Two degree rise in temperature will hit India’s agriculture: Report

New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) An expected two degrees Celsius rise in the world’s average temperatures in the next few decades would make India’s summer monsoon unpredictable, affecting crop production, a World Bank report said Wednesday.

“Turn Down The Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience” examines the likely impact of two- and four-degrees Celsius warming on agricultural production, water resources, coastal ecosystems and cities across South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South East Asia.

The report warns that by the 2040s, some areas would be under water, others would be without enough water for power generation and irrigation or, in some cases, even drinking. India will see a significant reduction in crop yields because of extreme heat, the report warns.

“In India, more than 60 percent of the crop area is rain-fed, making it highly vulnerable to climate-induced changes in precipitation patterns. It is estimated that by the 2050s, water for agricultural production will reduce further and may impact food adequacy for some 63 million people,” the report said.

The report cited Kolkata and Mumbai, along with Bangladesh, as “potential impact hotspots” threatened by “extreme river floods, more intense tropical cyclones, rising sea levels and very high temperatures”.

“The future that scientists have envisioned in this report reinforces the fact that climate change hits the poor the hardest and that it could roll back decades of development gains in India,” said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director, India.

In order to minimise the impact of changing climate, we need to ensure that our cities become climate resilient, that we develop climate-smart agriculture practices, and find innovative ways to improve both energy efficiency and the performance of renewable energies,” Ruhl said.

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