Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are likely to witness an increase in high temperature over periods of 2030, 2050 and 2085, a report released by the government on Thursday said.
The Forest Survey of India (FSI) in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, Goa has performed a study based on ‘Mapping of Climate Change Hotspots in Indian Forests’.
According to the India State of Forests Report (ISFR) 2021, the collaborative study was carried out with the objective to map climatic hotspots over the forest cover in India, using computer model-based projection of temperature and rainfall data, for the future time periods i.e. year 2030, 2050 and 2085.
“By analysing scenarios in the study periods that is 2030, 2050, 2085, it has been observed that Ladakh, Jammu Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are projected to witness high temperature increase, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands, West Bengal, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are projected to witness the least temperature rise over these periods,” the report released by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said.
According to the report, orth-eastern states and Upper Malabar coast of India are projected to experience highest increase in rainfall, whereas, part of north-eastern states like Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, north-western parts of the country namely Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are projected to experience least increase and sometimes even decline in rainfall.
“Mapping of climatic hotspots over the forest cover in India using computer model-based projection of temperature and rainfall data has been carried out for three future time periods, i.e. year 2030, 2050 and 2085. The period 2030 represents a near-term timeline that coincides with the global short-term climate action horizon. Period 2050 represents the mid-term timeline and coincides with global long-term climate action goals. The period 2085 represents a long-term time horizon,” the report said.
Increase in levels of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere is leading to a steady increase in mean global atmospheric temperatures.
Such rise in temperature is affecting natural phenomena such as precipitation and also impacting ecosystems and essential biological processes which are germane to survival of life on earth, the report said, adding that climate change negatively impacts weather patterns and they have a cascading effect on farming and public health.
According to the IPCC report released in 2021, the mean global temperatures have already risen by a little more than 1 degrees Celsius as compared to pre-industrial times.
Forests play a vital role in climate change mitigation. They are the biggest terrestrial reservoir of carbon on the planet, and become the source of carbon dioxide and other GHGs if they are cut, burnt or destroyed.
India aims to achieve the target of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
Under the current assessment, the total carbon stock in the country’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes and there is an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of the country as compared to the last assessment of 2019.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) represents the largest pool of carbon stock in forests, which has been estimated at 4,010.2 million tonnes. The SOC contributes 56 per cent to the total forest carbon stock of the country, the report said.
The report shows that Arunachal Pradesh has the maximum carbon stock of 1023.84 million tonnes (mt) followed by Madhya Pradesh 609.25 mt, Chhattisgarh 496.44 mt And Maharashtra 451.61 mt.
“The per hectare carbon stock among different states, UTs indicates that Jammu and Kashmir is contributing maximum per hectare carbon stock of 173.41 tonnes per hectare followed by Himachal Pradesh with 167.10 tonnes per hectare, Sikkim 166.24 tonnes per hectare and Andaman and Nicobar Islands 162.86 tonnes per hectare,” the report said.
It concluded that over the last five biennial assessments, the carbon stock of the country’s forest has shown an increasing trend. The carbon stock has risen from 6,663 million tonnes in the 2011 assessment to 7,204 million tonnes in the present assessment showing an increase of 541 million tonnes between the period 2011 to 2021.