Bhubaneswar, Nov 4 (LocalWire): The number of extremely hot days in Odisha is projected to increase by 30 times from 1.62 in 2010 to 48.05 by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow at current rates till the end of the century.
India, as a whole, will see the number of extremely hot days per year increasing by more than eight times from 5.1 (in 2010) to 42.8 (by 2100), shows the new study released today in Bhubaneswar.
The study is the first in a series of findings estimating the human and economic costs of climate change and weather shocks in India, conducted by the Climate Impact Lab in collaboration with the Tata Centre for Development at University of Chicago.
Under a high-emission scenario, the state is projected to see a 3.32°C rise in average summer temperature from 28.87°Cin 2010 to 32.19°C by 2100. It is far higher than the national average increase from about 24°C to about 28°C by the end of the century.
Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh is close behind, which is likely to see a temperature rise of 3.07°C.
By analyzing highly spatially-detailed climate data from 33 global climate models, the study reveals some alarming results that emphasize why urgent climate action is required to limit global temperature rise.
‘Odisha has a history of experiencing extreme heat-related fatalities. In the year 1998, Odisha faced an unprecedented heat wave situation, resulting in 2042 deaths.
Though extensive awareness campaigns have largely reduced the number of casualties during post 1998, still a number of casualties are being reported each year. With climate change projections signaling a 30-times rise in extremely hot days, it calls for amplified efforts to be put in place to build resilience, particularly for the vulnerable communities,’ said Pradeep Kumar Nayak, chief general manager, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority.
According to the study, under high-emission scenario, 16 out of the 36 states and union territories are estimated to become hotter than Punjab, which is currently the hottest state in India with an average annual temperature just below 32°C (as of 2010).
Punjab will continue to be India’s hottest state in 2100 with average annual temperature around 36°C.
Odisha is projected to register 42,334 excess climate-related deaths due to increase in temperature. It is almost five times more than the total deaths the state records due to cardiac arrest every year.
Between 2010 and 2018, over 6,100 people have died in India due to heat wave, with Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal together reporting more than 90% of total deaths.
Six states, Uttar Pradesh (402,280), Bihar (136,372), Rajasthan (121,809), Andhra Pradesh (116,920), Madhya Pradesh (108,370), and Maharashtra (106,749) will contribute 64% of the total excess deaths – 1,543,708 – due to temperature rise, according to a latest research study.
‘These finding makes clear that the continued reliance on fossil fuels globally will greatly harm the well-being of Indians in the coming years and decades. They also underscore the need to find innovative adaptation strategies.
This global energy challenge that requires countries to balance the need for inexpensive and reliable sources of energy that is critical for growth, while managing climate and air pollution risks is perhaps the defining challenges of our generation,’ Michael Greenstone, faculty director at the Tata Centre for Development at University of Chicago and a co-founder of the Climate Impact Lab said.
‘The impact of carbon emissions is going to be more pronounced on societies across the globe, including India, which has already seen 2,500 deaths due to a heat wave in 2015.
The future is going to be even more worrying if a course correction is not embarked upon at the earliest and investments are not made towards mitigating the harmful effects of climate change,’ said Amir Jina, assistant professor at the Harris Public Policy and researcher at the Climate Impact Lab.
The presentation of the report was followed by a panel discussion which called for a coherent strategy on building climate resilience across sectors and communities to limit the threat climate change and extreme weather events pose.