India, where one in every seventh person on the planet lives, has till date not conduct a national study on the impact of climate change, although about 600 million people are at risk from its effects.
Better late than never,in next few months of 2019, Ravindranath, a climate scientist at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is currently heading a study that will assess the impact of climate change across regions and sectors.
To frame a policy on climate change we need data.
If you want to look at the impact of climate change, say on agriculture for rice, wheat, maize, millet, pulses, so on and so forth, we still have very limited data.
Take for instance the state of Meghalaya. No study will tell you what is the impact of climate change on rice production, maize, or plantation crops.
There are climate models, but we need some data. Data are a problem.
We need to run the models for different crops with soil data, water data, climate data, crop data for that particular district. That is the kind of analysis that is required, and we do not have it.
The data that is currently available is enough to submit a report and for the government to get a broad picture of how climate change impacts the rice production or forests etc.
But for actual planning, adaptation projects, development or for helping communities to cope with climate change, you need micro level data at the panchayat or at the block level. That is still missing.
Climate change is all about future-based projections that are at least a decade ahead.
Climate change is likely to make (still we do not believe that it is happening) rainfall erratic, lead to rising seas and make extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods and heat waves ” like the one currently sweeping large parts of India ” frequent, according to the latest report of the United Nations body to assess climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).
Reference- World Bank website, IndiaSpend Report, IPCC Report,