Climate change has been at the forefront of many recent government campaigns. Temperatures and sea levels are reaching record highs. A recent study conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research outlined the implications of climate change on India’s weather variability. The variability in India’s monsoon rain is increasing faster than previously anticipated. The report found for every degree celsius change of global warming, monsoon rainfall increased by 5%.
While COVID-19 cases surge, India relies on agriculture to fund the economy. India depends on seasonal rainfall to sustain its vegetation and crops. The farming industry sustains more than 1.3 billion people in India. Rice is the main source of nutrients across the subcontinent. These crops are highly vulnerable to weather fluctuations. During the growing stage, the crop relies on precipitation. A weather imbalance is extremely damaging to the yield.
India’s agriculture sector comprises approximately 20% of the country’s annual GDP. India relies on the income generated through agricultural exportation to provide revenue, job stability, and economic growth. Anders Levermann reports, “if climate change is left unchecked, residents should expect more “chaotic” monsoon seasons, which could negatively impact farming.” Extreme rainfall will cause devastation to crop growth and severely limit Indian agriculture.
Another serious implication of the expected weather variance is the prolonged dry spells and unpredictable weather patterns. Erratic weather conditions make it impossible for farmers to prepare their crops for impending weather threats. Policy expert Devinder Sharma suggests farming practices will need to adapt to the new climate and its variability. She adds, “this will create a lot of problems for the agriculture sector as well as for the economy.” Nearly half of the farmlands in India are reliant on the annual rainfall between June-September.
The study reports fossil fuel is a major contributor to the increase in greenhouse gases. Leverman states, “the CO2 effect is by far the strongest and will dominate the change in monsoon over all other human-made effects.”
Worldwide, governments have been slow to implement the 2014 Paris agreement. The agreement states that countries involved will keep the rise in average global temperatures below 2 degrees celsius. Immediate action needs taking to address climate change. Now more than ever, governments need to be taking a stand against the use of fossil fuels. If we fail to make changes now, economies, such as India’s, will not recover.