BHUBANESWAR: Odisha should develop an integrated approach to cope with extreme weather events that are beginning to register a marked increase under the impact of climate change.
With global temperatures set to rise between two and six degrees C by the end of 21st century, the number of extreme weather events would increase substantially, eminent climatologist and Emeritus Professor at School of Earth, Ocean and Climate Sciences, IIT Bhubaneswar Prof Uma Charan Mohanty warned on Sunday.
“Rise in temperature would cause 80 to 90 per cent increase in the number of intense category IV and V cyclones though the number of tropical cyclones would remain the same or would even register a decrease. There would also be heavy concentrated rain or dry spells leading to drought,” Prof Mohanty said while addressing the conference on ‘Global Warming, Sea Level Rise and Livelihood Adaptation Strategies along the East Coast of India’ jointly organised by SOA University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver, Canada.
He also warned that the sea level, which had risen by 20 cm between 1900 and 2000, is projected to rise between 52 cm and 98 cm during the current century. If the sea level rose by nearly one metre, it would have severe impact on the east coast of India including Odisha, substantially affecting the low lying areas and river mouths.
“In case a super cyclone strikes Odisha, the sea surge at Gopalpur in Ganjam district could be of two to three metres high while Chandipur in Balasore district could witness waves of five to seven metres. Thus, there cannot be a uniform strategy for the entire coast of Odisha which has to be based on observation and planning,” Prof Mohanty said.
Adaptation would be the best practice to cope with the emerging situations in future. There is also a need for an integrated approach to deal with the evolving situation, he said.
Describing climate change as very complex, Director, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Bhubaneswar SC Sahu said the drought situation prevailing in Odisha at present was caused by a 78 per cent deficit rainfall in the month of October. The current year was also hotter compared to 2009 when the average temperature was found to be 34 degrees C.
Among others, Dean, Research of SOA University Prof PK Nanda, Project Director, Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) AK Patnaik and former DG, CSIR Prof PK Jena spoke.