India and the Global Warming Debate

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shyamd
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India and the Global Warming Debate

Postby shyamd » 03 Jan 2007 23:20

I thought that this was an important topic that is going to threaten India in the near future that needs to be addressed fast. I think that this has not been given enough attention.

Here is a recent article posted in another thread in BR.

Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island
It has been officially recorded in a six-year study of the Sunderbans by researchers at Calcutta's Jadavpur University. So remote is the island that the researchers first learned of its submergence, and that of an uninhabited neighbouring island, Suparibhanga, when they saw they had vanished from satellite pictures.

Two-thirds of nearby populated island Ghoramara has also been permanently inundated. Dr Sugata Hazra, director of the university's School of Oceanographic Studies, says "it is only a matter of some years" before it is swallowed up too. Dr Hazra says there are now a dozen "vanishing islands" in India's part of the delta. The area's 400 tigers are also in danger.

Until now the Carteret Islands off Papua New Guinea were expected to be the first populated ones to disappear, in about eight years' time, but Lohachara has beaten them to the dubious distinction.

Human cost of global warming: Rising seas will soon make 70,000 people homeless

Refugees from the vanished Lohachara island and the disappearing Ghoramara island have fled to Sagar, but this island has already lost 7,500 acres of land to the sea. In all, a dozen islands, home to 70,000 people, are in danger of being submerged by the rising seas.


The problem does not just end with islands being submerged. The problems of erratic monsoons which will without a doubt affect the livelyhoods of many farmers. Let us not forget that 60% of the people in India are dependent on agriculture.

It is not just India that is going to feel the pinch in the coming years, already there are talks of Islands in the Maldives that have submerged. And scientists have predicted that some islands in Maldives will be completely submerged in 10-15 years. The polar ice caps are melting at huge levels, leading to rising sea levels.

With water levels that are dropping to low levels, how is India meeting the challenge?

Questions:

1) What can India do, to manage the depleting water resources?
http://wrmin.nic.in/mi3census/chapter5.pdf

2) Can India afford to introduce strict pollution laws?

3) The effect on the economy?

If there are mass droughts in the future, then we are going to see a nightmare scenario where most of the rural people are going to move to urban areas that are already under stress. What can be done to tackle this issue?

4) Is India using it's resources correctly?

The UK has finally acknowledged the dangers of the environment and has announced after a recent shocking report, measures that should help slow the problem.

The US is yet to get onboard with the radical plans that have been suggested. This is probably due to vested interests, that has been shown numerous times.

An inconvenient truth:

The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.2

Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.3

The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.4

At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.5

If the warming continues, we can expect catastrophic consequences.

Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years -- to 300,000 people a year.6

Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.7

Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.

Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.

The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.8

More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.9


Above taken from Al Gore's documentary: http://www.climatecrisis.net/thescience/

If innappropriate please IB4TL.
Last edited by shyamd on 02 Feb 2007 23:45, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Bade » 03 Jan 2007 23:31

This is a very appropriate topic for the health and wealth of future generations in India. There is a real dearth of quality information on environmental topics in India. Hope folks will be able to ferret out interesting articles that can be compiled here.

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Postby shyamd » 04 Jan 2007 01:22

10 YEARS TO SAVE PLANET
Expert's grim warning
By Bob Roberts, Deputy Political Editor
IN 10 years time it will be too late to reverse the effects of global warming, a climate change expert warned yesterday.

Scientist Jim Hansen - one of the first to start alarm bells ringing in 1988 - said that unless cuts in pollution started happening within the next decade we would reach the "tipping point" where the damage could not be undone.

He added: "Half the people in the world live within 15 miles of a coastline. A large fraction of the major cities are on coastlines.


"Once you get the process started and well on the way, it's impossible to prevent it.


"That's why we need to address the issue before it gets out of control. We just cannot burn all the fossil fuels in the ground.


"If we do, we will end up with a planet with no ice in the Arctic and where warming is so large that it's going to have a large effect in terms of sea level rises and the extinction of species."


Dr Hansen, director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said: "If we go another 10 years, by 2015, at the current rate of growth of CO2 emissions, the emissions in 2015 will be 35 per cent larger than they were in 2000.


"But if we want to get on a scenario that keeps global temperature in the range that it has been in for the last million years, we would need to decrease the emissions by something of the order of 25 per cent."


Britain's chief scientist, Sir David King, said: "We need to remember: Action is affordable, inaction is not. Only heads of state working together can provide the new level of global leadership we need."

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Postby shyamd » 04 Jan 2007 21:11

`Cauvery river is dying'
R. Sundaram

If the Government does not view it seriously, the water source will be ruined

Image
PITIABLE CONDITION: The Cauvery river in Erode. — PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN

ERODE: If the Government did not view the contamination of the Cauvery River seriously, one of the main water sources in the State would be ruined, warned D. Subbu, secretary in-charge, Tamilaga Vivasayeegal Sangam.

Effluents

Pointing out that the river was `dying', Mr. Subbu told The Hindu that hundreds of industries on either side of the river discharged treated and untreated waste into it. Sewage from the local bodies too mixed with the river.

A number of polluted rivers such as the Bhavani and the Noyyal too merge with the Cauvery. With this, at least 1,000 cusecs of contaminated water got mixed with the Cauvery every day, along its course from Mettur to Nagapattinam, Mr Subbu said.

Industrialisation

As part of industrialisation, the Government encouraged the formation of new industries — many of which caused pollution, he said.

For instance, hundreds of dyeing and hosiery units were opened in Tirupur. These units let off untreated effluents into the Noyyal river, which in turn reached the Orathupalayam reservoir — affecting thousands of acres.

The industries have now been asked not to discharge effluents as the reservoir is being cleaned.

However, even on Wednesday morning, 65 cusecs of contaminated water was flowing into the reservoir, and the storage in the dam stood at .37 feet, said Mr. Subbu. This, he said, showed that the industries had not erected reverse osmosis plants, and continued to discharge effluents.

Effluents were discharged `directly' into the Cauvery in Komarapalayam and Pallipalayam too.

The meagre flow in the Cauvery river would not dilute the contamination. Again, the river water also mixed with Veeranam — used by the public in Chennai.

All the way from Mettur to Chennai, many towns were supplied only with this contaminated water, which caused various ailments, said Mr. Subbu.


Research into environment is finally getting some notice. Good to see that India specific research of the environmental affects will take place.

Manmohan: Third World cannot accept a freeze on global inequity
Special Correspondent

Global environment-friendly technologies must be available to all

# Study impact of climate change on Indian monsoon
# Do focussed research on water, food and energy

CHIDAMBARAM (Tamil Nadu): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday reiterated that developed countries must bear more responsibility in meeting the challenges of climate change and promoting sustainable development by altering their consumption patterns.

The "developing world cannot accept a freeze on global inequity." The measures the global community took to protect the environment and deal with climate change should be equitable in their impact on the development prospect of the developing countries.

Referring to the growing debate on climate change, at the inaugural function of the 94th session of the Indian Science Congress here, he said the environment-friendly technologies being developed across the world must be shared and made available to all.

Find new pathways to growth

"We can and must use the inventiveness and ingenuity of our knowledge to find new pathways to growth. But this must be a shared effort. It must be an effort that enables the poor to improve their quality of life, their well-being, their consumption levels, without being forced to pay the price for the profligacy and excessive consumption of the rich and the super rich."

The Prime Minister urged scientists to study the possible impact of climate change on the Indian monsoon. "We are keenly aware of the looming effects of climate change. But the science of climate change is still nascent and uncertain. That is why Indian scientists must engage in exploring the links between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change."

There should be focussed research on issues of water, food and energy.

"Of the many challenges our planet is facing, three are vital to the survival of life on Earth. These are the availability of water, food and energy."

