Rain check: Torrential rain in Mumbai waterlogged several parts of the city in the past week | Photo: Indian Express

Monsoon arrives in India; Mumbai, Goa report heavy rain

Even though the southwest monsoon arrived two days late in Kerala at the beginning of the month, it has now covered two-thirds of the country. Mumbai was waterlogged on Wednesday after heavy rain lashed the city. The southwest monsoon arrived in the city a week before, on June 9, two days ahead of schedule and wreaked havoc with parts of the city completely submerged under water. Goa also reported heavy showers in the past week. Pune and Karnataka reported light, but steady showers on Wednesday. 

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted monsoon to reach the Capital by June 15, but approaching westerlies will slow down the progress, it said. According to the IMD, the northern limit of the monsoon has so far passed through Diu, Surat, Nandurbar, Bhopal, Nagaon, Hamirpur, Barabanki, Bareilly, Saharanpur, Ambala, and Amritsar.

Melting glaciers of Hindu Kush may cause food, water shortage for 2 billion people: UNDP

The melting glaciers of the Hindu Kush mountains could lead to food and water shortages for up to two billion people, a new study backed by the United Nations revealed. The research warned that the mountain range could lose two-thirds of its ice by 2100. The glaciers feed around 10 major river systems that are linked to the region’s agriculture, drinking water and hydroelectricity production. 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report stated the glaciers were melting as a result of “larger anthropogenic modifications of the atmosphere” as a result of pollution. It recommended moving away from fossil fuel use for energy and transport, changing diets and agricultural practices to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. 

Large-scale afforestation threatens biodiversity: Global panel 

A global biodiversity panel said in a report that large-scale afforestation and bioenergy plants are likely to hinder the progress of sustainable development goals such as reduction of hunger and poverty. The report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) stated large-scale afforestation could be harmful because of competition for land, which can lead to displacement of local communities. It could also reduce existing carbon storage capacities. Planting single species could lead to an increase in pests and diseases, the report added. It urged the government to instead focus on preventing the destruction of existing forests.

Global CO2 levels hit record high despite pandemic

Global carbon dioxide levels reached the highest levels in human history last month. This despite a reported dip in fossil fuel burning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology placed on the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii recorded CO2 levels of 419 parts per million in May 2021, which is about half a percentage higher than the 417 parts per million recorded at the same location in May 2020. 

India likely to lose 10% of GDP due to climate change by 2100: Study

India may have lost around 3% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) because of global warming of 1°C over pre-industrial levels, according to a new report. At an increase of 3°C, the risk could rise to as much as 10%, stated the report by London-based think-tank ODI. The study added that India is already experiencing impacts at 1°C of global warming. Extreme heat waves, heavy rainfall, severe flooding, catastrophic storms and rising sea levels are damaging lives, livelihoods and assets across the country, it stated.

Food systems generate one-third of all human-induced GHGs: Study

Global food systems generate one-third of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, a new study revealed. The study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters found that between 1990-2018, one quarter of the food system emissions are produced during the process of converting natural ecosystems into agricultural land. Three-quarters of the emissions were generated “within the farm gate or in pre- and post-production activities”. The study also found food systems’ per capita emissions “decreasing during 1990–2018 from 2.9 to 2.2 t CO2eq cap−1, with per capita emissions in developed countries about twice those in developing countries in 2018”.

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