According to Gujarat’s State Action Plan on Climate Change, unveiled by state CM Vijay Rupani between 1986-2019, the mean temperature rise in the last 33 years between 1986 and 2019 is 2.9 degrees Celsius.
Gujarat has been witnessing the highest ever rise in mean temperature due to anthropogenic emissions that can further go up to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century. According to Gujarat’s State Action Plan on Climate Change, unveiled by state CM Vijay Rupani between 1986-2019, the mean temperature rise in the last 33 years between 1986 and 2019 is 2.9 degrees Celsius. Anthropogenic emissions refer to emissions associated with human activities like deforestation, use of fossil fuels, land-use changes.
The report published by the Gujarat climate change department further said that precipitation i.e rainfall and temperature too will increase over Gujarat, the former by 15 to 20 per cent and the latter by 1.5 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st Century. Teams of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIMA) and the Indian Institute of Technology- Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn) also worked on the climate project, reported the Indian Express.
The report that uses data from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) between 1971 and 2000 as its reference period also warns that the frequency of hot days and hot nights and heatwaves will rise considerably. The future climate predictions are grouped into three categories, near-term (2011-2040), midterm (2041 to 20270), and far-term (2071-2100).
The climate study by SAPCC further establishes that the mean temperature increased in the range of 0.2 to 2.9 degrees Celsius between 1986 and 2019 and between 01.2 to 0.7 degrees Celsius between 1951 and 1985.
Hence taking them earlier years as a reference point, the SAPCC predicted that the mean annual temperature at Gujarat can rise upto 1.1 degree Celsius in the near term if the situations are optimistic and highest upto 1.3 degrees Celsius in worst environment scenarios. Similarly, in far-term it can rise upto 4.9 degrees Celsius in a pessimistic scenario or at least 1.2 to 1.5 degrees with situations that are conducive.
Factors affecting mean temperature rise
Considering anthropogenic emissions as the concurrent reason for mean temperature rise, Bimal Mishra, associate professor at IIT-Gn said climate mitigation is the key solution to check the temperature rise. He further said that although at local levels having water bodies and afforestation can mitigate effects in an urban setting but climate alone cannot be controlled by local factors.
He mentioned that the rise in maximum temperature is inclined towards the north and north-eastern districts of Bangalore like Anand, Kheda, Gandhinagar, Sabarkantha, Dahod, Aravalli, Banaskantha, Mehsana, Gandhinagar. Districts like Surendranagar, Ahmedabad and parts of Kutch can also see upto 4.4 degrees Celsius rise in mean temperature.
According to Bimal Mishra, Gujarat should take lessons from the west (cities like Boston, Brooklyn) to adapt to heatwaves as even with building canal capacity in the state, he says has done little towards heatwave adaptation. Districts of Porbandar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Gir Somnath, Kutch face the highest number of heatwaves.
Mishra further suggested clean energy, heatwave solution by municipal corporations, and warning people beforehand as a long-term solution to combat heatwaves and decrease mortality due to it in the state.
The action plan warns the coast in Gujarat with rising sea level and demarcates it to be under “high to very high-risk category”. The northwestern parts of the Gulf of Khambhat, western parts of Kutch, northernmost parts of Kutch belong to the high-risk category.
Major environmental risks predicted
The main risks pertain to rising temperature, precipitation, and rise in sea level., suggest the Gujarat climate change department. These environmental changes can in turn affect agriculture, infrastructure, economic sectors and population growth. Higher projected rainfall and extremes can affect productivity, an official said. . Gujarat has 50 per cent population employed with agriculture contributing 9.5 per cent to the state GDP. 54 per cent state land is dependent on rain while 60 per cent is drought-prone. Crop yield is already showing a declining trend, finds impact assessment study. Moreover, Grassland deterioration can affect the productivity of livestock and animal husbandry sector.
Adaptation strategies incorporated by the Agri sector are a collection of crops with short cycles, variation in cropping schemes, crop rotation, altering planting and harvesting time, modern irrigation techniques and crop-management techniques.
Financing of mitigation of climate change initiatives
The action plan suggests strategies for financing Climate Change with a special fund solely for the purpose. The first of its kind will take care of the effective implementation of the State Action Plan, channelise investments from donor agencies, developed countries to implement Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Projects.
The government will set up an agency to focus on the Green/Climate finance of the GIFT City premise in Gandhinagar. Chief Minister’s Executive Council on Climate Change will be established. The Climate change department will be the nodal body for coordinating activities of the newly formed council with members of private, public sectors, research institutes, academia aimed at mitigating climate change.