In particular, he called for research towards finding efficient, economic and ecologically sustainable ways of using, conserving and replenishing water, developing new technologies for harnessing nuclear, solar, wind, biofuel and other alternative sources of energy, and launching a second green revolution, which would be more holistic than the first, covering forest conservation and management, sustainable environmental protection, water conservation, utilisation of herbs and plants and improvement in livestock productivity.

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Postby shyamd » 04 Jan 2007 23:47

The ozone paradox

[quote]Computer simulations show that the yearly increase in ozone levels in India could be rapid. TV Padma reports

AIR pollution from ozone and soot over Asia is twice the global average and is especially strong over tropical regions, a scientist told government representatives of 20 Asian countries at a meeting recently.
India is emerging as a “hotspot for ozone pollutionâ€

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Postby shyamd » 04 Jan 2007 23:52

2007 predicted to be world's warmest year

China and India facing up to the economic chill of global warming
MARGARET NEIGHBOUR

A REPORT by six government departments in China yesterday warned that climate change would harm the country's economy and environment in the coming decades, with potentially devastating cuts in agricultural output.

India, another rapidly industrialising third world country, also warned yesterday that it and other developing countries, could not afford to copy the West's "wasteful lifestyle".

The Chinese report was published shortly after it was revealed that 2006 had been hotter than average in China and that there had been more natural disasters than normal.

"Climate change will increase the instability of agricultural production," the report said. "If no measures are taken, in the latter half of the century, production of wheat, corn and rice in China will drop by as much as 37 per cent."

It said that average temperatures in China would rise by 2C or 3C in the next 50 to 80 years and that this would cause "the speed of change to accelerate". The report added that evaporation rates for some inland rivers would increase by 15 per cent. China already faces a severe water shortage, especially in the north. However, the document did not say what measures should be taken to combat climate change.

Earlier this week, the state news agency, Xinhua, reported that temperatures in 2006 were, on average, 1C higher than in other years. Meteorological officials said there was less rain than normal, down 16mm on an average year.

Dong Wenjie, the director of the Beijing Climate Centre, said the high temperatures had been caused by global warming, while the annual meteorological report released by the China Meteorological Administration said 2006 had been a disastrous year for loss of life and property damage.

Typhoons, floods and droughts killed 2,704 people and caused economic losses of about £14 billion in 2006, second only to 1998 when an extremely severe flood swept the country, the report said.

China's size and geography make it prone to natural disasters. Every year, they affect 400 million people and 120 million acres of farmland, with economic losses equal to between 1 per cent and 3 per cent of gross domestic product.


Meanwhile in India, Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, called for new ways of working that would avoid damage to the environment. "We, in the developing world, cannot afford to ape the West in terms of its environmentally wasteful lifestyle," he said.

As global emissions rise, the Indian subcontinent is expected to be one of the most seriously affected areas on the planet, with more frequent and more severe floods and droughts, more disease and poor crop yields.

Addressing more than 5,000 scientists, Mr Singh said India's energy security demanded the development of affordable sources of renewable power.

Technologies to cut carbon emissions must be made available to all so the planet could be saved, he said. "This must be a shared effort that enables the poor to improve their quality of life, their well-being, their consumption levels, without being forced to pay the price for the profligacy and excessive consumption of the rich."

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Postby shyamd » 04 Jan 2007 23:55

Continuing water shortages in India, for example, are driving some to question whether the snow melt that has fed some rivers for centuries is permanently changing. In many other developing countries, water is being polluted so quickly, and to such a degree, that antiquated treatment facilities cannot keep up with the problems......
Case study: A premium on water quality

The premium being placed on water quality is perhaps best illustrated by the difficulties that soft drink manufacturers recently have experienced in India.

During the summer, a major controversy in Kerala state developed around Coca-Cola: Its beverages were banned there because studies had showed they carried pesticide residues. The problem originated in the source water, which was so thoroughly polluted that purifying it to U.S. standards was prohibitively expensive. Kerala state authorities then banned Pepsi`s products as well, and the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh eventually followed Kerala`s lead. Significantly, the products of local soft drink makers were not banned – even though the water they used contained the same kinds of impurities.

The motivation of the activists who pushed for the state bans in India points up an important issue in the larger trend. Though they capitalized on anti-American sentiment in the Indian states, their strategy and goals were more nuanced. The activists reasoned that, because Coke and Pepsi command 80 percent of the soft drinks market and have significant financial resources, the companies could persuade local governments to enforce international conventions governing the pesticides named in the water pollution allegations. The goal was not to drive out American commerce, but rather to bring its power and influence to bear in improving water quality for Indians.

Though the activist campaign in Kerala was not tied in to other movements, the approach is not an isolated one. Those who have money and power, and for whom water issues and profits are intimately linked, increasingly will be viewed as having some responsibility for global water quality. And this view is one that corporations are increasingly likely to adopt themselves.

A question of supply

Just as agricultural growth in India is bringing water problems to soft drink manufacturers, the industrial boom in China is beginning to stress the water systems there (especially in Beijing and Western China), which is particularly concerning for high-tech industries. This is placing pressure on Chinese governments, both in Beijing and at the local level, to begin to consider choices relating to water and industrial development.




Global warming can affect water resources in China, India
Beijing, Dec 31. (PTI): The environmental condition of the fragile Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is worsening mainly due to global warming, which could adversely result in dwindling of water resources in China and India.

According to a geological survey conducted by the Remote Sensing Department of the China Aero Geophysical Survey, showed the plateau, seen as a barometer for the world's health, has shrinking glaciers, a rising snow line, dwindling wetlands, and more serious desertification compared with 30 years ago.

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which accounts for nearly one quarter of China's landmass, stretches into the Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The landscape is the highest and youngest plateau in the world and has been dubbed "the third pole." It is also home to the source of many big rivers in Asia, including the Yangtze, Yellow, Bhramaputra and Ganges, giving it the nickname "water tower" of China.

"As the 'thermometer' of the global environment, any slight environmental change in the plateau is a reflection for the globe," deputy director of the China Geological Survey, Zhang Hongtao said.

The survey, which used remote sensor technology, is intended to provide an overview of the plateau's geological conditions and help its future economic development, Zhang said.

"The direct harm is the threat of the loss of the country's fresh water resources," senior engineer at the Remote Sensing Department, Fang Hongbin was quoted as saying by 'China Daily'.

"Furthermore, we won't have any shield to protect ourselves from the sand blowing from the plateau if the desertification trend is not checked," he said.


The glaciers on the plateau show an obvious trend of diminishing, especially on the edge of the landmass.

The trend has gained momentum in recent years, the survey showed. The snow line on the edge of the plateau also saw drastic reduction, with an average retreating distance of 100 to 150 metres, with the largest being 350 metres.

Although the desert region of the area show slight changes, areas of medium and heavy desertification saw a huge increase, which means more desertification in the future.

Even if the world's global climate does not continue to get warmer, researchers estimate the plateau's glacial areas will shrink to 72 per cent of the current area by 2050 and 50 per cent by 2090, Fang said.

The melting of the glaciers and snow has provided huge water resources for the plateau and its surrounding area, leading to a temporary increase of wetlands and lakes in some regions.

"But with the constant decrease of glaciers and the raising of the snow line, the total water reserve of the plateau keeps declining," Fang said.

