GR: Impacts of declining monsoon rainfall will extend beyond India. As mentioned in the comments on this post, emigration will grow to become a gigantic problem as India’s 1.4 billion residents respond to food shortages. Decreasing life span and emigration will help with the country’s massive population problem, but not the way anyone would want.
“It has been observed that since 2001, places in northern India, especially in Rajasthan, are witnessing a rising temperature trend every year. The main reason is the excessive … emission of carbon dioxide.” — Laxman Singh Rathore, the director general of the India Meteorological Department.
The reduction in India’s monsoon rains is a big deal. It generates systemic drought, creates a prevalence for heatwaves, and locally amplifies the impacts of human-caused climate change. For three years now, the Indian monsoon has been delayed. India is experiencing its worst heatwaves ever recorded and water shortages across the country are growing dire. The monsoonal rains are coming, again late. And people across India — residents as well as weather and climate experts — are beginning to wonder if the endemic drought and heat stress will ever end.
Historically, there was only one climate condition known to bring about a delay in India’s Monsoon — El Nino. And last year, a strong El Nino is thought to have contributed both to the Monsoon’s late arrival and to a very severe drought that is now gripping the state. What the 2015 El Nino cannot also account for is the 2014 delay and weakening of monsoonal rains. And during 2016, as India’s monsoon has again been held back by 1-2 weeks, and El Nino is now but a memory, it’s beginning to become quite clear that there’s something else involved in the weakening of India’s annual rains.
“These six examples illustrate that there is no one-size-fits all approach for researchers to address today’s grand environmental challenges, but two common themes emerge. The first is that it is no longer enough to simply do the science and publish an academic paper; that is a necessary first step, but moves only halfway towards the goal of guiding the planet towards a future that is sustainable for both human civilization and the biosphere. To implement knowledge that arises from basic research, it is necessary to establish dialogues and collaborations that transcend narrow academic specialties, and bridge between academia, industry, the policy community and society in general. The second theme is that now is the time to rise to these scientific and communication challenges. The trajectories of population overgrowth, climate change, ecosystem loss, extinctions, disease, and environmental contamination have been rapidly accelerating over the past half-century. If not arrested within the next decade, their momentum may prevent us from stopping them short of disaster.” From: elementascience.org
Numerous problems arise when populations are made up of young people. Young people are more likely than middle-aged people to protest, migrate, and have children. As world population continues to grow and global resources decline, human conflicts will inevitably grow stronger. Climate scientists just declared a global climate emergency, and many people understand that we must make drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. However, few people are declaring population growth an emergency, but they should be.
Some scientists believe that it is too late to achieve a sustainable future by controlling population growth. The numbers are so large, and the need for fuel, food, and fiber is so great, that our forests and soils have become too wasted to supply needs of our current population. There is some hope. Learn more.
Here’s an excerpt from a discussion of the age-distribution problem published by the New York Times.
“AT no point in recorded history has our world been so demographically lopsided, with old people concentrated in rich countries and the young in not-so-rich countries.
“Much has been made of the challenges of aging societies. But it’s the youth bulge that stands to put greater pressure on the global economy, sow political unrest, spur mass migration and have profound consequences for everything from marriage to Internet access to the growth of cities.”–Somini Sengupta
Globally, India is the third largest carbon-emitting country—though its per capita emissions are only one third of the international average—according to the World Resources Institute.
In its action plan for the Paris COP21 meet, India pledges to reduce its carbon intensity—a measure of a country’s emissions relative to its economic output—by 35% by 2030. From: phys.org
GR: Taking a long view of developments in India, one can see that from a bright beginning in 1950, the country has descended through failure after failure. Population control has failed, living standards (health and wealth) are extremely imbalanced, and wildlife and its habitats are disappearing. As climate change adds to the other human impacts, farming will fall farther and farther behind the needs of the swelling population. By 2040 or so when emigration becomes necessary, Europe, Russia, and China will have become fortresses. Where will the people go? And we have to ask, was it all worth it? Did the urge to reproduce have to be satisfied at the cost of all else?