Demystifying climate change – mitigation and adaptation Dr.Praskash Rao


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Disha presentation on 22nd January in Pune by Dr.Prakash Rao of Symbiosis Institute of International Business

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Demystifying climate change – mitigation and adaptation Dr.Praskash Rao

  1. 1. Demystifying Climate Change – Mitigation and Adaptation Prakash Rao Associate Professor and Head, Energy and Environment Symbiosis Institute of International Business 22 January 2014
  2. 2. Key questions • Is the climate change phenomenon truly real ? • How important or relevant is the impact of climate change on ecosystems ? • Do we have adequate information on causes of climate change in India ? • What are the possible adaptation responses to in the face of adverse climate impacts ? • Policy responses and implementation plans ?
  3. 3. Climate change is not just an environmental issue. It is fast becoming one of the defining facts of economic development in the 21st century. It will shape investment, technology deployment, and human development around the world. Scaling Up: Global Technology Deployment to Stabilize Emissions. Fred Wellington, Rob Bradley, Britt Childs, Clay Rigdon, Jonathan Pershing, WRI 2007
  4. 4. Global warming enhanced by emissions of man-made gases 1/28/2014 Source: “Climate Change, State of Knowledge,” OSTP, 1997
  5. 5. Greenhouse Gases Greenhouse Gases (GHGs): Ozone (O3), Water Vapour (H2O), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Perfluorocarbons (PFC), Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) Anthropogenic GHGs: Maximum contribution by Carbon Dioxide (CO2) –Industrial activity Beside those Methane (CH4), - Agriculture Perfluorocarbons (PFC), Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are also responsible
  6. 6. Much is known with certainty about global warming • Existence of natural greenhouse effect is established beyond doubt • Concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are increasing • The temperature of the earth is increasing. 1998 the hottest in at least 1000 years. • Sea levels are rising (4 to 10 inches over past 100 years) • Some GHGs will remain in the atmosphere for centuries 1/28/2014
  7. 7. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Concentrations 400 ?
  8. 8. Keeping Emissions Safe
  9. 9. Potential impacts • Many natural systems, being affected by regional climate change, rise in average temperature • Anthropogenic component of warming over the last three decades has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems . • Effects of regional temperature increases on some managed and human systems are emerging, although these are more difficult to discern than those in natural systems due to adaptation and non-climatic drivers
  10. 10. Potential impacts • Impacts are very likely to increase - increased frequencies, intensities of extreme weather events • Extensive adaptation required to reduce vulnerability, but there are barriers, limits and costs • Vulnerability to climate change can be exacerbated by the presence of other stresses e.g. development pathway • A portfolio of adaptation and mitigation measures can further diminish the risks associated with climate change
  11. 11. Risks to Life on Earth due to Climate Change The Science: The world may be close to a ‘tipping point’, more than two degrees C of average warming could devastate ecosystems and economies -Melting of Glaciers -Melting of Polar ice caps -Habitat loss for key species -Depleting water resources -Submergence of Islands -Shift in distribution of pests and vector borne diseases
  12. 12. Global Impacts • 662 million to 3 billion more people at risk of water shortage • 15-37 % of all species could be driven extinct till 2050 if current rate of emissions continue (Thomas et al ,2004) • Agriculture landscapes , yield loss • 43 % global forest changing to nonforest systems • 25- 50 million people at risk due to sea level rise, coastal flooding
  13. 13. Impacts in India • • • • • • Agriculture Coastal region Himalayas Forests Health Industry/Power
  14. 14. Impacts of Climate Change on natural ecosystems Variability in monsoons – affecting crop production Himalayan Glaciers melting – Indus and Ganga at Risk • Possibility of Conflicts • Increasing Incidence of Natural Calamities • Increase in Human & Other life form stress Sea level rise Relocation of population /Climate Refugees Erosion of coastal areas
  15. 15. Climate change and water sector in India • Likely to affect the overall hydrological cycle in India - More intense rainfall in lesser time/days - Overall increase in precipitation - Changes in glacial melt run off - Increase in river run off, less ground water recharge - Increase in extreme weather events, flash floods, droughts
  16. 16. Direct and indirect impacts • Wetland quality , reduction in size of wetland • Agricultural intensification and practices • Changing river flows, water diversion /withdrawal • Extreme weather events • Ground water recharge • Invasive species