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Postby shyamd » 05 Jan 2007 02:26

Some comments on India and the south asian region in general from the Stern Report Chapter 3 on global impact conducted in the UK:

Extreme weather events. Climate change is likely to increase the costs imposed by extreme weather, both by shifting the probability distribution upwards (more heatwaves, but fewer cold-snaps) and by intensifying the water cycle, so that severe floods, droughts and storms occur more often (Chapter 1).2 Even if the shape of the distribution of temperatures does not change, an upward shift in the distribution as a whole will disproportionately increase the probability of exceeding damaging temperature thresholds.3 Changes in the variability of climate in the future are more uncertain, but could have very significant impacts on lives and livelihoods. For example, India’s economy and social infrastructure are finely tuned to the remarkable stability of the monsoon, with the result that fluctuations in the strength of the monsoon both year-to-year and within a single season can lead to significant flooding or drought, with significant repercussions for the economy (see Box 3.5 later).4


[quote]Climate change will have serious consequences for people who depend heavily on glacier meltwater to maintain supplies during the dry season, including large parts of the Indian sub-continent, over quarter of a billion people in China, and tens of millions in the Andes.23 Initially, water flows may increase in the spring as the glacier melts more rapidly. This may increase the risk of damaging glacial lake outburst floods, especially in the Himalayas,24 and also lead to shortages later in the year. In the long run dry-season water will disappear permanently once the glacier has completely melted. Parts of the developed world that rely on mountain snowmelt (Western USA, Canadian prairies, Western Europe) will also have their summer water supply affected, unless storage capacity is increased to capture the “early waterâ€

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Postby shyamd » 05 Jan 2007 03:19

x post from economy thread
Theo_Fidel wrote:Image

For some time now I have been pondering the economic relationship between the land in India and its general productivity. We have always heard those dire statistics. 2% of the land with 20% of the population, fickle monsoons causing floods and drought, most of the land is unirrigated, most arable land in the world, etc. There must be some data that helps clear up this verbiage.

I finally found one piece of it in the NASA Giovanni Applet / TRMM satellite data showing annual rainfall. Attached below are the annual rainfall maps for the past three year. I have used the November to November period as that was the data period available to me. But it works out just fine as both our yearly monsoon periods are nicely covered together for each year.

At the top is the rainfall in Asia for the last year. Below is an animated gif for all the years. The coverage and timing of rainfall maybe poor but the total rainfall is the dominant statistic.

Image

Several pieces of info stand out.

- The monsoonal variation in rainfall extends all across Asia. Until now I had not realized how striking this is.

- We have had Three extraordinarily good years of rainfall in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

- 1999 and 2003 were bad years for rainfall.

- The odds say that 2007 will be a bad year after three good years. We'll see.

- Other than Rajasthan almost all of India sees above 1000 mm or 100 cm or 40 Inches of rainfall every year. Huge sections receive above 60 inches a year.

- Much of South East Asia is Tropical Rainforest and eliminated from agriculture. Much of China is too dry. India seems to have as much arable land as the rest of Asia put together!! It is to be pointed out that the map distorts apparent sizes of countries.

- Above 60% of China sees 50 cm or less rainfall in a year. Comparable to Rajasthan. In bad years this seems to rise to above 80%. Most years only the tiny 20% slice in the South East gets good rainfall.

- The rainfall pretty much ends on our western border.

- TN is not as dry as I'd thought wrt rainfall. The evaporation rate must be very high to cause the water problems.

- Other than interior Karnataka & Rajasthan very few areas are consistently rainfall deficit.

- Finding large patches of unfertile land for the SEZ's is going to be a real challenge.

- Poor rainfall seems to affect the economy with a 1 year lag. 2000 was a bad year after 1999 poor rainfall. The 2003 bad year did not really affect us. Wasn't 2003 supposed to be a good monsoon year. Bit confused here.

- The relatively low rainfall at the Himalaya's and Tibet worries me. Most of the current river flows here appear to be from melting glaciers. When the Glaciers are gone, as should be in the next 30 years or so, the rivers flows here will dip dramatically.

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Postby Bade » 05 Jan 2007 20:07

"In three to four decades these rivers that feed more than a billion people in our society and adjoining countries will become seasonal rivers," Ahluwalia said.

India, China to study warming

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Postby shyamd » 05 Jan 2007 20:31

Some things that the Stern Report commented on what India is currently doing:

The Indian Planning Commission (2006) released a report on Integrated Energy Policy to
contribute to its 11th Five Year Plan. This recommends a wide range of measures to increase
competition in energy markets and allow energy prices to reflect market forces. It also
recommends regulating prices to include environmental externalities, reduce losses in the power
sector, and improve the transparency and targeting of subsidies. These reforms support the
Indian government’s goals of encouraging economic growth by reducing the cost of power and
industrial energy intensity and extending access to electricity to all households by 2010. Such
measures will also reduce ill health and mortality associated with indoor air pollution. As part of
this strategy, the Indian Ministry of Power is working to remove market distortions caused by
existing subsidies for kerosene in favour of less polluting, low-carbon home cooking systems
based on solar and biomass technologies.

India’s commitment to the expansion of wind power created the conditions
for a successful joint venture between Vestas, the largest Danish wind turbine manufacturer, and
India’s RRB Consultants. This led to the creation of Vestas RRB, a wholly Indian owned
company.
Joint ventures and licensing are a common entry vehicle for investment in emerging markets.
There is some evidence that fear of competition and concerns relating to intellectual property
rights may lead companies to offer older technologies18 in such partnerships. However, the active
role of the technology owner, particularly in the case of joint ventures, is likely to lead to effective
technology transfer since they have an incentive to ensure that the tacit knowledge19 is also
transferred to encourage effective use of the technology. Joint ventures are an effective long-term
route to embed local firms into the learning network of transnational corporations20.

A recent report produced as part of a UK-India collaboration on the transfer of low-carbon energy
technology25 also explained that comprehensive technology transfer is much more than just
hardware. It requires the transfer of skills and know-how for operation and maintenance and
knowledge, expertise and experience for generating further innovation.
Barriers to technology transfer can be overcome through a combination of formal
institutional mechanisms, measures to improve the enabling environment for private
sector investment, and, where necessary, direct funding initiatives.
Formal co-operation on technology transfer can be built around any of the key stages in the
technology transfer process. These stages were identified in the UK-India report as26:
• assessment of technology needs
• selection of technologies
• mechanism for technology import
• operating technology at design capacity
• adapting technology to local conditions
• improving installed equipment
• development of technology
Different policy interventions maybe required at each stage depending on which functions private
markets can successfully provide. Relevant policy interventions vary according to the nature of
the technology, its stage of commercial development and the political and economic
characteristics of both supplier and recipient countries.

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Postby shyamd » 09 Jan 2007 17:02

Stern accepted India’s argument that the developed countries had generated the stock of greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere, and bore the primary responsibility for adjustment. But both on grounds of pragmatic political economy and because India was likely to be severely affected by climate change, he urged that India play a constructive role, together with China. Much Indian officialdom resists this advice, suspecting a trap designed to restrain India’s rise.

http://www.business-standard.com/common ... =0&chkFlg=

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Postby shyamd » 09 Jan 2007 19:08

Steps taken to combat drought
Special Correspondent

Minister says British scientists have predicted severe drought this year

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A meeting of higher officials, chaired by Minister for Water Resources N.K. Premachandran here on Monday, decided to take immediate steps to combat the impending drought in the State.

The Minister told mediapersons after the meeting that a severe drought was likely this year according indications from the scientific community. Britain's Meteorological Office predicted that 2007 would be the warmest year on record.

Mr. Premachandran said that immediate measures would be taken to conserve and improve the availability of water. Of the 94 ongoing projects under the Kerala Water Authority, eight major projects and 19 minor schemes would be commissioned within days. This would benefit 2.47 lakh people. Of the remaining schemes, 29 would be completed by March 31. Besides, the Jalanidhi and the Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission would be completing 525 and 80 small schemes respectively.

