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September 30, 2023

India Becoming Uninhabitable Due to Climate Change: IPCC Report 2022

BY Shivani

On Monday, the IPCC released the second part of its sixth assessment report. It addresses the effects of climate change, risks and vulnerabilities, and adaptation strategies. In its report, the panel published regional assessments for the first time, even focusing on megacities. According to the IPCC, India is one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of population to sea-level rise.

“Hot extremes, including heatwaves,” the report says, “have intensified in cities, where they have also exacerbated air pollution events and limited the functioning of key infrastructure.” “The observed effects are concentrated among economically and socially marginalised urban residents… Extreme and slow-onset events have harmed infrastructure, including transportation, water, sanitation, and energy systems, resulting in economic losses, service disruptions, and health impacts.”

“Globally, heat and humidity will create conditions beyond human tolerance if emissions are not rapidly eliminated; India will be among the places experiencing these intolerable conditions,” it says.

Wet-bulb temperatures, a measure that combines heat and humidity, are mentioned in the report. A wet-bulb temperature of 31 degrees Celsius is extremely dangerous for humans, and a temperature of 35 degrees is not survivable for more than six hours, even for fit and healthy adults.

According to the IPCC, wet-bulb temperatures in India currently rarely exceed 31 degrees Celsius, with most of the country experiencing maximum wet-bulb temperatures of 25-30 degrees Celsius. It observes that if emissions are reduced only to the levels currently promised, many parts of northern and coastal India will experience extremely dangerous wet-bulb temperatures of more than 31 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

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