The residents of Andaman and Nicobar might not have contributed much in carbon emission, but the impact of the climate change resulting in the rise in sea level and increase in natural disasters like cyclones is set to threaten their survival.
Anjal Prakash, coordinating lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, has warned that rise in sea level and increase in climatic events like cyclones may leave the islands like Andaman and Nicobar inhabitable in a few years and people would have to be evacuated from there. He stressed that the focus has to be on adaptation and building climate resilience.
The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) has cautioned that warming of oceans will increase the frequency and severity of climatic events like cyclones in India.
“Islands like Andaman and Nicobar, Maldives, etc, will have to be vacated. People will have to be migrated from there as due to rising sea levels, these places will become non-inhabitable,” Prakash said.
“Even with an under two-degree rise in global temperature, there will be sea level rise, glaciers will melt and many communities will be affected. Some of these events are irreversible. So focus has to be on adaptation for the coming future,” said Prakash, who is also an associate professor of Regional Water Studies at TERI School of Advanced Studies.
The Andaman and Nicobar islands are already struggling with waste generation and disposal, negative acculturation, sprouting economies and problems of drug and alcohol addictions.
All this is creating challenges for the 3,80,000 people who live on the archipelago, more than a quarter of them in the capital, Port Blair, according to data from the last nationwide census in 2011.
The report also painted a grim picture of the future that awaits the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, an area covering high mountains chains of central, south and inner Asia. It noted that the region faces the risk of losing over 60 per cent of its glaciers by 2100. It said that glacier retreat and snow cover changes have already contributed to localised declines in agricultural yields in high mountain regions, including Hindu Kush Himalaya.
Thursday, 26 September 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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