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Climate change in South Asia is having significant impacts already which are expected to intensify as global temperatures rise due to climate change. The
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Sr ...
region consists of the eight countries
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the eas ...
, Pakistan,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. In the 2017 edition of Germanwatch's ''Climate Risk Index'', two countries in
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Sr ...
Bangladesh and Pakistan — ranked sixth and seventh respectively as the countries most affected by climate change in the period from 1996 to 2015, while another — India — ranked fourth among the list of countries most affected by climate change in 2015. South Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions globally to a number of direct and indirect effects of climate change, including sea level rise, cyclonic activity, and changes in
ambient temperature Ambient or Ambiance or Ambience may refer to: Music and sound * Ambience (sound recording), also known as atmospheres or backgrounds * Ambient music, a genre of music that puts an emphasis on tone and atmosphere * Ambient (album), ''Ambient'' (albu ...
and precipitation patterns. Ongoing sea level rise has already submerged several low-lying islands in the
Sundarbans The Sundarbans is a mangrove A mangrove is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. The term is also used for tropical coastal vegetation consisting of such species. Mangroves occur worldwide in the tropics ...

Sundarbans
region, displacing thousands of people. Among the countries of
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Sr ...
, Bangladesh is likely to be the worst affected by climate change. This is owing to a combination of geographical factors, such as its flat, low-lying, and delta-exposed
topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially their depiction in maps). Topography is a field of geoscience ...
, and socio-economic factors, including its high
population density
population density
, levels of
poverty Poverty is the state of not having enough material possessions or income for a person's basic needs. Poverty may include social, economic, and political elements. ''Absolute poverty'' is the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic pe ...
, and dependence on agriculture. Its sea level, temperature, and evaporation are increasing, and the changes in precipitation and cross-boundary river flows are already beginning to cause drainage congestion. There is a reduction in freshwater availability, disturbance of morphological processes, and a higher intensity of flooding.


Greenhouse gas emissions

Bangladesh only contributes 0.21% of the world's emissions yet it has 2.11% of the world's population. In contrast, the United States makes up about 4.25 percent of the world's population, yet they produce approximately 15 percent of the pollution that causes global warming. According to data from 2020, China, the United States, India, and Russia are the world's biggest emitters of CO2.


Impacts on the natural environment


Temperature and weather changes

Regarding local temperature rises, the
IPCC The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental body of the United Nations that is dedicated to providing the world with objective, science, scientific information relevant to understa ...
figure shows that mean annual value of temperature rise by the end of the century in South Asia is 3.3 °C with the min-max range as 2.7 – 4.7 °C. The mean value for
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang, Qiang people, Qiang, S ...
would be higher with mean increase of 3.8 °C and min-max figures of 2.6 and 6.1 °C respectively, which implies harsher warming conditions for the Himalayas, Himalayan watersheds.


Extreme weather events

Increased landslides and flooding are projected to have an impact upon states such as Assam. Ecological disasters, such as a 1998 coral bleaching event that killed off more than 70% of corals in the reef ecosystems off Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar, Andamans, and was brought on by elevated ocean temperatures tied to global warming, are also projected to become increasingly common.


Sea level rise

The global average sea level rose by 3.1 mm per year from 1993 to 2003.IPCC, 2007: Summary for Policymakers. In:
Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
'. [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M.Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. (Hereafter abbreviated to IPCC AR4 – WG1 – SPM) Table SPM-3, page 13.
More recent analysis of a number of semi empirical models predict a sea level rise of about 1 metre by the year 2100. Ongoing sea level rises have already submerged several low-lying islands in the
Sundarbans The Sundarbans is a mangrove A mangrove is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. The term is also used for tropical coastal vegetation consisting of such species. Mangroves occur worldwide in the tropics ...

Sundarbans
, displacing thousands of people. Temperature rises on the Tibetan Plateau are causing retreat of glaciers since 1850, Himalayan glaciers to retreat. It has been predicted that the historical city of Thatta and Badin, in Sindh, Pakistan would have been swallowed by the sea by 2025, as the sea is already encroaching 80 acres of land here, every day. In October 2019, a study was published in the Nature Communications journal. The journal claims that the number of people who will be impacted from sea level rise during 21st century is 3 times higher than the previous expected number. By the year 2050, 150 million will be under the water line during high tide and 300 million will live in zones with flooding every year. By the year 2100, those numbers differ sharply depending on the emission scenario. In a low emission scenario, 140 million will be under water during high tide and 280 million will have flooding each year. In high emission scenario, the numbers reach up to 540 million and 640 million, respectively. 70% of these people will live in 8 countries in Asia: China, Bangladesh,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and the Philippines. Large parts of Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Bangkok and Basra could be inundated. Population that will live in a zone of annual flooding by the year 2050 in millions, in 6 countries in Asia, according to old and new estimates:


