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Global warming may cause extreme droughts in India

June 19, 2013 18:00 IST

Global warmingGlobal warming could lead to more extreme droughts in large parts of India, resulting in widespread food shortages and hardship in the country, in the next few decades, a new World Bank report warned on Wednesday.

The impact of a possible global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius in the next few decades threatens to trap millions of people in poverty, according to the report.

The soaring temperatures will also drive regular food shortages in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Shifting rain patterns in South Asia because of warming could leave some parts under water and others without enough water for power generation, irrigation, or drinking, the report said.

"Events like the devastating Pakistan floods of 2010, which affected more than 20 million people, could become common place. “More extreme droughts in large parts of India could lead to widespread food shortages and hardship," the report said.

Another impact of climate change could be degradation and loss of reefs in South East Asia possibly resulting in reduced fish stocks and coastal communities, while cities could be more vulnerable to increasingly violent storms, it said.

The new report builds on a World Bank report released late last year, which concluded the world would warm by 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century if we did not take concerted action now.

This new report looks at the likely impacts of present day, 2 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius warming on agricultural production, water resources, coastal ecosystems and cities across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.

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