Climate change description

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Powerpoint Presentation: Climate change – Are we to blame Slide description document Slide 1: The weather in any place refers to the condition outdoors over a short period of time. It can change within minutes hours or a day. It can be sunny in the morning and raining heavily in the evening. Weather refers to daily changes in precipitation barometric pressure temperature and wind conditions in a given location. Climate however refers to atmospheric conditions in that place over relatively long periods of time. It is a synthesis of weather conditions over years and describes average or most common conditions regular weather sequences like summer monsoons and winter and extremes if any. So Bangalore is known for its mild climate Chennai and Mumbai for their hot and humid climate Delhi for its harsh summers and winters and Cherrapunji for its rainy climate. Over the past few years we have been noticing changes in the climatic conditions in many places across the world - severe heat waves unusually high rainfall over short periods of time snowfalls in places that do not usually have them and an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes typhoons and floods. What is happening and are we responsible Slide 2: Evidence of glacier retreat has been found across the world - in the Himalayas in Asia the Alps in Europe Rockies and Alaskan glaciers in North America the Andean glaciers in South America tropical and sub tropical glaciers in Oceania and New Zealand Greenland Iceland etc. Slide 3: Over a period of 3 weeks Feb – March 2002 the Larsen B ice shelf of the Antarctic peninsula collapsed and broke up. 3250 km² of ice a little smaller than the state of Goa which was 220 m thick 3 times the height of Qutub Minar disintegrated. Warm currents ate away the underside of the shelf. Ponds of meltwater formed on the surface during the near 24 hours of daylight in the summertime. This water flowed down into cracks and acting like a multitude of wedges levered the shelf apart. Slide 4: Sea level rise in the 20th century has been substantially higher than that in the last few thousand years. Mean sea level has been increasing at the rate of 1.7 – 1.8 mms/year. Most of this rise is attributed to a the thermal expansion of warmer oceans b increased melting of mountain glaciers and c the melting of the Antarctic / Greenland / Arctic ice-shelves. Since 1993 there has been an even higher recorded sea level rise averaging 2.8 mm/yr satellite measurements. Source: Slide 6: At the heart of the climate change issue is the phenomena of global warming and the greenhouse effect. Earth supports life thanks to its gaseous atmosphere which perform an important function of trapping the heat that leaves the Earth’s surface. This regulates the planet’s average temperature and makes it suitable for life. These gases are called Green House Gases GHGs and one of the chief GHGs is carbon dioxide. The concentration of these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is important to maintain the balance in Earth systems. Slide 9: In addition to carbon dioxide other naturally occurring GHGs are methane nitrous oxide and water vapour. Methane is released from inundated lands such as marshes and from cattle dung.

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Humans are creating new GHGs like Hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons. Global Warming Potential GWP is a measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas can trap as compared to carbon dioxide. Man made green house gases have significant GWPs when compared to CO2 and they remain in the atmosphere for a very long time. Slide 10: But a matter of concern to us is the increase in the concentration of natural green house gases. Carbon dioxide is released by the burning of fossil fuels like coal oil and biomass. Deforestation is resulting in lesser absorption of carbon dioxide. Methane is released from inundated rice fields and when waste matter rots in an oxygen-free environment in garbage dumps. Cattle rearing for the meat industry is also contributing to increased methane emissions. Nitrous oxide is produced during biomass burning and when nitrogen based fertilizers are used. Slide 11: Since the mid 1800s which is when the industrial revolution started there has been a steady increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere and this is most worrisome. Slide 13: Climate scientists are studying ice samples to understand atmospheric conditions before measurement systems were in place. Over a period of many years ice and snow form many layers and during the build up they trap air bubbles of previous times. Analysis of these air bubbles is helping us get an idea of green house gas concentrations during earlier years. Slide 14: The sharp increase in the concentration of natural greenhouse gases is noticeable since the past 150 years and this data only reinforces the fact that human activities are responsible for this rise. Climate data models have also shown that actual increase in greenhouse gas emissions and global temperatures more closely follow the curves that include natural and anthropogenic man-made forcing as against only natural forcing. Slide 15: The increase in the concentration of gases that trap heat within the Earth’s atmosphere is resulting in global warming. Global warming is an anagram of ‘ball is going warm’ Slide 16: The 10 warmest years on record between 1880-2008 are: 1 – 2005 2 – 1998 3 – 2002 4 – 2003 5 – 2006 6 – 2007 7 – 2004 8 – 2001 9 – 2008 10 - 1997 Slide 17: Climate models calculate that the global mean surface temperature could rise by about 1 to 4.5 degrees centigrade by 2100. Slide 18: Global warming is creating an imbalance in climate regulating systems and this has widespread impacts. But will it affect you and me Slide 19: Increased temperature affects agricultural crops. A mere 0.5 0 C rise in winter temperature would reduce wheat yield by 0.45 tons per hectare in India. A 2 0 C rise in temperature would lower rice yields by up to 0.75 tons / hectare in the high yielding regions.

