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2015-like heatwave could hit India again, warns Climate change report

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    New Delhi, Oct 8: India could face an annual threat of deadly heatwaves, similar to the one in 2015 that had left around 2,500 people dead, if the world gets warmer by 2 degree Celsius over pre-industrial levels, a United Nations report stated. The report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Monday.

    In the Indian subcontinent, the IPCC report specifically mentions Kolkata and Karachi among cities that could face an increased threat of heat waves.

    2015-like heatwave could hit India again, warns Climate change report

    "Karachi and Kolkata can expect annual conditions equivalent to their deadly 2015 heat waves. Climate change is significantly contributing to increased heat-related mortality," Times of India quoted the report as saying.

    Also Read | No impact on India after US withdraws from Paris agreement: Official

    According to the IPCC's report, global warming of 1.5ºC-2°C is going to worsen the situation in the city where conditions comparable to the deadly 2015 heatwave are expected, along with unavoidable poverty and health risks that come with global warming.

    It said, "Climate-related risks for natural and human systems are higher for global warming of 1.5 degree C than at present, but lower than 2 degree C. These risks depend on the magnitude and rate of warming, geographic location, level of development and vulnerability, and on the choices and implementation of adaptation and mitigation options".

    The report also enlists ways to slow down the warming process and limit the rise to 1.5 degree Celsius by 2100 - well below the 2 degree Celsius rise which is the intended goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

    Earth's surface has warmed one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) - enough to lift oceans and unleash a crescendo of deadly storms, floods and droughts - and is on track toward an unliveable 3C or 4C rise.

    At current levels of greenhouse gas emissions, we could pass the 1.5C marker as early as 2030, and no later than mid-century, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) reported with "high confidence".

    Also Read | Climate change 'running faster than we are': UN Secretary

    At current levels of greenhouse gas emissions, we could pass the 1.5C marker as early as 2030, and no later than mid-century, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) reported with "high confidence".

    "The next few years are probably the most important in human history," Debra Roberts, head of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department in Durban, South Africa, and an IPCC co-chair, told AFP.

    A Summary for Policymakers of the 400-page tome underscores how quickly global warming has outstripped humanity's attempt to tame it, and outlines paradigm-shift options for avoiding the worst ravages of a climate-addled future.

    Before the Paris Agreement was inked in 2015, nearly a decade of scientific research rested on the assumption that 2C was the guardrail for a climate-safe world. The IPCC report, however, shows that global warming impacts have come sooner and hit harder than predicted.

    "Things that scientists have been saying would happen further in the future are happening now," Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, told AFP. To have at least a 50/50 chance of staying under the 1.5C cap without overshooting the mark, the world must, by 2050, become "carbon neutral," according to the report.

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