1.IPCC report forecasts a future of severe weather
Global warming to trigger extreme rain in South India, it says
The Indian Ocean is warming at a higher rate than other oceans, said the latest report by the Intergovernmen- tal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on Monday, with scientists warning that India will witness increased heatwaves and flooding, which will be the irreversible effects of climate change.
The current overall global warming trends are likely to lead to an increase in annual mean precipitation over India, with more severe rain expected over southern India in the coming decades.
The authors of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis”, said the warming of the ocean would lead to a rise in sea levels, leading to frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-level areas. With a 7,517-km coastline, India would face significant threats from the rising seas. Across the port cities of Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Surat and Visakhapatnam, 28.6 million people would be exposed to coastal flooding if sea levels rise by 50 cm.
Monsoon extremes are likely to increase over India and South Asia, while the frequency of short intense rainy days are expected to rise. Models also indicate a lengthening of the monsoon over India by the end of the 21st century, with the South Asian monsoon precipitation projected to increase.
Stating that human activities are causing climate change, the report said the planet was irrevocably headed towards warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times in the next two decades. Keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels by the turn of century and endeavouring to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius was at the heart of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Unless extremely deep emission cuts are undertaken by all countries immediately, these goals are unlikely to be met. The report recommended that countries strive to achieve net zero emissions — no additional greenhouse gases are emitted — by 2050.
GLOBAL WARMING OF 1.5°C -IPCC REPORT
Recently, a special report, which was commissioned to specifically explore the scientific feasibility of the 1.5°C goal set in the Paris Agreement, on global warming has been released by IPCC.
- It suggests that it has become extremely improbable to achieve the 1.5°C goal purely by reducing emission.
- As per the IPCC Report, at current rate of emissions, the world is set to breach the global warming limit of 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052. At present, the world is 1.2°C warmer compared to pre-industrial levels.
- The latest report was requested by various countries in 2015 to explore the possibilities of keeping the temperature rise within 1.5°C. This was the key demand made by a number of smaller and poorer countries, especially the small island states, which face the maximum risks from the impact of climate change.
- One of the key messages from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes.
- As of now, the world is striving to prevent the temperature rise beyond 2°C, in accordance with the stated objective of the Paris Agreement of 2015. To meet that target, the aim is to reduce greenhouse gases by only 20 percent, from 2010 levels, by the year 2030 and achieve a net-zero emission level by the year 2075.
- Net-zero emission is achieved when the total emissions is balanced by the amount of absorption of carbon dioxide through natural sinks like forests, or removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through technological interventions.
- In its earlier reports, which have formed the basis of global action, the IPCC has said that climate change could have “irreversible” and “catastrophic” impacts if the global average temperatures were allowed to rise beyond 2°C.
- It projects that a 1.5°C world would witness greater sea level rise, increased precipitation and increased frequency of droughts and floods, more hotter days and heatwaves, more intense tropical cyclones, increased ocean acidification and salinity.
- While 1.5°C rise in global temperature will be precarious, a 2°C rise would be catastrophic. The report points out that the risk transition from 1.5°C to 2°C is very high and the impact of a 2°C rise will be more devastating than what IPCC’s earlier Report had indicated.
- Coastal nations and agricultural economies of Asia and Africa would be the worst affected. Decline in crop yields, unprecedented climate extremes and increased susceptibility could push poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050.
- When global warming is limited to 1.5°C instead of 2°C:
- By 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C.
- Climate related-risks in terms of food productivity, crop yields, water stress, health hazards and economic growth will be lower than at 2°C.
- Limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C is projected to prevent the thawing of a permafrost area in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 million sq km.
- The land area at risk is projected to be approximately 50 percent lower at 1.5°C compared to 2°C.
- Limiting global warming to 1.5°C reduces risk of rising ocean temperatures and salinity, thereby making marine ecosystems less vulnerable.
- The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C.
- Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (over 99 percent) would be lost with 2°C.
- Considering the scale and intensity of devastation that 1.5°C temperature rise can cause, the focus of the upcoming discussions must only be on this target instead of 2°C as only the rich would survive in a world that is warmer by 2°C and the poor would be drowned.