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In Haryana wheat production has declined from 4106 kg/ha in 2000–01 to 3937 kg/ha in 2003– 04 with maximum temperature rising by about 3°C during February–March in the last seven years. Thus the direct impact of climate change on agriculture and food supply includes 1. shortage in grain production resulting in less availability of food items especially to the economically poor people 2. changes in agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides 3. shift in planting dates of agricultural crops 4. preference of crop genotypes due to adaptation to changing climate 5. soil erosion 6. lower fertility level and 7. the incidence of pests weeds and diseases in food crops will be more pronounced. Source: Current science vol. 96 no.1 10 January 2009 Slide 20: India contributes to about 5.6 million child deaths due to hunger every year more than half the worlds total Half of children in India are underweight one of the highest rates in the world and nearly double the rate of Sub-Saharan Africa. Slide 21: In the short term increased melting of glaciers can cause floods and in the long term glaciers will disappear causing rivers to dry up and drought to occur. The Chorabari glacier has retreated at the rate of 9 meters a year in recent years The Dokriana has lost 20 of its volume over the past 3 decades. The famous Gangotri glacier has also been in retreat- at an astonishing rate of 17 meters a year between 1971 and 2004. Added to these glacial melts increased snow cover melting could also be expected to change water flows in the rivers originating in the Himalayan region. Slide 22: According to the IPCC rainfall patterns are likely to be modified with some regions becoming more arid and others experiencing more rainfalls. Globally the frequency of heavy precipitation has increased drought events have intensified have been more frequent and taken place in wider areas especially in tropics and subtropics. Many parts of India are flood-prone and extreme precipitation events such as flash floods and torrential rains have become increasingly common in central India as well as many urban centres over the past few decades. Slide 23: In 2009 one of the worst flash floods in decades in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka affected an estimated total of 2 million people. Thousands were marooned without food and drinking water. On 26th and 27th July 2005 Mumbai city received 994 mm of rainfall over a period of 24 hours. The previous record high rainfall in a 24-hour period for the city was 575 mm in 1974. October 2005 was recorded as the wettest month in Bangalore over a 50 year period. Assam saw its worst flooding in 50 years in July 2003. Data from Indias ministry of water resources shows that on an average annual loss from floods in India is:

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Area affected: 7.351 million hectares No. of people affected 40.967 million Human lives lost 1793 Cattle lost 85599 Houses damaged 1452904 Value of houses damaged 3.7 billion rupees Crop area damaged 3.725 million hectares Value of crop damaged 1095132 billion rupees Public Utilities damaged 1186 billion rupees Total losses 2706 billion rupees 575 million. Source: Central Water Commission has compiled the damage figures due to flood from 1953 to 2004 on the basis of which yearly average loss to life is reported to be equal to 1590 with damage to public utilities Rs. 806.78 crore. Apart from the above there has been damages to standing crops dwelling units livestock etc. There has been intangible loss as well. Source: Slide 24: The country has suffered a financial loss of about 1498722 US and 350 million people have been affected badly due to drought in past ten years Santosh Kumar Yojna June2009. Source: The drought in 2002 one of the severest in the 130 year history of India affected 56 of the geographical area and the livelihoods of 300 million people in 18 states. About 150 million cattle were affected and the govt alloted a financial relief of Rs 20000 crores Source: Slide 25: Out of 5723 numbers of assessment administrative units Blocks/Taluks/ Mandals/Watershed • 839 units are “overexploited” the annual ground water extraction exceeds the annual replenishable resource • 226 units are “critical” the stage of ground water development is above 90 per cent and less than 100 per cent of annual replenishable resource with significant decline in long term water level trend in both pre-monsoon and post-monsoon period • 550 units are “semi-critical” the stage of ground water development is more than 70 per cent • 4078 units are “safe” and • 30 units are “saline”. Source: Source for Delhi data: This site also gives data for all states and UTs. Data can be changed for these states and UTs as required. Slide 26: Water stress is cited as one of the most pressing environmental problem facing the region. In India gross per capita water availability will decline from around 1820 cubic metres a year to as low as around 1140 cubic metres a year in 2050. Water availability in any region or country is reflected by the ‘Water Stress Index’ Falkenmark and Widstrand 1992 which is based on a minimum per capita water requirement.

