Scant comfort: Dipping water levels across the Ganga basin, and particularly in Bihar, have sparked concerns of water scarcity in the region | Photo: The New Indian Express

Falling groundwater levels in Bihar sign of impending water crisis this summer: Survey

The Indian state of Bihar is staring at a dilapidating water crisis in the summer months. A survey by the state’s Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) revealed severely depleted groundwater levels in at least eight of the region’s 38 districts. At least 11 of the districts are in the ‘water-stressed’ category, according to the survey.

Another survey found over one-fourth of the water bodies in the Ganga basin owned by the government had dried up. The survey by the Quality Council of India (QCI) in partnership with ASSOCHAM, CII and FICCI revealed that while 16% of the water bodies in the region were eutrophic, only 56% were functional. It studied 578 water bodies in the Ganga Basin and found 411 of them were surrounded by human settlements.

Rising temperatures directly impact India’s industrial output: Study

A new study attempted to quantify the loss to India’s industrial output as a result of heat stress. It found that for every 1°C rise in annual temperature over average temperatures of the 1980-2000 period, industrial plants produced around 2% less revenue. The study by Delhi’s Indian Statistical Institute and the University of Chicago observed data of 58,000 factories in India to arrive at this conclusion. The study is important because the government is pushing to make India a manufacturing hub. It concluded that in order for India to continue its manufacturing using cheap labour, it would have to make serious attempts to adapt to the rising temperatures.    

Frequent, intense rainfall events likely in warming Antarctica by end of century: Study

A warming Antarctica is likely to bring with it more frequent rainfall events by the end of the century, a new study claimed. The study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters studied data from 10 meteorological stations in the region. It concluded that along with increased frequency and intensity, rainfall is also likely to impact regions of the continent that as of now do not receive any rain. This could lead to ‘intense events’ of surface slow melting as a result of the rainfall, the study claimed. 

Rapid heating of Earth affecting global agricultural productivity: Study

The world’s agricultural systems have been severely impacted as a result of rising temperature, according to recent research. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found productivity of crops and livestock had fallen by 21% since 1961 when compared to a world that wasn’t affected by rapid global warming. The study arrived at its conclusion by measuring productivity by inputs such as labour, fertiliser and equipment and the output of food that they produce. It then observed how climate change had affected this relationship through the use of a model. 

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