- Adaptation needs will also be lower for global warming of 1.5°C. It implies that limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C is projected to lower the impacts on terrestrial, freshwater, and coastal ecosystems and retain more of their services to humans.
- To limit global warming to 1.5°C, net-zero emissions would have to be achieved by 2050 and emissions would need to be drastically cut by at least 45 percent by 2030. The corresponding rates of reduction to limit warming to 2°C would require a 20 percent reduction by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2075.
- The science shows that current climate efforts would not limit global warming to 1.5°C, even if they are supplemented by an increase in the scale and ambition of emissions reduction after 2030.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change.
- It was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
- IPCC assessments provide a scientific basis for governments at all levels to develop climate related policies, and they underlie negotiations at the UN Climate Conference – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
- IPCC assessments are written by hundreds of leading scientists who volunteer their time and expertise as Coordinating Lead Authors and Lead Authors of the reports.
2.Glaciers will keep shrinking: IPCC report
‘Fall in snow cover in Hindu Kush Himalayan region’
Glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region will keep shrinking and the snow cover will retreat to higher altitudes, the latest IPCC report said on Monday.
The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), approved by 195 member-countries, warned that extreme precipitation is projected to increase in major mountainous regions with potential cascading consequences of floods, landslides and lake outbursts in all scenarios.
One of the authors of the report, Krishna Achuta Rao, said that in the HKH region, the snow cover had reduced since the early 21st century and glaciers had thinned, retreated and lost mass since the 1970s. However, he said, the Karakoram glaciers had either slightly gained mass or were in an approximately balanced state.
“Snow-covered areas and snow volumes will decrease during the 21st century, snowline elevations will rise and glacier mass is likely to decline with greater mass loss in higher greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Rising temperatures and precipitation can increase the occurrence of glacial lake outburst floods and landslides over moraine-dammed lakes,” Mr. Rao said.
According to the report, mountain glaciers will continue to shrink and permafrost to thaw in all regions where they are present.
Another author of the report, Swapna Panickal, who is a scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, said human influence was responsible for the retreat of glaciers since the 20th century and that was not only the case in the two poles, but also for mountain glaciers.
3.LS passes three Bills in 20 minutes
Opposition members question government’s commitment to democratic norms
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed three Bills in 20 minutes as disruption by Opposition members over the Pegasus snooping controversy and the farms continued into the last week of the monsoon session of Parliament.
The government also introduced three Bills in the din, prompting Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Manish Tewari to question the government’s commitment to democratic norms.
RSP’s N.K. Premachandran had also objected to the manner in which Bills were being passed in the House without a debate. The exact expressions used by the members, however, were later expunged by the Chair.
The three Bills passed are the Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2021, The Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2021 and The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill 2021.
However, following a meeting of 15 parties, Opposition leaders agreed that they would cooperate in the passage of the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021 that is slated for debate on Tuesday.
The Bill seeks to restore the power of State governments to identify Other Backward Classes (OBC) that are socially and economically backward after the Supreme Court, in a May 2021 order, had empowered only the Centre for such identification.
The amendment has been necessitated after the Supreme Court in its Maratha reservation ruling upheld the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act that inserted Articles 338B and Article 342A (with two clauses) after Article 342.
Though there were protests right from the beginning of the day’s proceedings started at 11 a.m., at the time of the introduction of the Bill, Opposition MPs briefly stopped sloganeering and returned to their seats, allowing the Minister for Social Justice Virender Kumar as well as the Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to speak on it.
For the first time since the pandemic, Congress president Sonia Gandhi attended Parliament and was seen exchanging greetings with fellow parliamentarians.
When the House met for the day in the morning, Opposition members sought to raise various issues, including the Pegasus spyware controversy and started shouting slogans. Speaker Om Birla first paid tributes to those who had participated in the Quit India Movement and then congratulated the medal winners for India at the just-concluded Olympic games in Tokyo. When the name of Neeraj Chopra, who won the gold medal in the javelin throw at the Olympics, was mentioned, members were seen thumping their desks.