NAGPUR: India could face an annual threat of deadly heatwaves, like the one in 2015 that killed at least 2,500 people, if the world gets warmer by 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, says the much-anticipated world’s biggest review report on climate change. The report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Monday.
TOI had a sneak preview of the report to be released internationally on Monday morning. The implications of the report will be discussed at the Katowice climate change conference in Poland this December, where governments will r
eview the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change. Being one of the largest carbon-emitting nations, India is expected to be a key player in the global event.
Ringing the alarm bells on runaway rise in temperatures, the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees C warns that average global temperatures could breach the 1.5 degree level as early as 2030. “Global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degree Celsius (above pre-industrial levels) between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the same rate,” the report said.
In the Indian subcontinent, the IPCC report specifically mentions Kolkata and Karachi among cities that could face an increased threat of heat waves. “Karachi and Kolkata can expect annual conditions equivalent to their deadly 2015 heat waves. Climate change is significantly contributing to increased heat-related mortality,” it stated.
“It is now the scientific consensus that global warming affects human health, causing loss of millions of lives,” co-author of the report Arthur Wyns from Climate Tracker told TOI. The report states that for global warming to be contained at 1.5 degrees C, the net human-caused CO2 emissions would need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero by around 2050.