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Investigating the impacts of climate change in India

With a burgeoning population and rapid development, India is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This long term collaborative UK-India study examines the predicted effects of changing weather and temperature patterns across a range of sectors and locations in India. Presented as 8 short keysheets (2 scenario papers and 6 topical keysheets), the report finds that India will likely face significant adverse impacts to agriculture, health, forestry and infrastructure.

The comprehensive study concludes that, among others:

  • air temperatures are projected to increase by as much as 3 to 4°C towards the end of the 21st century, leading to a reduction in wheat and rice yields
  • rainfall patterns and quantities will change, resulting in periods of drought in some regions, impacting forestry and vegetation growth
  • incidences of malaria could increase, and changes in climate could introduce malaria into regions where it is currently does not occur
  • coastal railway services in southwest India are vulnerable to sea level rise
  • forest ecology and biomes will change, along with forest die-back and a transition to a new distribution of forest types. Forest productivity, however, is likely to rise.

Each of the topical papers presents recommendations for policy, as well as specific needs for further research.