India's Coastal Areas Are In Danger As Sea Levels Increase, According To The IPCC Report
According to two well-known co-authors of the important United Nations document, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended that should step up its adaptation and mitigation efforts in line with the warnings issued as the country will suffer the devastating effects of global warming.
The two biggest concerns are global warming and rising sea levels.
Rising sea levels are a worry for the Indian subcontinent, according to Aditi Mukherjee and Dipak Dasgupta, Indian co-authors of the research issued on Monday, since they will have an impact on the ecosystem and way of life of millions of people living in coastal regions.
"All nations are urged to take action by this report (the IPCC Synthesis Report), particularly those in the tropics like India, which are particularly susceptible to climate change. Depending on its own national circumstances, India may choose from a list of climate action options in the study, including both mitigation and adaptation measures "Mukherjee said in an online interview with PTI.
The globe is already just a few tenths of a degree away from the global aim of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the research, which emphasises the importance of enacting measures that may reduce emissions.
"Without a doubt, human activities—primarily the production of greenhouse gases—are to blame for global warming, with the global surface temperature rising by 1.1°C between 2011 and 2020 compared to the period between 1850 and 1900. Unsustainable energy usage, land use and land-use change, lifestyles, and patterns of consumption and production across regions, between and within nations, and among people have all historically and now contributed unevenly to the global greenhouse gas emissions trend "says the research.
India's coasts are under risk
According to the indications in the research, India, which has a long coastline and many people who depend on fishing for a living, has a lot to be concerned about. India is facing a significant problem because to the increase in seawater level, which the research estimated to be 3.7 mm per year between 2006 and 2018 as opposed to 1.9 mm per year between 1971 and 2006.
"Several of our major metropolitan centres are located on the shore, and the increasing sea levels will have an effect there. But, detailed coastline data is not yet available to determine how important that would be "said Dasgupta, a Distinguished Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, and a well-known economist.
"Because to its size, India has the capacity to generate money for both mitigation and adaptation. Unlike several tiny island countries, our Economy is not significantly impacted by a single weather event. Having said that, we should also double down on our adaptation efforts and be ready to deal with many, cascading occurrences "Dasgupta later on.
Mukherjee concurs that the Indian subcontinent would face a serious challenge from increasing sea levels.
"Cities like Mumbai and Kolkata are among the low-lying coastal regions that are at risk from sea level rise. Salinization of coastal regions is being caused by sea level rise and tropical storm surges, such as in India's Sunderbans. Here, investment in ecosystem-based adaptation and safeguarding mangroves are urgently needed "And Mukherjee.
According to the Synthesis Report, human activity is the primary cause of the increase in sea level. "Since at least 1971, human impact has most certainly been the primary cause of these increases. Further strengthening the case for human impact is evidence of observed increases in severe events such heatwaves, heavy rains, droughts, and tropical cyclones "said the study.
The scientists do concur that India's mitigation measures are successful, however. India is doing appropriately, according to Dasgupta.
Yet, he said that India should be prepared to absorb greater funds for both adaptation and mitigation because of its significant global role.
Project Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE)
Mukherjee believes that the Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) initiative, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled at the 2021 Glasgow COP along with his plan to attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, is a step in the right way.
"The burning of fossil fuels-fueled unsustainable consumerism is at the root of the present climate disaster. This holds true for both the rich people in the Global North and the wealthy people in the Global South. The time is now for programmes like LiFE, which emphasise the importance of sustainable consumerism "She said.
Study hints to significant changes in lifestyle
The IPCC report has also highlighted the need for behavioural adjustments to lower emission rates.
The research said that there are several solutions for lowering emission-intensive consumption, including behavioural and lifestyle modifications with added advantages for social well-being.
The nations that are not big polluters have also been urged to take action by the IPCC report.
The IPCC is requesting more from higher emitters and those with greater resources, according to Dasgupta.
According to Mukherjee, India's position at COP27 was to gradually phase out all fossil fuels, and that position is appropriate in light of the data from the IPCC report.
"India must focus on energy transitions alone and make sure that renewable energy is introduced in regions that are now reliant on coal. While the coal mines are currently located in eastern states, our transition to solar is currently taking place in western Indian states "She made a mention.
Mukherjee emphasised the need of retraining the coal-based workforce and giving them access to alternate forms of employment in order to guarantee that renewable energy also develops in states that are now reliant on coal.
The IPCC experts have urged everyone to take action by warning that time is running out to ensure a sustainable future for all people.
To attain lower emission levels that will guarantee a liveable and sustainable future for mankind on a global scale, rapid and extensive transformations across all sectors and systems are considered required.
The study also said that the decisions and actions taken in this decade will have an effect for thousands of years.
The research has also sparked concern about the future of crucial ecological stabilisers like the coral reef.
99 percent of coral reefs would be destroyed by warming over 2 degrees Celsius, which the paper says is "highly likely" to occur with increased emissions, and fishing productivity will decline by 20 to 25 percent.