Climate change has been the buzz word for past few decades and the debate about it has gained unprecedented momentum in the recent past. It is not like that earth’s climate was not changing in earlier days. The earth’s climate has been changing continuously for hundreds of thousands of years. What has been the cause of concern however the rate of this change, specifically the earth’s temperature is.

Why Temperature of earth is rising?

In normal course, the heat gained by earth gets dissipated to the atmosphere, maintaining the general balance. But increasing concentration of greenhouse gases ( GHGs) like Carbon dioxide and other acts as a barrier to the dissipation thereby resulting in warming of earth. They simply block heat to escape to the atmosphere resulting in rise in the average temperature of the atmosphere.

Why Temperature of earth is rising
Why Temperature of earth is rising

Economic Impacts of Climate Change

Many recent studies have highlighted the consequences of the change in the climate. It is beyond any doubt that changing climate poses multi dimensional impacts on human, social and economic impacts mainly. It has different impacts on different regions and its adverse consequences are likely to be higher in future for vulnerable communities such as poor, those whose livelihoods are natural resource dependant and tragic ecosystems and species, which are already under threat. Three key risks identified are

  1. Increased flood damage to infrastructure
  2. Livelihoods and settlements
  3. Increased draught related food and water shortage.

Climate change Impact on India

As per current understanding of climate related risks, the likely impacts from climate change will have adverse consequences on the growth and development of the Indian economy.

Considering flood risks and associated losses, India is among the top 20 countries most at risk from extreme events.  Floods in Uttrakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Chennai manifest this potential threat and India could experience an 80% increase in population at risk from sea level rise by 2050.

Heat stress can adversely impact labor productivity and also poses a heightened risk of heat strokes in India. Particularly for those whose work exposes them outdoors for long hours such as workers in constructional and agricultural activities.

Rising temperature also has impact on agricultural productivity. Rising air temperature is going to affect agriculture cycle resulting in low productivities of many crops such as wheat, Rice, Potato and Sorghum etc. One recent study project on overall decline in food grain production by 18% by 2050.

In sum the impacts are projected to wide ranging and can impose a substantial economic burden not only on India but also global economy.

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