He said the authorities would be taking stringent measures, including disconnection of supply, to prevent unauthorised use of drinking water. Steps were being taken to repair defunct borewells, tubewells and hand pumps.

Panels recast

The Government, he said, had reconstituted advisory committees at the constituency level. These would have officials and people's representatives as members. They would meet once in a month to discuss measures to address water shortage. The Water Resources Department would prepare a calendar for efficient use of water from irrigation projects.

The Minister said that Tamil Nadu had stopped release of water from Tamil Nadu Sholayar to Kerala Sholayar against the provisions of the Parambikulam-Aliyar agreement. The matter had been taken up with Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu was required to maintain a water level of not less than 2,658 ft in the reservoir. However, the water level had gone below that. On February 1, it was to maintain a level of 2,663 ft as per the agreement.


How richest fuel global warming - but poorest suffer most from it
By Philip Thornton, Economics Correspondent
Published: 09 January 2007
By the end of tomorrow the average Briton will have caused as much global warning as the typical Kenyan will over the whole of this year, according to a report.

The findings highlight the glaring imbalance between the rich countries that produce most of the pollution and the poor countries that suffer the consequences in the forms of drought, floods, starvation and disease.

The World Development Movement (WDM), a poverty campaign group, has drawn up a "climate calendar" showing the dates when the UK will have emitted as much CO2 gas as other countries will in a year.

Unsurprisingly, the poorest counties such as Chad, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo produce virtually no carbon emissions. Even populous countries such as India will be overtaken in its emissions by the UK in a month's time. In fact, 164 countries in the world have a smaller carbon footprint than the UK, while just 20, mainly including the major oil producers as well as the US, have a larger one.

By the end of tomorrow the average Briton will have produced 0.26 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

"The poorest countries in the world, with 738 million people, make no contribution to climate change, but it is those same people who face the worst consequences," Benedict Southworth, WDM's director, said. " One hundred and sixty thousand people are already dying every year due to climate change- related diseases and billions will face drought, floods, starvation and disease."

WDM has calculated the figures by taking the annual CO2 emission for each country, dividing by the number of people and then working out a daily contribution.

Thus while an Afghan on average will produce an annual equivalent of 0.02 tonnes of CO2, a Briton will produce 9.62 tonnes and the most prolific polluter - someone from the United Arab Emirates - will emit about 56 tonnes.

WDM acknowledged that its figures were based on averages that masked differences between life in rural and urban areas, but said that the figures still exposed the "injustice" of global warming.

"It is the richest people in the world who have produced and who are still producing most of the greenhouse gases causing climate change," Mr Southworth said.

The report said 7,800 Kenyans, Tanzanians and Rwandans died every year from diseases that were related to climate change. It warned that a 2C rise in temperature could lead to as many as 60 million more people being exposed to malaria in Africa.

The potential for massive ecological and human suffering as a result of climate change was a key finding in the report by Sir Nicholas Stern, although it was overshadowed by the political debate over the need for higher taxes or the imposition of rationing.

The Stern report found that many "vulnerable" regions embracing millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa were at risk from harvest failures, droughts and malaria.

It warned that these phenomena would affect the poorest people most of all and fuel conflicts and raise the number of child deaths as populations moved to avoid the worst-hit areas.

WDM said that although the Government had used the Stern report to show Britain's commitment to fighting climate change, emissions had risen 5 per cent under Labour.

It called on the Government to include legally binding annual targets to cut emissions in its Climate Change Bill.

Carbon comparison

The average British citizen produces 26kg of CO2 in a day. This breaks down as follows:

* 7.4 electricity
* 1.6 fuel production
* 3.8 manufacturing and construction
* 7.4 transport, of which: (5.2 road transport, 1.7 air travel, 0.1 railways and 0.4 shipping)
* 1.0 office buildings
* 3.8 residential heating
* 1.0 Other industrial processes, agriculture, military travel, other

The average Kenyan citizen produces 0.7kg of CO2 in a day. This breaks down as follows:

* 0.08 electricity
* 0.08 fuel production
* 0.16 manufacturing and construction
* 0.31 transport
* 0.07 other

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Postby Rahul Mehta » 09 Jan 2007 19:50

The following law will preserve underground water

www.rahulmehta.com/eas01.htm

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Postby shyamd » 09 Jan 2007 19:53

India's water resources may dwindle

Govt to focus on augmenting water resources
NEW DELHI: You could expect more policies on better water management this year. The government has declared 2007 as the ‘water year’ after the proposal by the water ministry was approved by the Union Cabinet.

The government is planning to focus on successful implementation of policies and programmes advocated by the ministry, including ‘farmers participatory action research programme’ in 5,000 villages to promote ‘more crop and income per drop’ of water, training of water masters in each Pani Panchayat and wider dissemination of know-how to the user level through electronic & print media.

The problems that could be regulated through focused policies include increasing the per capita availability of water, replenishing ground water levels, reducing cost and time over-runs in the completion of irrigation & multi-purpose projects and better maintenance of the existing systems.

Also, to address the challenges posed by floods every year, the water ministry is planning to set up a flood management authority. Currently, the per capita storage capacity in India is only about 207 cubic metres as compared with 1,111 cubic metres in China.

As a result of growing population, the per capita water availability of India is declining every year and as per an estimate, it will be about 1,341 cubic metre by the year 2025 and about 1,140 cubic metre by the year 2050 which is much below the water-stress threshold of 1,700 cubic metres.

Therefore, it is necessary to create infrastructure and adopt appropriate management practices to augment the utilisable water resources and improve the efficiency of the created facilities. There is a need to address these important issues on priority through integrated and comprehensive approach and by adopting latest techniques with active participation of all stakeholders.

Due emphasis has been given to issues related to water resources development and management by the government. The national common minimum programme has laid due emphasis on water sector.

It states that public investment in irrigation will be stepped up in a significant manner at the earliest and that water management in all its aspects, both irrigation and drinking purposes, will receive urgent attention.

Irrigation and drinking water are two important components of Bharat Nirman. The ‘approach to 11th Plan’ introduced by the Planning Commission has also laid due emphasis on water resources development and management.

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Postby shyamd » 14 Jan 2007 19:41

India needs to focus on solar energy, says Russian scientist
Chennai, Jan 14 (IANS) India needs to focus research on solar energy and cheaper photovoltaic cells that hold the key to Earth's future, according to a Russian researcher.

Russian physicist and Nobel laureate Zhores I. Alferov told a science meet here that solar energy was 'the only inexhaustible source of energy'.

Speaking at the Albert Einstein Annus Mirabilis Centennial Public Lectures, he said that while solar cells were expensive, the new hetero-structure technology made them efficient and capable of handling high power.

So, with concentration of light on them (using lenses or reflectors), the solar cells will soon be economically competitive with other energy sources like oil and atomic energy.

Research in this field was important for India and should be supported, he stressed at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) during a four-day meet that ended Saturday.

Alferov spoke about semi-conductor structures known now as 'hetero-structures' for which he was awarded the Physics Nobel prize in 2000.

Alferov, born in Vitebsk in Belarus, obtained his doctoral degree in physics from the A.F. loffe Physico-Technical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has been its director since 1987.

Apart from Alferov, English scientist Anthony J. Leggett was the other Nobel laureate at the meet. Renowned Indian theoretical physicist E.C. George Sudarshan was also present.

Sudarshan, who hails from Kottayam in Kerala, 'is the originator of the quantum theory of optical coherence', said IMSc senior professor R. Simon, in his introduction. 'This work was chosen for the 2005 Physics Nobel prize, but not its originator.'

After faculty positions at the Universities of Rochester and Syracuse, Sudarshan is director of the Center for Particle Theory at the University of Texas. He is also known for his V-A theory, which explains the nature of weak interactions and has found faster-than-light particles called tachyons.

