- Recently the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, titled “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” was released by its authors.
Key findings of the report
- Indian Ocean: warming at a higher rate than other oceans.
- Effects of climate change on India: will witness increased heatwaves and flooding.
- Increase in annual mean precipitation over India, with more severe rain expected over southern India in the coming decades.
- Monsoon extremes: likely to increase over India and South Asia, while the frequency of short intense rainy days is expected to rise.
- Lengthening of the monsoon over India by the end of the 21st century, with the South Asian monsoon precipitation projected to increase.
- Ocean warming: would lead to a rise in sea levels, leading to frequent and severe coastal flooding in low level
- India would face significant threats from the rising seas as it has a 7,517 km coastline.
- Across six Indian port cities — Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Surat, and Visakhapatnam — 28.6 million people will be exposed to coastal flooding if sea levels rise 50cm.
- Global warming: the planet is irrevocably headed towards warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times in the next two decades, mainly due to human activities.
- The goals of the Paris agreement are unlikely to be met unless extremely deep emission cuts are undertaken by all countries immediately.
- Projection by report: In the most ambitious emissions pathway, the globe would reach 1.5°C in the 2030s, overshoot to 1.6°C, with temperatures dropping back down to 1.4°C at the end of the century.
- Recommendation: countries strive to achieve net-zero emissions (no additional greenhouse gases are emitted) by 2050.
- India has not yet committed to a net-zero timeline.
- Tropical cyclones are getting stronger and wetter, while arctic sea ice is dwindling in the summer and permafrost is thawing. All these trends will get worse.