Question: Climate change and global warming have made India one of the most vulnerable countries to climate risk. Elaborate.
Answer: Climate risk is a situation in which society is exposed to extreme climatic events that may result in widespread loss of life and property. The recently released climate risk index classifies India as one of the top 10 countries vulnerable to climate extremes.
Different climate risks
Due to climate change, the rainfall pattern changes. Areas may experience prolonged absence of rainfall, creating droughts.
The intensity of rainfall increases due to changes in climatic patterns. Heavy and unexpected rains can cause floods.
The distribution of rainfall reduces and gets more concentrated in a particular period, increasing intensity and causing events such as landslides.
The warming of oceans has increased chances of formation of cyclones. The majority of cyclones formed are high-intensity cyclones.
Reasons for climate risk
- Destruction of buffers
Buffer between human habitat and vulnerable areas have been destroyed. Areas such as mangroves, wetlands etc have no longer the ability to reduce disasters.
- Increase in moisture retention
The warming of atmosphere has allowed higher moisture retention capacity. This has resulted in heavy and concentrated rainfall in many regions.
- Population pressure
Population is increasing very fast. Lack of space has forced humans to live in areas that are vulnerable to disasters. This has increased exposure to disasters.
Measures to tackle climate risk
Planting of trees to generate forests will help in reestablishing ecological balance of the area. Extreme events such as landslides can be controlled.
- Disaster resilient infrastructure
Infrastructures that can withstand climate extremities have to be set up. It includes combination of precautionary and post disaster infrastructure.
Thus, climate risk is indeed a serious concern that needs attention. Planning our habitat according to vulnerability will help us in achieving stability.