How Global Warming will
Effects of global warming
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We keep reading about
rising temperatures and sea-levels in other parts of the world
like United States and the UK, but actually India is one of the
most vulnerable countries when it comes to effects of global
warming. India has a vast coastal line and the rising sea levels
caused by global warming will cause an ecological disaster. This
is according to a 1989 United Nations Environment Programme study.
As this article explains:
In India, the signs already
back-up forecasts that as the mercury rises the Indian
subcontinent, home to one sixth of humanity, will be one of the
worst affected regions.”
The Himalayan glaciers have
started to melt and the average rate of retreat i almost twice (34
metres) per year as compared to the 1971 levels of 19 metres. The
melting glaciers will cause temperatures and sea-levels to rise
and there will be a cascading effect on the crops and the
monsoons. Worse - whole islands are expected to vanish! In fact
two have already gone under - two islands in the Sunderbans,
an area which India shares with Bangladesh. Temperatures in the
group of islands has already gone up by one degree centigrade. You
can get the details here. A quote:
Rising sea levels have
submerged two islands in the Sunderbans, where tigers roam through
mangrove forests in the Ganges River delta, and a dozen more
islands are under threat.. .official records list 102 islands on
the Indian side of the vast Sunderbans. . .but scientists found
that two have been swallowed up.
And this msn site talks
about a six year study which has reported that 10,000 people have
already been displaced.
Rising sea-levels will be a disaster
While some climatologists
say that sea levels will increase by just 4-35 inches from 1990
levels in another hundred years.. .some feel that the range could
be higher - 20-55 inches. That’s a lot and will affect human
habitat in a big way.
In fact, as far back as
1993 a study to evaluate the impact of rising sea levels on India
was carried out by JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University). They
calculated what would happen if the sea-levels rose by just I
metre.. .and they found that as many as 7 million people would be
displaced and 5,764 sq km of land and 4,200 km of roads would be
Orissa will suffer too
Orissa is another state
which is already being hit hard by global warming. Whole villages
in the coastal regions are disappearing. As this article explains:
“As village after village
in Orissa’s coastal Kendrapara district vanishes into the Bay of
Bengal, one thing is clear: sea levels are rising .. .the state’s
geographical location at the head of the Bay of Bengal, with a
landlocked sea and a deltaic plain, makes the state extremely
vulnerable to rise in sea level caused by global warming.
In September 2002,
scientists at the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and
Policy Research conducted a people’s perception survey on
climate-induced natural disasters in the Kendrapara district of
Orissa. The results showed that the frequency and intensity of
droughts have increased and so have the incidents of flooding.
Also, the intensity of cyclones has increased and people believed
that the sea-water had become warmer.
These poor villagers do not
know why this is happening but climatologists know why. Global
Warming. Ironically these poor villages hardly contribute to
global warming... they hardly emit any greenhouse gases. There is
an interesting chart at this site and it shows that the countries
which contribute the maximum to global warming per capita are
Australia, Canada and the United States.
Why is only the east coast of India being affected?
This is because the Bay of
Bengal is landlocked from three sides and there is a huge delta of
the rivers Brahmaputra and the Ganga. These rivers will carry the
water from the melting Himalayan snows. However this does not mean
that the western coastal regions are immune...just that the
eastern coast is more vulnerable at this stage.
So what are these green house gases which are causing the snows to
According to the Wiki greenhouse gases are “include water vapor,
carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone components of
the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Some
greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, while others
result from human activities.