A collection of his work was released here on the occasion.

Leggett, who obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford, is currently professor at John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and also at the Center for Advanced Study of Physics at the University of Illinois in US. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2003.

Leggett has demonstrated that liquid helium can become a 'super-fluid' - that is, its viscosity vanishes at low temperatures and it forms an isotope that can bond with metallic superconductors.

The IMSc in Chennai is a national institution for fundamental research in the physical and mathematical sciences. The department of atomic energy and the Tamil Nadu government support this.

Institute members work primarily in areas of theoretical physics, mathematics and theoretical computer science.

The lectures and workshops were organised jointly by the IMSc and the Delhi-based Centre for Philosophy and Foundations of Science. The visitors are on a our of India and giving lectures at centres of excellence in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

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Postby shyamd » 20 Jan 2007 20:51

'India should work against global warming'
LONDON, JANUARY 20: India should play a major role in bringing about a new deal on global warming and avoiding the pitfalls of the developed countries while developing its own economy, Britain's Scretary of State for Environment David Miliband said.
"It is very important India plays a strategic role in the battle against global warming and in that it should get necessary help from every one," Miliband told PTI on the eve of his four-day visit to India commencing in Delhi tomorrow.

"Global warming is a challenge to all countries and I am interested in learning how India is coping up with it.

"25 per cent of the Indian population live in coastal areas and 27 per cent of the Indian economy is agro-based and climate change and rising sea levels are desperately dangerous for the Indian people and the Indian economy," he said.

Most scientists concur that temperatures would rise by two to six degrees Celsius this century, mainly because of carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels for power and transport, putting millions of lives at risk from flood and famine.

"The British government wants to have a real partnership of equals with the Indian government in coming to terms with climate change and global warming. We feel there is a moral and economic responsibility for the industrialized countries to show that they are willing to take the lead in cutting carbon emissions.

"But there is also a requirement that all countries are part of a global emissions reduction deal," Miliband said.


UK environment minister arriving in India on Sunday
IRNA
India-UK-Environment minister
Britain's Secretary of State for Environment David Miliband begins a four-day (January 21-21) visit to India at the weekend for talks on climate change and sustainable development.

Miliband will deliver the keynote speech at the inaugural session of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi on Monday, Jan 22.

He is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his counterpart, Indian Environment Minister A Raja, said an official release.

During his visit he will also attend the Wildscreen Festival, the world's largest and most prestigious wildlife and environmental film festival, meet Indian business leaders and promote the joint Indo-UK research into climate change impacts and adaptation, which is entering its second phase.

Miliband will also visit RETREAT (Resource Efficient TERI Retreat for Environmental Awareness and Training), which is a zero waste facility powered by a photovoltaic-gasifier hybrid renewable energy system using waste bio-mass and solar radiation as its energy sources.

He will travel to Mumbai to attend a roundtable on `Environmental Issues and Challenges Facing Mumbai' on January 24. He will interact with corporate leaders and visit the Mithi river project there.

India should play a major role in bringing about a new deal on global warming and avoiding the pitfalls of developed countries while developing its own economy, Britain's Scretary of State for Environment David Miliband said.

"It is very important India plays a strategic role in the battle against global warming and in that it should get necessary help from everyone," Miliband said on the eve of his four-day visit to India commencing in Delhi on Saturday (today).

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Postby shyamd » 22 Jan 2007 03:52

When separatists too show concern for the environment
Jan 21, 2007 - 8:55:27 AM
All the major rivers of Jammu and Kashmir - Indus, Chenab, Jhelum and Tawi - wind their way to Pakistan or Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

By IANS, [RxPG] Jammu, Jan 21 - If you thought that Kashmiri separatists were always obsessed with a Kashmir solution and self rule, that wasn't all. Scant snowfall in the Kashmir Valley this winter has caused a deep concern among them for the environment.

With about 10 days left for the expiry of 'Chille Kalan'- the Valley's severest 40-day winter period that usually begins with Dec 20 and ends with Jan 30 - their worries are multiplying.

The general belief is that snow during 'Chille Kalan' stays on until summers, when it feeds rivers with fresh water. If there is a scant snowfall, people are likely to experience severe water crisis as well as drought-like conditions in summer.

All Party Hurrriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was a worried man before he left for Pakistan.

'It must snow,' Mirwaiz said, adding 'otherwise I don't know what would happen in summers.'

'Kashmir cannot afford to have a water crisis,' he said.

Mirwaiz Farooq said that environmental concerns would be one of the issues he would be taking up with the government of Pakistan-administered Kashmir to overcome the crisis.

All the major rivers of Jammu and Kashmir - Indus, Chenab, Jhelum and Tawi - wind their way to Pakistan or Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

'If there is no water in these rivers, it is a matter of greater concern for them too,' the separatist leader said.

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Postby shyamd » 30 Jan 2007 23:15

First results from Research by ISRO on impact of Global warming.
Future imperfect if Himalayan glaciers continue to melt: Study
[quote]Before planning more power generation projects, Government must take shrinking glaciers into account, says Dr Anil Kulkarni of ISRO

Mahesh Langa

Ahmedabad, January 29: Global warming is no longer on the horizon, it has arrived at our doorsteps, literally. An extensive study conducted by ISRO scientists reveal that aided by rising temperature, the Himalayas are melting at a threatening pace. The study conducted on 466 glaciers in Chenab, Parbati and Baspa river basins show a reduction in glacier area from 2,077 sq km in 1962 to 1,628 sq km now. This means that 21 per cent of glaciated land in the region has been uncovered due to this alarming phenomenon. The study, so far the largest conducted on Himalayan glaciers in India, was carried out through remote sensing satellites by a team of scientists headed by Dr Anil Kulkarni of Space Application Centre at ISRO in Ahmedabad.

What do these figures mean? The Himalayas contain the largest store of water outside the polar ice caps, and feed seven great Asian rivers. It is the largest source of fresh water for Northern India. However, rapidly melting glaciers will increase the volume of water in rivers, causing widespread flooding. Then, in the long run, shrinking glaciers will mean significant decline in fresh-water supplies from ice melt, leaving river levels entirely dependent on rainfall. The sudden rise in water level also threatens low-lying areas in its path. Shrinking glaciers has potentially catastrophic consequences for communities that rely on the melting ice to derive water for irrigation, drinking, and hydroelectric and nuclear power stations.

In his paper ‘Glacial Retreat in Himalaya Using Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Data’ published in Current Science as well as the internal journal of ISRO, Dr Kulkarni says, “The study focussed on Chenab, Parbati and Baspa as these highly glacialised river basins contained many power projects. There’s one hydro-electric power plant operating on the Baspa. Another one is under construction. The National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation Ltd is building a bog project on the Parbati, where number of similar smaller projects are already functional.’’ Before planning more power generation projects, the Government or deciding body needs to take shrinking glaciers into account, he adds.

ISRO study was conducted using a number of Indian Remote Sensing satellites. SS-IV data through IRS-P6 satellite was used to collect necessary data from Parbati basin. In Baspa and Chenab basins, LISS-III satellite was used. IRS-P6 satellite was launched on October 17, 2003 and satellite images of Parbati basin were collected in summer of 2004. The study reveals that despite severe deglaciation, the number of glaciers has increased as larger glaciers thin out, then shatter into fragments. Scientists observe that smaller glaciers are more vulnerable to global warming, the main cause of deglaciation. In his paper, Dr Kulkarni says, “Systematic and meticulous glacial inventory from 1962 to 2001 clearly demonstrates that extent of fragmentation is much higher than earlier. This will impact sustainability of Himalayan glaciers.â€

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Postby shyamd » 01 Feb 2007 06:57

Aerosols to slow down winds, impact rainfall
Our Bureau
Thiruvananthapuram Jan.31 Latest research findings by NASA and Stanford University indicate that aerosol pollution will slow down winds, impacting normal rainfall pattern in tropical countries.

