Mains Q & A 8 February 2023
Q1. Increasing global temperatures trigger storms and heavy rains, but paradoxically they also paradoxically trigger more intense dry periods because increased water evaporation from the earth’s surface and changing weather patterns result in both phenomena. Discuss the steps that should be taken to solve this puzzle. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I Geography related issues
Climate change has an immediate influence on agricultural output since this sector is one of the most vulnerable to its effects and is inherently sensitive to climatic conditions. It includes both the significant alterations in weather patterns brought on by global warming and the release of greenhouse gases as a result of human activities.
The contribution of climate change and global warming to extreme weather occurrences:
According to a recent study on the paper “Preparing India for Extreme Climate Events,” released by the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, over 75% of Indian districts are hotspots for extreme climate events such cyclones, floods, droughts, heat waves, and cold waves (CEEW).
After 2005, there was a three-fold rise in cyclone frequency and the average annual number of districts affected.
In the past ten years, cyclones have affected 258 districts, with hotspot districts extending around the eastern coastline.
The region’s cyclonic activity is being exacerbated by the failing woods, shifting land use, and warming regional microclimate along the east coast.
Between 2000 and 2009, the number of extreme flood occurrences and associated flood events grew dramatically, affecting around 473 districts.
There has been a nearly 20-fold rise in flood-related occurrences such landslides, heavy downpours, hailstorms, thunderstorms, and cloudbursts.
The decade had an abnormally high number of flood disasters because of the surge in cyclonic disturbances brought on by the combined impacts of sea level rise brought on by glacier melt, urban heat islands, and land subsidence.
The monsoon season has fewer wet days overall, but more single-day high rainfall events that might cause floods.
Six of the eight Indian districts that have experienced the most floods over the past ten years are located in Assam: Barpeta, Darrang, Dhemaji, Goalpara, Golaghat, and Sivasagar.
The average number of districts experiencing drought each year increased 13 times after 2005.
Up until 2005, there were six districts affected by the drought; however, after that year, there were 79.
Agricultural and rural livelihoods are more uncertain as a result of droughts, despite the fact that the amount of harm in terms of fatalities has significantly decreased.
Among the Indian districts that experienced severe drought in the previous ten years were Ahmednagar, Aurangabad (both in Maharashtra), Anantapur, Chittoor (both in Andhra Pradesh), Bagalkot, Bijapur, Chikkaballapur, Gulbarga, and Hassan (all Karnataka).
Monsoon Power Loss:
The empirical data from the analysis supports the theory that rising micro temperatures are decreasing the monsoons.
The fact that severe water shortages occurred in regions like Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh in 2015 as a result of the monsoon’s declining strength and the summer’s record-breaking temperatures lends further credence to this.
Changing the nature of an extreme event:
The study found a shift in the frequency of extreme weather occurrences in over 40% of Indian districts, such as places that are prone to flooding becoming prone to drought and vice versa.
There have been two switches made.
In other instances, areas that were prone to flooding in the past are now prone to drought, and vice versa.
While both droughts and floods are occurring simultaneously in several places.
Additional investigation is necessary because of the unexpected and concerning nature of this trend.
The coastal southern Indian states are experiencing increased droughts on a regular basis.
Furthermore, both floods and droughts occur at the same time of year in a number of regions in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu.
What must be done / Conclusion:
Create a climate risk atlas to pinpoint significant vulnerabilities such as coasts, urban heat stress, water stress, and biodiversity collapse.
Create an integrated emergency surveillance system to allow for a planned and ongoing response to emergencies.
mainstream risk evaluation at all levels of the climate spectrum, including local, regional, sectoral, cross-sectoral, and macro.
To protect your investments, way of life, and life, increase your capacity for adaptation and resilience.
Raise everyone’s level of involvement in the risk assessment process.
Incorporate risk assessment into local, regional, and global strategies.
Improved urban planning and architecture are a couple of examples of ways to reduce the consequences of global warming.
Systems for monitoring and controlling vehicular and industrial pollution.
Providing consumers with environmentally sustainable cooling solutions.
Establishing and implementing heat action programmes for both urban and rural areas.
Conserving water resources.
Q2. What criteria are utilised to determine whether a condition meets the criteria for a heat wave? Why are there now more heat waves in India? Analyse. What are some methods to decrease a heat wave’s effects? (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I Geography related issues
A heat wave is a period of unusually high temperatures that exceed the peak July temperature before the monsoon season (April to June).
In order to be considered a heat wave, the following observations must be made:
According to the Indian Meteorological Department, a station’s greatest temperature is considered to be in a heat wave if it reaches at least 40°C or more for plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations, or at least 30°C or more for mountainous regions.
Reasons for India’s increasing occurrence of heatwaves include:
Increased effects of paved and concrete surfaces, lack of trees in urban areas
Due to the impact of urban heat islands, ambient temperatures may feel 3 to 4 degrees warmer than they actually are.
More heat waves were projected as a result of the average 0.8 degree rise in global temperatures over the previous century. Evening temperatures are rising as well.
Worldwide, longer, more intense heat waves and higher daily peak temperatures are becoming more frequent due to climate change.
strong UV light intensity in a warm or very hot environment.
Due to a mix of severe heat stress and a predominately rural population, India is vulnerable to heat waves.
To increase the amount of solar radiation reflected, you can construct cool roofs, lighter-colored asphalt, and porous green roads.
After a particularly harsh heat wave in 2010, for instance, the city of Ahmedabad adopted a Heat Action Approach that included a cool-roofs programme. According to research, this strategy has prevented hundreds of deaths.
It is now significantly less than what is required to maintain ecological equilibrium, so there is potential to increase the amount of tree cover in cities.
Residents of urban areas may be encouraged to grow climbing plants and window treatments.
Due of wind routes, greenbelts around cities would aid in the flow of exhaust heat from automobiles and urban air conditioners.
Finally, rather than only being rigidly adhered to when pollution levels reach unsafe levels, air quality laws should be implemented continuously.
Moving ahead / Conclusion:
The National Disaster Management Agency issued guidelines in 2016 for state governments to develop action plans for the management and prevention of heat waves, emphasising four key strategies: a system for early warning and heat wave forecasting improving the capacity of medical personnel to handle heat wave-related crises.
Cooperation between agencies and involvement with other local civil society organisations are key components of community engagement using a range of media.
Data on deaths and illness from the previous 15–20 years can be combined with climate data to produce a heat stress index and city-specific threshold.
In order to target interventions, it may be necessary to identify vulnerable groups and areas using GIS and satellite imagery.
Through early implementation of local Heat Action Plans and effective inter-agency communication, the government may take significant action to protect vulnerable people.
Finding “thermal hot spots,” analysing weather data, and assigning resources to crisis-prone areas will be required to achieve this.
The India Cooling Action Plan must emphasise the necessity of better planning, zoning, and building regulations to prevent Urban Heat Islands.
Radio, television, text messages transmitted via mobile devices, automated phone calls, and cautions are all used for public messaging.
The encouragement of traditional adaptation strategies like staying inside and dressing comfortably.
Popularisation of fundamental architectural features including shaded windows, subterranean water storage, and insulating building supplies.
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