Last decade was warmest on record in India: study
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New Delhi: India’s annual mean temperature has increased by about 1.2 degrees Celsius since 1901. But the mean temperature during winter months is now over 2 degrees Celsius warmer than in the beginning of the 20th century, said a study released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Monday.
It stressed that in three out of four seasons (or nine months in a year), the temperature in India has already increased by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and it is only during the monsoon that the temperature increase is about 1 degree Celsius.
The study by CSE, a Delhi-based think tank working on environmental issues, looked at temperature trends in the country—both annual and seasonal—from 1901 till recent years and found India has been becoming warmer continuously, consistently and rapidly.
“India is warming and warming rapidly. The implications of this fundamental fact are serious for economic, social and ecological well-being of the country,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of CSE. “We are experiencing frequent extreme weather events, and our weather is becoming unpredictable. Losses due to extreme weather events are mounting and it is our poor who are suffering the pains of climate change.”
Thirteen out of the 15 warmest years since 1901 were the past 15 years (2002-2016) and the “last decade (2001-2010/ 2007-2016) was also the warmest on record,” it said.
The think tank, in a statement, said the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is increasing with rising temperatures.
“For example, in winter of 2017 when the average temperature was 2.95 degree Celsius higher than the 1901-1930 baseline, the worst drought in a century happened in southern India. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala were worst-hit, with 330 million people coming under the grip of drought,” the study said.
Similarly, during the summer of 2010, when the average temperature was 2.05 degrees Celsius higher than the baseline, again the highest in recorded history, severe heat wave conditions prevailed over large parts of India.
“These conditions claimed more than 300 lives. In addition, four cyclonic storms hit India that year,” the study said.