The unique combination of meteorology, landscape (relatively flat plains framed by the Himalayas to the north and open ocean to the south), and the large population maximise the effects of aerosol pollution in India.

The skies over North India are seasonally filled with a thick soup of aerosol particles all along the southern edge of the Himalayas, streaming southward over Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal. Most of this air pollution comes from human activities.

COOLER GROUND

Aerosol particles floating in the atmosphere absorb or scatter solar radiation, and prevent it from getting to the ground. This cools the Earth's surface and reduces daytime vertical convection that mixes the slower winds found near the ground with the faster winds at higher altitudes.

The overall effect is a reduction in the speed of near-surface winds, which help evaporate water and cause rain clouds to build. The slowing winds may have accounted for a weakening Asian monsoon already.

Slower winds evaporate less water from oceans, rivers and lakes. Furthermore, the cooling of the ground provoked by the aerosol particles reduces the evaporation of soil water.

LESSER RAIN

Accumulation of aerosol particles in the atmosphere also makes clouds last longer without releasing rain. This is because atmospheric water forms deposits on naturally occurring particles, like dust, to form clouds. But if there is pollution in the atmosphere, the water has to deposit on more particles.

Spread thin, the water forms smaller droplets. Smaller droplets in turn take longer to coalesce and form raindrops. In fact, rain may not ever happen, because if the clouds last longer they may move to drier air zones and evaporate.

Earlier last year, Prof V. Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography had observed in a paper that aerosols could exert a regional cooling influence on Earth's surface that is about three times greater than the warming effect of greenhouse gases.

They also increase the solar energy absorbed in the atmosphere by 50 per cent — thus making it possible to both cool the surface and warm the atmosphere. This heating perturbs atmospheric circulation and rainfall patterns.

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Postby shyamd » 02 Feb 2007 18:54

There was an expose yesterday. Exxon Mobil run environmental groups have offered scientists $10,000 each if they fake results against global warming.

Political climate shifts as verdict on warming arrives

Global Warming Very Likely Caused by Humans, UN Says
By Alex Morales

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Global warming is ``very likely'' caused by humans, and world temperatures and sea-levels will increase by the end of the century, the UN said in its most comprehensive report yet on climate change.

Temperatures are likely to rise by 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century relative to the last, with a probable 2 to 4.5 degree range if carbon dioxide doubles from pre-industrial levels, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in the report. Sea-level gain over the same period may range from 18 to 59 centimeters (7 to 23 inches), it said.

A key change in the report's language compared with the panel's 2001 document showed there is more certainty that human activity is causing the warming. The report, released to reporters in Paris, puts the probability of the link at more than 90 percent, against the 66 to 90 percent likelihood signaled in 2001.

``This report puts a full stop behind the questioning of the science underlying the issue of whether humans are causing global warming,'' Achim Steiner, director of the UN Environment Program, said in an interview in Paris. ``This is critical because it allows us to now to shift the attention to what kind of policy responses and international initiatives we need to achieve emissions reductions.''

`Smoking Gun'

The global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) stood at 379 parts per million in 2005, up from about 280 ppm in 1750, before the industrial revolution, the report said. Concentrations of CO2, and methane, another greenhouse gas, exceed ``by far'' the highest in an Antarctic ice-core record stretching back 650,000 years.

Scientists have said global warming caused by man-made emissions is responsible for melting glaciers and ice sheets, and increased instances of storms, droughts and floods. Over this century, those effects may be magnified, according to today's report.

``Continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global system during the 21st century that would very likely be larger than those observed during the 20th century,'' the report said. The increases in greenhouse gases are primarily attributable to fossil fuel use and land-use change, Susan Solomon, who chaired talks this week, said at a Paris news conference.

Largest Panel

``This is a statement by the largest scientific panel ever put together on a major scientific issue that we now have the smoking gun on global warming,'' said Philip Clapp, president of the U.S. National Environmental Trust in a Jan. 31 phone interview after seeing portions of the draft.

Today's report, ``Climate Change 2007: the Physical Science Basis,'' is the first in a four-volume survey that involves more than 2,500 scientists from over 130 countries. Governmental delegations and scientists went over the wording of today's report line-by-line, in talks that ended past midnight last night in Paris.

On the rise in sea-levels, language was added to the statement to reflect concerns that the new forecast doesn't bear in mind recent discoveries and so underestimates the potential, said Sharon Hays, associate director of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, in a telephone interview today.

Current Models

``The concern was that the current models don't take into account the melting and break-up of the ice that we're currently seeing,'' Hays said. The wording of the document reads: ``dynamical processes related to ice flow not included in current models, but suggested by recent observations could increase the vulnerability of the ice sheets to warming, increasing future sea-level rise.''

``Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin on Aug. 10 said in the journal Science that melting of Greenland's ice sheet ``increased dramatically'' in the past few years, with one portion losing ice five times faster in the past two years than the previous year and a half.

The breakup in 2002 of the Larsen B ice shelf opened the way for the west Antarctic ice sheet's glaciers to flow faster, accelerating melting. ``A number of scientists are now saying the west Antarctic ice sheet is the awakened giant of climate change, and that is the truly catastrophic risk,'' Clapp said.

More Urgency

Overall, the IPCC is signaling ``more urgency'' on sea-level changes, melting glaciers ice caps and sea ice, one of the report's editors, Roger Barry, said in a Jan. 26 interview. Barry is director of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. The full temperature range across all scenarios examined by the IPCC was for a rise of 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius, and ``best estimates,'' which weren't given in 2001, for each scenario ranged from 1.8 to 4 degrees, showing a greater degree of certainty about climate change. The 2001 range was for a 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celsius rise.

``We have greater certainty, and that should worry us more,'' UNEP's Steiner said. ``These things are more likely to now happen.'' Steiner and environmental groups including WWF International, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth said that now the causes of global warming have been established with near certainty, governments need to act to halt greenhouse gas emissions.

Many industrialized nations have already begun taking action by setting caps on emissions. Under the UN's Kyoto Protocol treaty, 35 countries and the European Union agreed to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by a combined 5 percent from 1990 levels by the 2008-2012 period.

U.S. Largest Emitter

The U.S., the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and Australia didn't ratify the treaty, and developing nations such as India and China aren't subject to emissions reductions.

U.S. President George W. Bush ``has put in place a comprehensive set of policies aimed at addressing what he himself has called a very serious problem,'' Hays, the U.S. negotiator, said. ``The Kyoto treaty was flawed and we believe that our policies are the right ones.''

In 2002, Bush set out plans to reduce greenhouse gas intensity -- the emissions per unit of gross domestic product -- by 18 percent by 2012 -- preventing the release of more than 500 million metric tons of CO2.

The top U.S. climate change negotiator, Harlan Watson, told Bloomberg in November that the U.S. is a ``little ahead of schedule'' on achieving that goal, which would still see total U.S. emissions 30 percent above 1990 levels, compared with the seven percent reduction Kyoto would have set for the country.



Melting glaciers, sinking isles: Warming hits India
NEW DELHI, Feb 2 (Reuters) - With India's Himalayan glaciers melting, its eastern islands sinking and freak rain flooding deserts, environmentalists say global warming is already taking its toll on this populous Asian nation.

The U.N. climate panel issued its strongest warning yet on Friday that human activities are heating the planet, forecasting that temperatures would rise by between 1.8 and 4.0 Celsius (3.2 and 7.8 Fahrenheit) in the 21st century.