  17. 17. Impacts in Agriculture • Simulations using crop models indicate a decrease in yield of crops as temperature increases in different parts of India - 2°C increase , rice yields could decrease by about 0.75 ton/hectare in the high yield areas • Major impacts on rain fed crops - nearly 60% of cropland area - poorest farmers practice rain fed agriculture • The loss in farm-level net revenue will range between 9 and 25% for a temperature rise of 2-3.5°C.
  18. 18. Impacts - Coastal Areas • Extreme Weather Events Natural Disasters like floods, sea water ingress, submergence of islands, species and habitat loss • Bangladesh, Lakshadweep , Sundarbans are under the threat of sea level rise & submergence • Could create ecosystem imbalance, introduction of new species , range shifts for ecosystem dependent species
  19. 19. Sea Level Rise Effects of a 6-meter sea level rise are shown here for South Asia . Areas with large river deltas of the Indus and Ganges will be severely affected. Island nations like the Maldives, Tuvalu will become vulnerable as will extensive areas of Indonesia and Bangladesh. Source: Terrence Joyce, WHOI, Massachusetts
  20. 20. Tuvalu Island , South Pacific
  21. 21. Impacts on Forests • Changes in Species distribution and abundance: – Reduced/no pollination due to problematic seed dispersal – Problems in seed germination and seedling survival • Alteration in Succession – Shift in dominance/abundance of species • Biodiversity – Poor regeneration/loss of genetic variability – Disturbance in ecosystem cycle
  22. 22. Impacts in Ecosystems • Agricultural ecosystems in North India- temperature shifts , insect pests • Evergreen forests in Karnataka , NE Region - erratic rainfall patterns • Himalayan ecosystems in range states - potential loss and change in land use (Glacial melt , land slides, soil erosion, rising temperature, availability of suitable habitat ) • Grasslands, desert ecosystems in Maharashtra , Rajasthan – changing weather patterns, land use • Coastal ecosystems - cyclones in West Bengal , Tamil Nadu
  23. 23. The polar ice cap is melting
  24. 24. Impacts on birds – Some examples Tawny eagle in Asia and Africa. Small changes in precipitation is likely to result in the bird’s decline Wetland loss, disruption of food chain
  25. 25. Potential threats faced by Migratory bird species worldwide No. of Species Anthropogenic Impacts No. of Species Reduced water tables 127 Hunting or persecution 137 Increased drought frequency Water tables and drought 84 Habitat loss 132 Human disturbance 76 Climate Change Impacts (160) Mismatch with prey abundance Sea level rise 73 Overgrazing 63 55 Agricultural intensification 22 Habitat shifts 52 Changes in prey range 50 Overgrazing and intensification Direct mortality Increased storm frequency 20 Overfishing 42 No significant threat 35 Introduced species 30 No significant threats 59 Total No. of species 300 ( Source : Climate Change and migratory species, BTO Research Report 14, 2005) (70) 49 300
  26. 26. Future challenges for India • Broad scale assessment of the resilience of critical ecosystems to climate change • Vulnerability assessments in selected ornithological habitats through empirical, evidence and climate modelling data • Strengthen regional research capacity on impacts of climate change on bird ecology • Improved data collection networks for monitoring birds • Strengthen the National Action Plan on Climate Change for focused regional research on the issue
  27. 27. IMPACTS ON POWER • Perennial rivers – important source for hydel power generation in Himalaya • Future plans to exploit more hydel power through mini hydel projects • Run-of-the river power plants are getting popular, and seen as environmentally friendly • Energy security in question due to reduced water flows in rivers • Dependency on fossil fuel – leading to increased GHG emissions
  28. 28. Where are the solutions ?
  29. 29. The climate problem is a long-term problem and will require “thinking long term” to solve 1/28/2014
  30. 30. THE CLIMATE CHANGE BUSINESS Various Approaches to Combat Climate Change: • Measures towards reducing the overall Greenhouse Gas emission or reducing the intensity of emission -Mitigation • Increasing the resistance to impacts of climate change – Adaptation
  31. 31. Mitigation options • • • • • Renewable energy Energy efficient technologies Efficient industrial processes Efficient transport systems Preventing deforestation or quite simply - Conserving our forests • Waste management • Sustainable agricultural practices • Life style practices
  32. 32. The use of wind power is growing rapidly around the world
  33. 33. Policy responses • The scientific evidence of climate change has led to the growing public concern • In 1990 UNEP & WMO established an intergovernmental working group called Inter governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). • 150 Countries met during 1990-91 and adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) • In 1997 at Kyoto, Japan, world adopted a Protocol (Kyoto Protocol) with a commitment that developed countries will reduce their emission by 5.2 % of 1990 levels • India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (National Solar Mission, National Mission Enhanced Energy Efficiency )
  34. 34. Thank You…….