scorecardIndo-Gangetic Plains, home to half the Indian population, to soon become hotspot of extreme climate events: study
  1. Home
  2. sustainability
  3. news
  4. Indo-Gangetic Plains, home to half the Indian population, to soon become hotspot of extreme climate events: study

Indo-Gangetic Plains, home to half the Indian population, to soon become hotspot of extreme climate events: study

Indo-Gangetic Plains, home to half the Indian population, to soon become hotspot of extreme climate events: study
SustainabilitySustainability2 min read
If you looked at India from a very old perspective, you'd see a vast depression between Peninsular India and the Himalayas. As the Himalayas grew taller, they created many rivers flowing into this depression, carrying sediment with them. Over time, this sediment filled the depression, creating the Indo-Gangetic Plains, fed by rivers like the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra. These fertile plains cover areas like Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Assam. However, climate change poses a significant threat to this region.

A study involving researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology has revealed worrying predictions about the future of the densely populated areas around the Indus and Ganges rivers. Compound extreme weather, made more common by climate change, is set to become a major problem. These compound events, where different extreme weather conditions occur together or in quick succession, are increasingly frequent. For example, droughts and heatwaves or heavy rainfall after extreme temperatures can cause significant damage.

Focusing on the compound event of extreme heat alongside drought and heavy rains, the study looked at potential futures based on factors like population growth, technology, and carbon dioxide emissions. This data was used to create maps showing "hotspots" where people are most likely to be affected. The Indo-Gangetic Plains is identified as one such hotspot.

"The Indo-Gangetic Plain is one and a half times the size of Spain and is already one of the most densely populated areas in the world," says study author Harald Kunstmann. "In the future, the population is expected to continue to climb."

Moreover, the region is crucial for rice and wheat cultivation. The study suggests that the Plains could face increased risks of crop failure due to rising temperatures, drought, and unpredictable rainfall patterns caused by global warming. Kunstmann emphasises the importance of preparing for these challenges, suggesting measures such as investing in heat and drought-resistant seeds, building flood-resistant dams, and storing rainfall for irrigation during dry periods.

While the effects of global warming are undeniable, adaptation is essential. The researchers advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing adaptation strategies to build resilience against climate change. Plans are also underway to expand the study globally, providing insights into regions most vulnerable to climate change impacts.

READ MORE ARTICLES ON




Advertisement