In India, the signs already back up forecasts that as the mercury rises the Indian subcontinent, home to one-sixth of humanity, will be one of the worst-affected regions.

"We are already seeing glaciers are receding at a faster rate and islands have disappeared and then there is all this freak weather phenomena," said Shruti Shukla, climate change officer for WWF India.

Experts say the melting of Himalayan glaciers could have serious consequences as more than 500 million residents -- almost half of India's total population -- of the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra river basins rely on them for water supply.

Research about the Gangotri glacier -- which feeds the Ganges -- has found the average rate of retreat has almost doubled to 34 metres (110 ft) per year compared to 19 metres in 1971.

"Glaciers are like a frozen reservoir of water, so when glaciers recede ... proportionally, there will be a decrease in the water, which affects drinking water supply, irrigation, hydropower," said glaciologist Jagdish Bahadur.

This is likely to exacerbate already widespread water shortages.

VANISHING ISLANDS, DESERT SEAS

Rising temperatures will also hurt the annual June-September monsoon rains, which India is heavily dependent on for its crops.

It is estimated that a temperature rise of between 2 and 3.5 Celsius would result in a loss of between 9 and 25 percent of revenue from agriculture -- which makes up 22 percent of India's GDP and employs 70 percent of the workforce.

Besides, researchers say rising temperatures will mean vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever will spread to higher altitudes known for being free of mosquitoes.

In the Sunderbans, off India's east coast, scientists say two of the 104 islands have disappeared over the past decade partially due to rising sea levels.

"Both islands were inhabited and thousands of people were forced to relocate to some of the other islands," said Sugata Hazra, who teaches oceanography at Jadhavpur University in eastern India, adding that 12 more islands were vulnerable.

In western India, freak torrential rains flooded the desert state of Rajasthan, displacing hundreds of thousands and killing 140 people last year.

Barmer district in the state recorded 58 cm (23 inches) of rainfall in just three days -- more than double the average it usually receives for the entire year.

While India is not required under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce its energy consumption and cut greenhouse gas emissions at this stage, experts say its emissions are rising and could make it a significant contributor to global warming.

"Clean technologies exist and the government should come out with an immediate policy and implementation framework to address the issue of energy for all while reducing carbon dioxide emission," said K. Srinivas of Greenpeace.

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Postby Bade » 02 Feb 2007 22:16

Climate model predictions for Southern India is a 3-5 degree change and higher for the northern plains. Decreased rainfall will lead to more frequent droughts in the northern plains.

NRI/PIOs in usa might want to consider buying property up north in Canada :) as the southern states gets more hot and face frequent hurricanes.

Surface Air temperature change global circa 2050
North America Air temperature changes circa 2050
Arctic ice cover 1885-2085
Global precipitation

These models used two of the lab’s coupled models, which incorporate data from the ocean, atmosphere, sea ice and land surface. These two models were among 23 used for the IPCC. One of the WG1 chapters focuses on the improvement of the climate models since the last IPCC report in 2001.

The full story at
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/s2787.htm

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Postby shyamd » 04 Feb 2007 05:37

Faster global warming alarms policy makers
[quote]TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2007 03:54:39 AM]
NEW DELHI: Policy makers will now need to take climate change more seriously!! Global warming triggered by human activities is happening at a faster pace than was perceived, implying more economical and environmental devastation.

This alarm has been raised by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s premier scientific organisation whose findings are a key reference for climate change scientists, policy makers as well as critics.

In context of the IPCC findings, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) chief policy advisor Kilaparti Ramakrishna said: “The uncertainity of global warming has now narrowed down.â€

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Postby Atish » 04 Feb 2007 07:20

This is baseless alarmism. Complete absence of data.

The HIV virues could mutate to spread like the common cold and all of us might be dead within 2 decades.

A massive Richter 9.0 scale earthquake could make entire planet unstable and magma flows everwhere.

Heck statistically I have like a 0.01% chance of dying tomorrow.

This stuff is for western fools who have no real problems in their lives and need something to worry about.

Atish.

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Postby Santosh » 04 Feb 2007 08:24

A definite way forward is aforestation and preserving the green cover.

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Postby williams » 04 Feb 2007 08:34

I agree with Atish. India cannot afford to loose the momentum of economic development based on vague scientific notions. We have already institutional mechanisms to take care of environmental issues. If at all they can improve that is by fighting corruption in our state forest departments and enforcing exsiting envirnmental laws.

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Postby merlin » 04 Feb 2007 12:17

We have already institutional mechanisms to take care of environmental issues. If at all they can improve that is by fighting corruption in our state forest departments and enforcing exsiting envirnmental laws.


The so called institutional mechanisms (please let me know what they are) are laughable. Where even Supreme Court judgements are honoured more in the breach, our institutional mechanisms are very weak indeed. And corruption starts from MoEF, forget the state forest departments. The rot starts from the top and needs to be tacked there.

I will give you one example for you so-called institutional mechanism. Vehicles older than 20 years cannot enter Bangalore city limits. Guess what, they do with total impunity.

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Postby rsingh » 04 Feb 2007 13:19

Has anybody noticed the "Jehad" launched by CNNBBC to save poors in Bangladesh and India from effects of climate change. Nobody talks about damage done by Unkil-Aunty for last two centuries. Now that India -China are on the way to get to the rightful place in the world they have found new way to keep us down. If sea level is really rising ...........how come Holland-Belgium are not worried ? Property prices on the coastal areas are going up.......all the times.

*High CO2 levels are not new to the earth......it sparks faster growth of forests.
* It could well be due to unusual higher solar activity. Solar cycle(s) etc. We have been here so many times before.

I see uneducated, unemployed and useless western youth going in groups to India and Bangladesh to "help them to teach how to plant trees and not buy vehicles".

What we need is a better water management.
IMO we need to construct mega lakes to store extra water from floods and use it during draught.
JMT

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Postby shyamd » 04 Feb 2007 16:07

Atish wrote:This is baseless alarmism. Complete absence of data.

Atish.

Okay, who's countries data do you trust? There is soo much data available. Take a look up there about ISRO's research into the glaciers if you trust what Indians say.

RSingh, I think you need to investigate it a bit more. If you say high CO2 sparks faster growth of forests, it is completely useless, if you are constantly cutting them down for increasing farmland and urbanisation, feeding economies etc.

You want evidence, look above, about islands dissappearing of India's coast, I wonder if you saw the BBC programme on the Island that had dissappeared. I take a look out of my back garden to see the evidence, my flowers were almost in full bloom, in December end! This in the UK. Please tell me why it was snowing in Spain last year, so these things just happen do they? Why are CO2 Levels at the highest level ever, it is higher than it has been in 650,000 years. While the UK also has coastal areas with new property coming up in the thames river, this is now going under the scanner of how they let them build it near the river because the water levels are rising and it shouldn't have been built. The UK govt has started relooking at everything in the coastal areas.

You want more evidence, take a look at some of the peaks in Switzerland, they used to have snow, now? Nothing. Watch "The planet" on BBC, you might see the evidence.

What about Australia? There has been an increase in skin cancers there, why? Because the o-zone layer is dissappearing, and it is leaving people un-protected.

MMS has just ordered ISRO to conduct research in global warming and the effects on India. The amount of land in India is decreasing while our population is growing fast.

US govt is ignorant and is governed by oil interest, but now they are slowly realising the effects and shifting their stance.

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Postby Atish » 04 Feb 2007 17:47

Shyamd,

Your arguments display an ignorance of scientific temper, rendering intelligent debate with you on this issue impossible.

The one possible relevant thing you mentioned is data from ISRO, but you only took the name of the organization, and are unwilling to enlighten us with hard data from ISRO either.

To clarify, global warming is happening, and partly due to CO2 emissions, thats not in dispute, at least in my mind.

