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India - ‘Code Red for Humanity’: Sinking Indian Cities

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warns, “India will see increased heat waves and heavy rainfall events, while glaciers will melt further, along with more compound events from rising sea-levels like flooding.”

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warns, “India will see increased heat waves and heavy rainfall events, while glaciers will melt further, along with more compound events from rising sea-levels like flooding.” The report further states that “unequivocal human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land,” and “continued global warming is projected to further intensify the global water cycle, including its variability, global monsoon precipitation and the severity of wet and dry events.”

The principle of a warmer world is that more water will be evaporated, which will exacerbate droughts, and this enhanced water in the atmosphere will increase the amount of rain when it does rain. Extreme rainfall intensifies by 7% for each additional 1 degree Celsius of global heating, the IPCC report found. These findings have immense consequences for the urban centers of India, adding to the existing pressures on infrastructure in cities, including water supply and sanitation, stormwater drainage, flood protection and associated loss of life, livelihood and property.

Over the last two decades, there has already been a steady rise in extreme weather events in India, which has led to loss of life and property. Financial losses, for example, from the Kerala floods in 2018 are estimated at USD 3.56 billion (INR 27,000 crore) and Chennai flood losses in 2015 are estimated at around USD 3 billion (INR 22,000 crore).

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