NEW DELHI -- The winter in January-February this year in India was the hottest in history, with 2.95 degrees Celsius more than the baseline, said a CSE study on Monday.
Revealing its findings on World Environment Day, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) underlined the crisis of global warming in the context of India.
The analysis, based on temperature trends from 1901 till recent years, finds that India has been getting warmer continuously, consistently and rapidly.
"The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is increasing with rising temperature. For example, in winter of 2017, when the average temperature was 2.95 degree Celsius higher than the 1901-30 baseline, the worst drought in a century happened in southern India, in which Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala were worst-hit, with 330 million coming in the grip of drought," the CSE study said.
It pointed out that 13 of the 15 warmest years were in the past 15 years (2002-16) and the last decade (2001-10 and 2007-16) were the warmest on record. It said the annual mean temperature in India had risen by about 1.2 degrees since the beginning of the 20th century.
"Annual mean temperature in India has rapidly increased since 1995. At this rate of increase, it will breach the 1.5 degrees mark within the next two decades."
Efforts to restrict the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius was the aspirational target set under the Paris Agreement.
"With the US exiting the Paris Agreement, controlling emissions and temperature is now a tougher task for the world. We appeal to the global community to come together and take strong actions," said Sunita Narain, the CSE Director General.
The study asserted that in three out of four seasons (or nine months in a year), temperature in India had already increased by more than 1.5 degree Celsius since the beginning of the 20th century.
It is only during the monsoon months that the temperature increase is about one degree.
The CSE said that while 2016 was the second warmest year in India, the summers of 2010, when the average temperature was 2.05 degrees higher than the baseline, was the highest in recorded history.
"These conditions claimed more than 300 lives. In addition, four cyclonic storms hit India that year (2010).
"India is warming and warming rapidly. The implications of this fundamental fact are serious for economic, social and ecological well-being of the country. We are experiencing frequent extreme weather events, and our weather is becoming unpredictable," said Chandra Bhushan, the CSE Deputy Director General.
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