Climate change and India: Adaptation GAP (2015)

Climate change is projected to have severe adverse impacts on India’s population, natural ecosystems, and socio-economic parameters. India’s vulnerability to climate change impacts is profound since around 650 million Indians are dependent on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods; around 250 million Indians live along a 7500 km of coastline that is at high risk due to sea level rise and extreme weather events; many of the 10,000-odd Indian glaciers are receding at a rapid rate; and deforestation is happening. India is concerned about climate change impacts. India occupies 2.4% of the global land area, supports 17% of the global population and contributes less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable development is at the core of Indian planning process and India has been making huge efforts for enhancing the quality of life of her people including sustained poverty alleviation efforts. This report analyzes the climate change that is already occurring in India, projected future climate change, the proactive measures Government of India is taking to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, and the Adaptation Gap that is ever increasing. India has experienced substantial changes in mean and extreme climate during the period of 1951-2013. For instance, mean annual air temperature has increased in many regions of the country. Other than the mean annual air temperature, prominent increase was observed in the number of hot days, night-time temperature, and growing degree days during the period of 1951-2013.