Impacts on people


Economic impacts

India has the world's highest social cost of carbon. The Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research has reported that, if the predictions relating to global warming made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change come to fruition, climate-related factors could cause India's Gross domestic product, GDP to decline by up to 9%; contributing to this would be shifting growing seasons for major crops such as rice, production of which could fall by 40%. Around seven million people are projected to be displaced due to, among other factors, submersion of parts of Mumbai and Chennai, if global temperatures were to rise by a mere 2 °C (3.6 °F). If severe climate changes occur, Bangladesh will lose land along the coast line. This will be highly damaging to Bangladeshis especially because about 50% population of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the largest production. If no further steps are taken to improve the current conditions global warming will Economic impacts of climate change, affect the economy severely worsening the present issues further. The climate change would increase expenditure towards health care, cool drinks, alcoholic beverages, air conditioners, ice cream, cosmetics, agricultural chemicals, and other products.


Agriculture

Climate Change in India and Pakistan will have a disproportionate impact on the more than 400 million that make up India's poor. This is because so many depend on natural resources for their food, shelter and income. More than 56% of people in India work in agriculture, while in Pakistan 43℅ of its population work in agriculture while many others earn their living in coastal areas. Image:Hazesmoke Gangeticbasin.jpg, Thick haze and smoke along the Ganges River in northern India.


Health impacts


Heat waves

Heat waves' frequency and power are increasing in India because of climate change. The number of heat wave days has increased — not just day temperature, night temperatures increased also. 2018 was the country's sixth hottest year on record, and 11 of its 15 warmest years have occurred since 2004. The capital New Delhi broke its all-time record with a high of 48 degrees Celsius. The government is being advised by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in predicting and mitigating heat waves. The government of Andhra Pradesh, for instance, is creating a Heat Wave Action Plan.


Impacts on migration

Villagers in India's North Eastern state of Meghalaya are also concerned that rising sea levels will submerge neighboring low-lying Bangladesh, resulting in an influx of refugees into Meghalaya which has few resources to handle such a situation.


Mitigation and adaptation

There are many concrete steps which can be taken to address the threat of climate change. Incentives can be provided for Electric vehicles in India, electric vehicles or public transport and this curb the impact of the transportation sector. However, though these suggestions have been made, there is no political will to carry them out. Households can be given electricity and slowly phasing out Liquefied petroleum gas, LPG (the current trend is to increase the usage of the latter). Rainwater can be harvested and the rivers could be restored to their original flow so that they can bring back the wetlands and the natural ways of silt, nutrient and wildlife flow. All of these use technologies and can be implemented by the 11-year period the IPCC has stipulated before which any change must be made if we are to evade the adverse effects of climate change. So far, though the initiatives by the Delhi Metro to switch to solar power- or similar efforts by Kōchi Airport, Kochi airport-are a step in the right direction, such moves are few and far between. These models should be taken up by other agents as well. The latest accord, the 2015 Paris Agreement, takes a different approach. The 197 signatory countries have promised to limit global temperature increase to just 1.5 °C over pre-industrialization levels, but each country has set its own targets. India, for instance, has promised to cut its emissions intensity (emissions per unit of GDP) by 33-35% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels (Chart 1a/ 1b).


Adaptation

The Asia-Pacific climate change adaptation information platform (AP-PLAT) was launched in 2019. It aims to provide Asia and Pacific countries with data on climate change and convert it to adaptation and resilience measures.


Climate change by South Asian country

To learn more about the climate change by country, see the following articles:


Bangladesh


India


Nepal


Pakistan


Sri Lanka


See also

* Environment of India * Energy policy of India * Climate change in China * Asian brown cloud * Indian Network on Climate Change Assessment (INCCA)
Angel Investing in Pollution Reduction in IndiaSyndicate group for Angel Investment in Clean Tech Startups


References


Notes


External links


Fighting Global Warming in India


* * * * * {{Natural disasters in India Climate change in India, . Climate change in Bangladesh Climate change in Sri Lanka Climate of Pakistan Effects of climate change, South Asia Environment of Bangladesh Environment of India Environment of Pakistan Environment of Sri Lanka Environment of the Maldives Disasters in the Maldives, Global warming Natural disasters in Bangladesh, Global warming Natural disasters in India, Global warming Natural disasters in Pakistan, Global warming Natural disasters in Sri Lanka, Global warming South Asia Weather events in Asia Climate change by country and region