Why Indian heat contains education for the world

India has experienced the hottest March this year since the Indian Meteorological Department began recording weather data in 1901. April was not the best. The heat wave continued and 14 weather stations broke previous record highs.

The war in Russia and Ukraine has left many countries dependent on India’s wheat supply, and global warming has made headlines since it burned wheat. International wheat prices have risen by 6 percent since India banned wheat exports.

But the crisis is not uncommon. Experts say that global warming is a sign of things to come. As food production becomes more vulnerable to adverse weather conditions, more money will need to be invested in climate-resilient agriculture like India.

A delicious heat wave

This year’s winter crops in India are very hot as they are ripe for harvest. The Ministry of Agriculture estimates that 20 percent of the wheat crop is damaged.

But it was not just wheat that was damaged. Pushkaraj Taide, secretary of the non-profit agricultural and rural development center in Jalna, said fruits and vegetables such as guava and mango have dried up in Maharashtra. “Chile’s production has also declined and some sugarcane fields have caught fire in the last week of April,” he said.

Although this year’s heat wave is particularly strong and unusual – the heat waves are usually seen in May and June – these increased and sometimes record-breaking temperatures have become the norm.

Increased frequency

According to data compiled by the Indian Meteorological Department, 12 of the 15 tropical years since 1901 have been recorded in the last decade and a half, and 2016 is the hottest.

With the increase in temperature, the heat waves also increase. A.D. A 2020 study analyzing the decimation pattern of heat waves between 1951 and 2016 showed an increase in frequency and the affected geographic location.

A.D. Between 1951 and 1970, the country recorded an average of two to three heat waves. After the 1980s, however, average heat waves increased significantly and the affected area increased, according to the study.

For example, in the 2001-2010 decade, regions such as Rayalasma observed Andwa Pradesh and parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In recent decades, these areas have not recorded any heat waves.

A.D. An analysis of the 2022 heat wave shows that a catastrophic event in 100 years could be 30 times more likely to be affected by climate change.

The analysis was published in collaboration with climate scientists from India, the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

International temperature + 2C [more than 2 degrees Celsius] Such a temperature would be 2-20 times more likely and 0.5-1.5C more likely. [degrees Celsius] It will be hotter than 2022, ”the study said.

Climate, human activities

This year’s heat is the result of a double process. The first is the global climate patterns. Between December and April, parts of India and Pakistan receive heavy rainfall over the West.

Western turmoil is the result of tropical hurricanes coming from the Mediterranean Sea – so “western” and “extra-tropical” – outside the tropics – brought jet streams to India below the tropics.

When these jet streams are weak, the western turmoil is weak, which means that the rainfall between December and April will be weak or not as much as it was this year – 71% below normal in March.

Another climate is the La Nina in the Pacific Ocean. La Nina or the Little Girl Conditions are part of the El Niኞo-South Occupation – the interaction of east-west winds with commercial winds from the equator and the Pacific Ocean – affecting global climate systems.

Studies have shown that Lani and India and Pakistan have created clouds and heat waves. Climate change is affecting the El Niኖo-South swing cycle.

Road damaged by flash floods after heavy rains in Asam Nagayon district on May 19. Credit to Reuters Reuters

Krishna Achutarao, a co-author of the Center for Atmospheric Science at the Indian Institute of Technology and co-author of Global Climate Research, said his analysis is a small study of the impact of climate change on Western challenges.

“Basically, a reduction is expected. The impact of climate change on El Niኖo / La Nina is a major area of ​​research and the literature points to more serious developments.” [both El Niño and La Niña] In the future, ”said Achutarao.

The other reason behind high temperatures is not based on weather systems, but rather, at the regional level, reflecting human activity.

Studies have found two forces that have a competitive effect on temperature extremes: airborne pollution – particulate matter released from air-burning fuel and irrigation. When irrigation is reduced, some aerosol contaminants such as black carbon and dust are added.

In India, pre-rain irrigation activity and low levels of black carbon and dust are another factor. Another study in 2018 concluded that air and irrigation would have some effect. April temperatures in northwestern India and Pakistan – short-term demand for air or increased irrigation may be lower than previously thought to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Financial support tests

Heat waves and extreme weather events, therefore, can stay here and increase in frequency and weight. Although studies have established a clear link between climate extremes and climate change, efforts to build resilience have not begun.

A.D. At the 2015 Paris United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it was decided that developed countries would contribute $ 100 billion to the Green Climate Fund by 2020. The money will be used to address issues such as agriculture and climate change.

But that has not yet happened, according to the 2021 Climate Fund Climate Policy Initiative, an international analysis and consulting firm. The target has been changed to 2023.

Compared to $ 30 billion in 2017/2018, it has increased by 53 percent to $ 46 billion in 2019/2020. Despite this positive trend, overall adaptation finance is less than adequate to respond to current and future climate change, the report says.

According to the United Nations Agricultural Development and Climate Policy Initiative 2020, only 1.7 percent of climate finance goes to smallholder farmers in developing countries.

According to the report, smallholder farmers make up 50% of the world’s food calories but carry high risk from extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods, which destroy crops and livestock.

”[Such incidents]… makes it difficult for them to continue to feed their communities and earn a living, ”the report said. In India, at least 80% of farmers can be classified as small.

Another trend is that most climate finance is being integrated into the renewable energy sector. “Solar PV [photovoltaic, or solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity] And wind turbines continue to be a major recipient of renewable energy financing, attracting more than 91% reduction in investment, ”says the Climate Policy Initiative.

Indian facts

In India, too, according to the 2020 Climate Policy Initiative Report, a few sectors have provided the most funding.

A.D. Between 2016 and 2018, public climate funding from central government ministries or state departments will be concentrated in the energy sector – 70% – energy efficiency and energy transfer (20%) and sustainable transportation (10%). Says the report.

One of 150 electric buses during the May 24 flag-raising ceremony in New Delhi. Credit: PTI.

To make matters worse, concerns about food production are hurting the government, which has reduced funding for climate change.

A.D. In 2016-17 ‘, the union budget allocated 103 million rubles to the head of the Ministry of Agriculture for climate change, but this has been reduced to 55 million rubles in 2021-22.

Avantika Goswami, Climate Change Program Manager, has been transferred to the agricultural sector at the Non-Profit Science and Environment Center in Delhi.

He said there is a need to raise awareness that climate change is causing crises in the agricultural sector and that financial support will benefit smallholder farmers and their livelihoods.

“We need to make sure that climate finance is not only for large agri-business and agri-tech corporations, but also for public research and conservation of resilient breeds,” Goswami said.

Efforts to protect smallholder farmers from climate change should include financing early warning systems and providing income after such disasters, she said.

The wheat crisis has shown that the threat of severe climate change is affecting not only the producing countries but also the entire world. This should be a lesson.

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