CHENNAI: Chennai is among India’s most ‘climate’ vulnerable districts, according to vulnerability assessment done by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). This first-of-its-kind district-level assessment has ranked Chennai seventh in the list of districts prone to extreme floods and cyclones.
The study report titled ‘Mapping India’s Climate Vulnerability’ also ranks States based on climate vulnerability index (CVI) score, that takes into account exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity using spatio-temporal analysis. According to the report, Tamil Nadu ranks 12th among all States. It was developed based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) SREX framework, which was also used by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to map vulnerability to climate change.
Chennai has emerged as a hotspot for floods, cyclones, and even drought. The extreme flood event hotspot districts in India are Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Karimganj, and Dhemaji in Assam, and West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, based on both, frequency and intensity of events.
A research from Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, reveals urban heat islands over Chennai and Pune triggered sudden cloud bursts. Uttarakhand, Chennai, and Kerala, among others, witnessed the most devastating floods of the decade.
Official data shows the maximum number of tropical cyclones occurred between November and May. CEEW analysis suggests Puri, Chennai, Nellore, Ganjam, Cuttack, East Godavari, and Srikakulum are cyclone district hotspots of India.
Abinash Mohanty, lead author of the study, told TNIE, “The frequency of extreme climate events in India have increased by almost 200 per cent since 2005 and the worst-affected are southern States, including Tamil Nadu. India must demand climate finance for adaptation-based climate actions at COP-26.”
Environment Secretary Supriya Sahu said there was no doubt Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai and other coastal districts, is prone to extreme weather events. “We are in the process of finalising the Tamil Nadu State Action Plan on Climate Change 2.0. Tiruvannamalai and Cuddalore are selected as pilot districts for preparing district-level action plans. By the end of November, district-level plans should be ready. This is a very complex issue and has to be approached very systematically.” Chief Minister MK Stalin made this a priority area by allocating `500 crore in the budget towards the Climate Change Mission.