As environment Day is approaching on 5th June, It provides an appropriate time for reflection on climate change, exerting multifaceted adverse impacts on the economic, social, and cultural spheres of our lives.
Recent extreme weather events such as severe draughts followed by catastrophic floods in Pakistan, the worst recorded drought in Europe in five centuries, ferocious cyclones such as the Bomb cyclones in the USA, the cycle Freddy in the Southern Indian Ocean region, and the typhoon Hinnamnor in South Korea and Japan are all related to the adverse effects of climate change.
According to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) estimates, India recorded extreme weather events on more than eighty-eight percent of days in the first nine months of 2022. The changing weather patterns, including increased fluctuations in Monsoons, producing long dry periods and short spells of heavy rains, can be linked to climate change.
The geographical location, long coastline, a large share of the population dependent on agriculture, and dependence on monsoons for most of its rainfall, among other factors, make India highly susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change and global warming. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) estimates that India might have already lost about 3 percent of its gross-domestic-product (GDP) at current levels of global warming and risks losing up to ten percent of its GDP in the extreme case of a temperature increase by 3oC over pre-industrial levels.
The urgency of climate corrective actions is further warranted by the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) synthesis report pointing that the temperature increase due to global warming has already reached 1.1oC and is approaching 1.5oC faster than predicted. Tackling climate change becomes more daunting due to the presence of doom loops- self-reinforcing vicious loops- among the causes and consequences of climate change, implying that climate change, if left unaddressed, can self-perpetuate itself at higher levels with higher adverse impacts.
Doom loops of climate change
Among multiple doom loops of climate change, we use three illustrative examples to illustrate the reinforcing interdependence between the causes and consequences of climate change. Climate change enhances weather risks and reduces the …
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