India half a degree warmer in 100 years: Minister

July 13th, 2009 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) There has been a warming of about 0.5 degrees Celsius in the average temperature in India over the past 100 years, the government informed parliament Monday.
“According to studies conducted by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and other institutions, there has been a warming of about 0.5 degrees Celsius during the past 100 years over the country,” Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh informed the Rajya Sabha in response to a question.

There has been a “significant warming trend along the west coast, central India and interior peninsula and over northeast India,” Ramesh added.

“A cooling trend has been observed in northwest and some parts of southern India.”

On the annual monsoon rainfall that is vital to agriculture and hence to the Indian economy, Ramesh said it “does not show any trend but there are some regional patterns.

“Areas of increasing trend in monsoon rainfall are found along the west coast, north Andhra Pradesh and northwest India, and those of decreasing trend over east Madhya Pradesh and adjoining areas, northeast India and parts of Gujarat and Kerala.”

The minister said “analysis of past tide gauge records for the Indian coastline regions gives an estimate of sea level rise of 1.3 mm per year.” Scientists reckon sea level rise to be one of the clearest indicators of climate change caused by global warming.

In response to the question on what India was doing to combat climate change, Ramesh claimed the country had a “growth strategy based on sustainable development” and referred to the National Action Plan on Climate Change announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year.

Eight specific missions under the plan are being finalised.

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