Atish.

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Postby Atish » 04 Feb 2007 17:54

Interesting that you mention SNOW IN SPAIN and SKIN CANCER IN AUSTRALIA as evidence of global warming.

Cheers.
Atish.

shyamd
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Postby shyamd » 04 Feb 2007 17:55

Sorry if I came out too aggressive and ignorant. I apologise.

Firstly, look at the data above from ISRO I have posted earlier. I said the study has *just* been commissioned by MMS.

http://www.climatecrisis.net/thescience/ This is an Al Gore documentary, try and rent it out, if you can, it goes into all the scientific stuff.

Please take my early posts, from the Stern Report. There are some technical details, if you are interested.

Just out of interest, what type of evidence are you looking for?

I mentioned snow in Spain and an increase in rates of skin cancer, because of the increase in CFC in the air, which is destroying the ozone layer, leaving the humans below in Australia completely exposed. This led to more modern eco friendly designs in fridges that don't release as much CFC. It is a fact that CFC reacts with the O3 in the ozone layer.

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Postby Atish » 04 Feb 2007 18:29

Shyamd, apology accepted.

The CFC stuff has NOTHING to do with global warming and I dont dispute what you say there so lets leave that aside.

As you admit, there is no study from ISRO at this point.

As for Al Gore, the man has zero credibility, the Kyoto protocol was defeated 95-0 in the Senate when he was VP, and he didnt make a noise then.

And the link you sent has no scientic data but citations of a bunch of papers. Now the serious analysis of those papers would require hundreds of hours before we can come to a conclusion on what they say and how rigorous the study was. Suffice to say I have seen data that suggests far less warming in the next 100 years by climatologists - tenured professors from Ivy League and other reputed universities who say exactly the opposite of what Al Gore says.

One book I can suggest is THE STATE OF FEAR, and another is THE SKEPTICAL ENVIRONMENTALIST by brian lomborg. Read them and you might worry a little less than some of my friends living in Malibu beachhouses.

Atish.
Last edited by Atish on 04 Feb 2007 18:31, edited 1 time in total.

Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 04 Feb 2007 18:31


shyamd
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Postby shyamd » 04 Feb 2007 18:45

Re-posting earlier post. Hmm...interesting view. But Al Gore has limited powers, and we know that the US is governed by the oil industry. Exxon is paying scientists to produce results against global warming. It maybe that there is another cause to the increase in global warming. But as you say it is happening. So, what is causing the polar ice caps to melt? What is causing the greenhouse effect(aids global warming)? Why are sea levels rising?

First results from Research by ISRO on impact of Global warming.
Future imperfect if Himalayan glaciers continue to melt: Study
[quote]Before planning more power generation projects, Government must take shrinking glaciers into account, says Dr Anil Kulkarni of ISRO

Mahesh Langa

Ahmedabad, January 29: Global warming is no longer on the horizon, it has arrived at our doorsteps, literally. An extensive study conducted by ISRO scientists reveal that aided by rising temperature, the Himalayas are melting at a threatening pace. The study conducted on 466 glaciers in Chenab, Parbati and Baspa river basins show a reduction in glacier area from 2,077 sq km in 1962 to 1,628 sq km now. This means that 21 per cent of glaciated land in the region has been uncovered due to this alarming phenomenon. The study, so far the largest conducted on Himalayan glaciers in India, was carried out through remote sensing satellites by a team of scientists headed by Dr Anil Kulkarni of Space Application Centre at ISRO in Ahmedabad.

What do these figures mean? The Himalayas contain the largest store of water outside the polar ice caps, and feed seven great Asian rivers. It is the largest source of fresh water for Northern India. However, rapidly melting glaciers will increase the volume of water in rivers, causing widespread flooding. Then, in the long run, shrinking glaciers will mean significant decline in fresh-water supplies from ice melt, leaving river levels entirely dependent on rainfall. The sudden rise in water level also threatens low-lying areas in its path. Shrinking glaciers has potentially catastrophic consequences for communities that rely on the melting ice to derive water for irrigation, drinking, and hydroelectric and nuclear power stations.

In his paper ‘Glacial Retreat in Himalaya Using Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Data’ published in Current Science as well as the internal journal of ISRO, Dr Kulkarni says, “The study focussed on Chenab, Parbati and Baspa as these highly glacialised river basins contained many power projects. There’s one hydro-electric power plant operating on the Baspa. Another one is under construction. The National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation Ltd is building a bog project on the Parbati, where number of similar smaller projects are already functional.’’ Before planning more power generation projects, the Government or deciding body needs to take shrinking glaciers into account, he adds.

ISRO study was conducted using a number of Indian Remote Sensing satellites. SS-IV data through IRS-P6 satellite was used to collect necessary data from Parbati basin. In Baspa and Chenab basins, LISS-III satellite was used. IRS-P6 satellite was launched on October 17, 2003 and satellite images of Parbati basin were collected in summer of 2004. The study reveals that despite severe deglaciation, the number of glaciers has increased as larger glaciers thin out, then shatter into fragments. Scientists observe that smaller glaciers are more vulnerable to global warming, the main cause of deglaciation. In his paper, Dr Kulkarni says, “Systematic and meticulous glacial inventory from 1962 to 2001 clearly demonstrates that extent of fragmentation is much higher than earlier. This will impact sustainability of Himalayan glaciers.â€

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Postby Gerard » 04 Feb 2007 18:46


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Postby Gerard » 04 Feb 2007 18:48

what is causing the polar ice caps to melt? What is causing the greenhouse effect(aids global warming)? Why are sea levels rising?


Read Paterson's article above.

Pay attention to the Vostok ice core graph..

Read Lindzen's article. See what drives the hysteria..

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Postby Bade » 04 Feb 2007 19:32

Atish & Shyam,

Without getting into the politics of the debate just pay attention to the fact that the himalayan glaciers are melting and the rate of its melting is cause for serious concern at the local level. This is India's equivalent of the ozone hole problem. Without perennial rivers the northern plains will be devastated.

It is better to be less dismissive of even western research on the topics. BTW, the contribution to the IPCC panel is from Ivy league places like Princeton's GFDL and also US govt. sponsored NOAA scientists. There is evidence, the difficulty always has been to decouple the man made changes from natural cycles or maybe even worse non-cyclic permanent changes.

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Postby Gerard » 04 Feb 2007 19:33

Exxon is paying scientists to produce results against global warming


Discover Dialogue:Meteorologist William Gray
Why is there scientific support for the idea?

G: So many people have a vested interest in this global-warming thing—all these big labs and research and stuff. The idea is to frighten the public, to get money to study it more. Now that the cold war is over, we have to generate a common enemy to support science, and what better common enemy for the globe than greenhouse gases?

Are your funding problems due in part to your views?

G: I can’t be sure, but I think that’s a lot of the reason. I have been around 50 years, so my views on this are well known. I had NOAA money for 30 some years, and then when the Clinton administration came in and Gore started directing some of the environmental stuff, I was cut off. I couldn’t get any NOAA money. They turned down 13 straight proposals from me.

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Postby shaardula » 04 Feb 2007 19:49

Regarding water, it will be helpful if any gurus here can give inputs regarding the best practices in waste water treatment hopefully leading to recycling.

many small and medium towns in india with populations around 10 lakhs, have no extensive UGD and sewage systems. Sumps are a norm. Wastewater treatment plants are very rare. At the same time irrigation with sewage water is quite pervalent. The quantum of wastewater generated is quite high. (about 60-100 mld/town.)

wastage of a potential resource.
direct threat to water tables, water quality and health.

treatment plants are expensive. are they sustainable?
to maximize gains basic infrastructure needs massive upgradation.


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