Highly threatened: India’s Assam and Mizoram could be the worst hit by climate change due to their poverty and low forest cover. | Image credit: Assamtouristspots.com

Assam and Mizoram face biggest climate threat among Himalayan states in India

According to new research presented at the COP24 climate conference in Katowice, Assam and Mizoram are most vulnerable to climate change among the Himalayan states.
Assam has the least number of  areas under irrigation, lowest forest area per 1,000 rural households and the lowest per capita income among the 12 states. Mizoram has the same issues, and at least 30% of its land is under slope. Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has the third-highest vulnerability ranking.

Extreme weather events killed over 70,000 people in India in 20 years: Report

A report by NGO Germanwatch says over 5.2 lakh people died in extreme weather events across the world in the past 20 years, with India accounting for the second-highest number of these casualties after Myanmar. Between 1998 and 2017, India lost, on an average, 3,660 people every year, with a total of 73,212 casualties. In 2017 alone, 2,736 people perished in extreme floods, rain or cyclones in India. This was the second-highest number of such deaths in the world, topped by Puerto Rico, which witnessed Hurricane Maria in September 2017 that claimed 2,978 lives.

Sea levels rose by 3mm in first half of 2018

The latest report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says Global Mean Sea Level in first half of 2018 was 2 to 3mm higher than for the same period in 2017. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report said, in October this year, that sea levels would continue to rise for centuries even if we cap warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, which is prescribed the lower limit of the Paris Agreement.

Past four years world’s hottest: WMO

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says 2018 will be the fourth warmest year on record. WMO said the global average temperature for the first 10 months of the year was nearly 1°C  above the levels between 1850-1900. If the trend continues, the WMO says temperatures may rise by 3-5°C by 2100.

Heatwaves overwhelming hospitals with patients, India among worst hit: Lancet

The latest findings of the Lancet Countdown report on health and climate change said extreme heat threatens a “systemic failure” of the world’s hospitals. The report said the output of India’s workforce declined 7% in 2017,  equivalent to the loss of 75 billion man hours, last year due to extreme heatwave conditions. The figure is almost four times that of China. The study says 200% more Indians have been hit by heatwaves in four  years, and India accounts for half of the global labour loss because of global warming.

India’s wind power potential declining due to warming

A new research says India’s wind power potential is slowly declining because of the warming of the Indian Ocean. Scientists from the Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) said  India is investing heavily in wind power to tackle climate change and air pollution issues, but the benefits of these substantial investments are vulnerable to the changing climate. The study found that the Indian monsoon is weakening as a result of warming waters in the Indian Ocean, leading to a steady decline in wind-generated power.

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