If emissions are not reduced, India could experience insurmountable shortages of heat, food and water: IPCC report

In the mid-21st century, the international transboundary river basins of the Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges and interstate Sabarmati River Basin in India may face serious problems of water scarcity, climate change acting as a stress multiplier. Due to global warming, Asian countries could experience an increase in drought conditions (5-20%) by the end of this century, he said.

According to the report, temperature, relative humidity and rainfall variables are significantly and positively associated with increased dengue cases or transmission rates globally, including in India.

He said increased exposure to cancer-causing toxins through multiple routes is also of concern.

Exposure to aflatoxin (carcinogen), for example, is expected to increase in Europe, India, Africa and North America. Other cancer-causing toxins come from cyanobacterial blooms whose frequency and distribution are expected to increase with climate change, according to the report.

In India, scenarios projected for the 2030s indicate changes in the spatial distribution of malaria, with new foci and potential epidemics in the Himalayan region, southern and eastern states, and an overall increase the number of months suitable for transmission overall, with some other regions seeing a reduction in months of transmission, according to the report.

Warning against sea level rise, the report says India is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world in terms of population that will be affected by sea level rise.

By mid-century, around 35 million people in India could face annual coastal flooding, with 45-50 million at risk by the end of the century if emissions are high, and far fewer at risk if emissions are lower, he said.

According to the report, high levels of warming could lead to a decline in global GDP of 10 to 23% by the end of the century, compared to a world without warming.

Several major economies could experience even greater economic declines due to climate change, with a study cited in the report estimating that GDP losses by the end of the century could reach 42% in China and 92% in India, if emissions are high.

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