due to cyclonic activity. In Rajasthan, a 2°C rise in temperature was estimatedto reduce production of pearl millet by 10-15 per cent.
The state of Madhya Pradesh, where soybean is grown on 77 per cent ofall agricultural land, could dubiously benefit from an increase in carbon dioxidein the atmosphere. According to some studies, soybean yields could go up byas much as 50 per cent if the concentration of carbon dioxide in theatmosphere doubles. However, if this increase in carbon dioxide isaccompanied by an increase in temperature, as expected, then soybean yieldscould actually decrease. If the maximum and minimum temperatures go up by1°C and 1.5°C respectively, the gain in yield comes down to 35 per cent.Ifmaximum and minimum temperatures rise by 3°C and 3.5°C respectively, thensoybean yields will decrease by five per cent compared to 1998.
Changes in the soil, pests and weeds brought by climate change will alsoaffect agriculture in India.
For instance, the amount of moisture in the soil willbe affected by changes in factors such as precipitation, runoff, andevaporation.
In the summer of 1994, western India experienced temperatures as high as50°C, providing favourable conditions for disease-carrying vectors to breed.
Not surprisingly, 1994 was also the year that the town of Surat in Gujarat washit by an epidemic of pneumonic plague, resulting in 59 deaths. In the sameyear, as summer gave way to the monsoon and western India was flooded withrains for three months, Surat was hit by a malaria epidemic.
Weather conditions determine malaria transmission to a considerableextent. Heavy rainfall results in puddles, which provide good breedingconditions for mosquitoes. In arid areas of western Rajasthan and Gujarat,malaria epidemics have often followed excessive rainfall. In very humidclimates, drought may also turn rivers into puddles.
The coastal states of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat face a grave risk from sealevel rise, which could flood land (including agricultural land), and causedamage to coastal infrastructure and other property. Goa will be the worst hit,losing a large percentage of its total land area, including many of its famousbeaches and tourist infrastructure.
A one metre rise in sea level will adverselyaffect 7 per cent of the population in Goa, and cause damages to the tune ofRs 8,100 crore.
In the state of Maharashtra, over 13 lakh people are at risk.
The cost ofdamages for Mumbai, the business capital of India, is estimated to be Rs2,28,700 crore.
Mumbai’s northern suburbs like Versova Beach and otherpopulated areas along tidal mud flats and creeks are vulnerable to land lossand increased flooding due to sea level rise.
Beyond actual inundation, rising sea levels will also put millions of people atgreater risk of flooding. This will displace a large number of people and result inrapid urbanisation (as already seen in some parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra),straining resources and putting more pressure on civic amenities. Increasedseawater percolation may further reduce freshwater supplies.
One of the largest breeding colonies of the Greater Flamingo lies in the salt-water marshes and mudflats of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. As global warming
If maximum andminimum temperaturesrise by 3°C and 3.5°Crespectively,thensoybean yields inMadhya Pradesh willdecrease by five per centcompared to 1998