CEEW’s Report on Extreme Weather Events in India
The Council in Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) recently mapped the extreme weather event hotspots in India. Its study shows that, over 75 percent districts in India are hotspot of extreme climatic events including cyclones, floods, droughts, heat and cold waves.
- Its study shows that the frequency, intensity and unpredictability of these extreme events have risen over time.
- India had witnessed around 250 extreme climate events in 35 years between 1970 and 2005,
- While it now records 310 harsh weather events in just around 15 years.
- The study highlights that, in the last 50 years, frequency of flood events has increased by eight times.
- It further finds that, the events associated with floods like landslides, hailstorms, heavy rainfall, cloudbursts and thunderstorms shows 20 fold increase.
- The CEEW study further finds that, the frequency of floods has increased significantly in the last two decades.
Flood condition in India
India had witnessed over 16 extreme flood events that affected 151 districts in the year 2019. It finds that, around 9.7 crore people are exposed to extreme floods in India. Barpeta, Dhemaji, Goalpara, Darrang,Golaghat, Sivasagar in Assam are the six districts which are most flood-prone districts of India.
Why India is facing such harsh climatic events?
The current trend of catastrophic climate events is happening due to 0.6 degrees Celsius temperature rise over last 100 years. India has become the fifth most vulnerable country in terms of extreme climate events. Soon, India is going to become Flood Capital of the World. This is happening because the Microclimatic Zones are shifting.
The microclimatic zones or the areas are the regions where weather is different from the surrounding areas. Reasons identified for the microclimatic zone shifting are disappearing the disappearing wetlands, encroachment on natural ecosystems, change in land use patterns and urban heat Island.
Urban heat Island
The urban heat island phenomenon occurs when the city or area experiences the higher temperatures when compared to the adjoining rural areas. The island areas traps the heat locally. This phenomenon has become a major reason for the microclimatic zone shifting.