Asia and the Pacific, 90% of the total diverted freshwater is used to irrigate agriculture, and more than 50% of this is used to irrigate rice. The growing scarcity of water worldwide has started to influence conventional irrigated rice production. By 2025, physical water scarcity will affect an estimated 15 million hectares. Climate change estimates predict the irrigation water deficit and the intensity and frequency of water shortage to deteriorate further. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that about 1.2 billion people could face freshwater shortages by 2020 and that crop yields in some parts of the region could drop by as much as 30% by 2050. This will impact both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture.
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Read the full report: Development and Dissemination of Climate-Resilient(1)
By; Haseeb Md. Irfanullah
The World Meteorological Organization branded 2001-2010 as “a decade of climate extremes”. Over that decade, the yearly average number of severe storms with ‘names’ was 25 percent more than the average of 1981-2010. This surely indicates a severe decade ahead of us.
The United Nations’ Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) 2013 adds further to our worry. It estimates that at least 50 percent of the direct financial losses are from smaller disasters taking place at the country level and is not counted in the global calculations
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The recent Uttarakand disaster has left more than 800 people dead and many more missing. There have been many stories on what really happened and what really caused this disaster. The media hype over the disaster is slowing down and the reality is emerging.
An article in the Landslide blog of the American Geographical Union looks into the history in the area and looks at the land use changes that have taken place near the “Kendranath temple” over the last 50 years. It uses photographs and satellite imagery to clearly indicate the extent of land use change in terms of haphazard development. It seems that the main reason for the disaster is bad development choices. It is important to note that South Asia Disaster Report (SADR 2008) argued “The disasters, by and large are designed by the conscious and unconscious human interventions, exacerbated by reactive thinking, policy failures and institutional neglect”. The information emerging from Uttarakand reinforces this argument.
Duryog Nivaran feels that the business as usual post disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation in the area would not reduce risk of future disasters unless all agencies involved in the rehabilitation and reconstruction process evaluate the future risks and integrate risk reduction measures in a holistic manner. Furthermore, the state government and the centre could not disregard the environmental and social safeguard issues any longer and development strategies for the area has to rethink before the next tragedy.
Please read the AGU blog at
The temple valley 50 yeasr ago
The valley after the flood.
The northeastern state of Uttarakhand, India was tormented by flash floods summoned by the torrential rains. Over 10,000 people were affected while the number of casualties keeps rising despite the efforts of the Indian army and rescue forces: the number of deaths recorded over 1000 on the 24th Monday.
Even though the floods followed by the heavy monsoon rains are not strange visitors to India, the damages caused to the human life and property by this particular event is drastically high. The impact has been strong enough to provoke intense debates on not giving adequate attention to the adverse effects of climate change and the DRM still being limiter to emergency response, regardless of the attempt to take it beyond the mere reactive level. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry‘s states that “Perhaps Mother Nature in her own way is telling us to heed some warnings. Today the science of climate change is screaming at us for action.”