been increasing while the all India Monsoon railfall has been decreasing from 1960 onward,” the paper pointed out.
The ASSOCHAM and Skymet Weather Services joined hands and came out with a study on ‘Managing Climate Risk in Agriculture’ at a time when several parts of the country are facing water crisis, leading to distress in the rural landscape . Although, the Met department and the Skymet have both predicted normal Monsoon this year, the onset of these rains are still far away.
But the past weather behavior over several years has shown that “we are perpetually witnessing El Nino in the Pacific . There is a known inverse correlation between El Nino and the Indian summer Monsoon. Between 1900 and 2000, there used to be one drought per decade on an average, while between 2000 and 2015, there have already been five”, the paper said.
In his remarks, ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said that it has been established within the scientific community that climate change is for real and “we have situations like Latur water crisis or floods in some other parts which cannot be ruled out in the next few months”.
Climate change has a severe impact on Indian agriculture, so much so that it is “undoing a lot of the achievements of the Green Revolution”. The paper referring a large pool of expert studies on the subject said how rice crop yield decreases with the rise in temperature. For example, an increase in temperature by 2”C decreases the grain yield by 15 to 17 per cent. “It is an alarming situation because the paddy and wheat production in Northeast India has already been stagnating or even declining. Short-season crops (vegetables and fruits) are the worst affected by changes , particularly during critical periods of their growth”.