Skip to main content

Living in a hotter world()Hindu.

The world has turned the page on 2016 with the worrying revelation that it was the warmest year on the instrumental record since the late 19th century, and the hottest of three record-breaking years in a row. While the rise in global average surface temperature by about 1.1º C last year over the pre-industrial era was aggravated by the El Nino phenomenon of 2015-16, the trend is a warning to all countries that they cannot afford to rely on carbon-intensive growth any longer. Explaining the scientific view, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies points to the rise in temperature as being driven “largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.” The warming pattern must be seen in the context of declining sea ice cover in the Arctic, compounding the loss of ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic. In the Arctic, which is witnessing a decline in the extent of sea ice in the lowest month at the rate of about 13% every decade, melting creates a vicious circle of more exposure of ‘dark areas’ to sunlight, higher melting and more dark surface absorbing heat. Such phenomena accelerate the rate of global warming, with consequences through climate change for coastal areas, access to water, farming and human health.

A warming globe with changes to the climate in the form of altered rainfall, drought, floods, lost biodiversity and reduced crop yields would particularly affect millions in China and India. It is heartening that Chinese President Xi Jinping asserted the importance of the Paris Agreement on climate change at the Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum, and virtually cautioned incoming U.S. President Donald Trump against reneging on it. India’s own commitment to the climate accord must be strengthened with clear and unambiguous actions. This should lead to a scaling up of renewable energy and measurable decline in use of fossil fuels. Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal has promised a steady increase in solar power capacity, going beyond the target of 100 gigawatts by 2022, but such goals become more credible when there is action in individual States to make the average citizen a partner in the effort. States should be ranked on their policies that help unlock investment in the sector, including domestic rooftop installations, and the weak service infrastructure for solar should be upgraded without delay. India’s water stress is heightened by extreme weather episodes, and this requires an enhanced policy response to protect farmers, livestock and vulnerable communities.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…