'Largest singular disaster': More than 1,000 deaths have been caused by monsoon flooding this year reports a Red Cross report | Photo: Free Press Journal

Monsoon set to retreat in India; flooding affecting 17 million people, says Red Cross report

After an above-average run, India’s monsoon season is set to retreat from North India this week. Official data suggested the country received 9% more rainfall than it would normally as of September 26. Nine states recorded excess rainfall, while 20 states received normal rainfall, according to data. Rainfall patterns were erratic across the monsoon months of June to September. While the season began with a bang recording 17% excess rainfall in June, it receded into a lull in July with a 10% deficit, only to come back with a vengeance in August, which recorded a 27% excess rainfall. 

A new Red Cross report, meanwhile, termed monsoon flooding in India as the ‘largest singular disaster’ this year, affecting 17 million people and killing more than 1,000. The report estimated almost 40 million people across India and Bangladesh were affected by both the COVID-19 pandemic and monsoon flooding. The report added that this number may be an underestimation because of limited reporting. A statement released by the South Asia Climate Outlook Forum has flagged the upcoming northeast monsoon as likely to also be more active than normal.

Climate Change imprint on wildfires “unequivocal and pervasive”: Scientific review

A scientific review of over 100 studies since 2013 has revealed a clear correlation between global warming and occurrence of wildfires. The review shows that extreme wildfires are caused by natural variability of climate interacting with increasingly warm and dry background conditions resulting from global warming. The study credits climate change in the increase in frequency and intensity of fire weather. The review has come amidst an extremely destructive wildfire season in the US. 

Melting Antarctica ice sheets will cause 2.5-m sea-level rise even if Paris goals are met: Study

While the world struggles to meet its Paris agreement goals, a new study revealed that melting ice sheets in the Antarctic will cause a sea level rise of 2.5 metres regardless of whether these targets are met. The study, published in the journal Nature, states that according to a new model, the melting is likely to continue beyond the end of this century, and will mostly be irreversible. Even if warming is limited to 2°C, as per the Paris agreement, any subsequent fall in temperature is unlikely to stabilise the loss of ice or will not help it to regrow, the study stated.

US$ 700 billion per year funding gap hindering biodiversity restoration

In the run up to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a pledging conference by UN agencies has highlighted that the world would need to mobilise an additional US$600-824 billion per year in order to halt biodiversity destruction worldwide. Even as the pledging conference stressed on the need for additional funds, a separate study analysing satellite images has flagged large scale ecosystem degradation across 1.9 million sq.km over the last 13 years.

Nordic region will need to generate 75% more electricity when it becomes carbon neutral: Study

Nordic countries such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050, but they will have to generate an additional 290 terawatt hours (TWh) of power to meet the additional demand for electricity. This is a 75% increase from the current levels that the countries are generating. 

In order to become carbon neutral, the region will have to replace fossil fuels with carbon-free alternatives for use in homes, transport and industry. Most of these alternatives will be electricity based, which means the countries will have to keep the existing hydro and nuclear power generation capacities and also add another 83 gigawatts of electricity by building more renewable energy sources, according to the study.

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