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Deluge and response

The floods in Mumbai and Texas show that both India and the US are underdeveloped in disaster response and preparednessBy: Vijeta Rattani CLIMATE CHANGE is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events around the world, sparing no country. Research from the Washington-based National Climate Assessment establishes a direct link between a warmer climate and heavier downpours: hotter air can hold more moisture, meaning there’s more water available “for storms to wring out of the atmosphere”. Read more

On World Environment Day, CSE releases analysis of how India has warmed over the years - from 1901 till 2017

First animated climate spiral showing the warming of India  Annual mean temperature in India has increased by 1.2 degrees C since the beginning of the 20th century.  2016 was second warmest year on record with temperature of 1.26 degrees C higher than   Winters (Jan-Feb) of 2017 was hottest in recorded history with temperature of 2.95 degrees higher than the baseline.  

Himalayan blunders

 The floods in the Himalayas have been ferocious and deadly. Fears are that the final body count could run into several thousands. There is no clear estimate of the number of villages wiped out, property destroyed, roads washed away and hydropower projects damaged in the mountain state of Uttarakhand. The mountains are bleeding and its people have been left battered, bruised and dead.

A tale of two cities

I travelled to two different cities in two different states last week—Indore and Guwahati. I came back with images identified by common distinctions: piles of garbage and glitzy new shopping malls. Is this our vision of urban development? There is no question that cities are imploding; growth is happening faster than we ever imagined. Construction is booming and expansion is gobbling agricultural land.

Weather dice is loaded

During my weekly conversation with my sister I told her about the unusual searing heat this June, the problems of power cuts and how we are coping in India. She, in turn, told me that in Washington DC, where she lives, there was a terrible storm that damaged her roof and uprooted trees in her garden. They were fortunate that they still had electricity, because most houses in the city were in the dark. She also said it was unbearably hot because the region was in the grip of an unprecedented heat wave.

Six sins that make drought invincible

It’s drought time again. Nothing new in this announcement. Each year, first we have crippling droughts between December and June, and then devastating floods in the next few months. It’s a cycle of despair, which is more or less predictable. But this is not an inevitable cycle of nature we must live with. These droughts and floods are man-made, caused by deliberate neglect and designed failure of the way we manage water and land. What we must note with concern is that these “natural” disasters are growing in intensity and ferocity.