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An area is said to be water stressed if the annual per capita availability of water is below 1700 cubic metres. Water scarcity is a scenario when the annual per capita availability reduces to below 1000 cubic metres and absolute scarcity is when it goes below 500 cubic metres. Slide 27: Floods and droughts put India’s food security at risk. Human life is at stake. When water resources are affected people may not have clean water to drink. This can result in an increase in water-borne diseases like cholera and diarrhoea. It can also cause an increase in water related insect-borne diseases like malaria. Not only is economic activity of the region affected crores of rupees are spent on relief measures. Reduction in per capita water availability in India is leading to an increase in water conflicts between states between rural and urban areas and even between neighbours. Examples: • Cauvery river water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu • Krishna - Godavari water dispute • Ravi – Beas water dispute • rioting and protests by farmers in Mandya district of Karnataka against water being supplied to Bangalore or by farmers in the Sabarmati basin against water supplied to growing urban areas. Slide 28: The potential impacts of one metre sea-level rise include inundation of 5763 km 2 in India. A sea-level rise of just 400 mm in the Bay of Bengal would put 11 of Bangladeshs coastal land underwater creating 7 to 10 million climate refugees Slide 32: Between 1940 and 1990 the world’s population more than doubled from 2.3 billion to 5.3 billion people. Between 2005 and 2050 world population is further expected to increase by 2.7 billion people. More number of people but the same amount of natural resources. Slide 34: We are clearing more forests to make space for increased agriculture. This is required to feed the growing population. Slide 35: Not only is the area under agriculture increasing the way we do agriculture is also changing. Increased use of fertilizers and pesticides ensure better yield in the present but harm our soil and water resources and increase the amount of nitrous oxide released in the air. These will have adverse impacts in the future. Slide 36: The population is increasing and so is the purchasing power of people. A use and throw culture now pervades our lifestyles. Municipal solid waste generation is increasing in every place. If burnt carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere along with a range of toxic gases. If left to decompose in a landfill methane is generated due to anaerobic decomposition. Methane is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a green house gas. Slide 37: The passenger vehicle industry in India is growing steadily Slide 38: We blame industry for the climate problem today but little do we realize that we drive industrial production. It is our demand for goods and services that industries are trying to meet. Slide 39: Electricity generation is increasing year by year yet it cannot satisfy the growing demands from domestic consumers the industrial sector and the farmers who require electricity

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for irrigation apart from various other activities. We are the root cause of this growing demand since our demands drive industrial and agricultural production. Slide 40: Little do we realize that a flick of a switch in our homes also contributes to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the electricity in India is generated in thermal power plants which burn coal. The process of electricity generation releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The number of units one household consumes in a month can be found out from the electricity bills. That is approximately the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that one household is responsible for in a month. This does not include the electricity used to produce and bring our food to our table or the electricity required to produce and transport the various things we buy. When demand reduces production from thermal power plants reduces and hence greenhouse gas emissions reduce. Slide 41: With increased population growing urbanization and changing lifestyles we are seeing a sharp increase in the use of all kinds of fossil fuels. Slide 42: There are so many simple changes we can make in our day to day life to help the Earth. Reducing the use of electricity and cooking fuels using more energy efficient transportation reducing waste generation and managing the wastes better nurturing trees that absorb carbon dioxide etc. are different ways in which we can make a difference. The water that we use is pumped to our homes from underground aquifers or from surface water sources. The wastewater that is generated is pumped to a treatment plant and purified before it is let back into streams and rivers. Increased use of water implies increased use of electricity. The paper industry is a highly water and air polluting industry. One of the raw materials for the industry is wood which involve the cutting of trees that absorb carbon dioxide when alive. Paper is transported across long distances and this activity too produces greenhouse gas emissions. If not recycled and thrown along with mixed wastes paper decomposes to release methane which is 21 times more harmful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. The responsible use of paper is essential in a low carbon lifestyle. Simple changes in our lifestyle can make a significant difference. Prepared by: Ms Rashmi Gopal Assistance: Ms Pallavi Hittanagi

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