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India stares at water scarcity, extreme heat stress: Report fromIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Among Asian cities, Ahmedabad faces a high risk from the so-called urban heat island effect (urban centres seeing higher temperatures compared to surrounding areas) and Mumbai is at high risk from floods and sea level rise, the IPCC has said.

The Ganga, Indus, Amu Darya and other river basins in Asia could face severe water scarcity by 2050 due to climate crisis

 The Ganga, Indus, Amu Darya and other river basins in Asia could face severe water scarcity by 2050 due to climate crisis and related impacts that act as stress multipliers, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned on Monday.

The climate crisis is already increasing vector-borne and water-borne diseases, undernutrition, mental disorders and allergic diseases in Asia by increasing the hazards such as heatwaves, flooding and drought, air pollution, in combination with higher exposure and vulnerability, IPCC’s report titled “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” flagged.

 Infant mortality will rise

“Extreme heat puts additional load on the circulatory system which has to do additional work to cool the body via perspiration. This may lead to dehydration and increased metabolism. Excess heat may be linked to increase or exacerbation of complications of diabetes due to dehydration and increased metabolism. Infant mortality will rise because children are not able to control their body temperature well. Their bodies can get overheated during heat waves,” said DilipMalvankar, director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Gujarat.

Habitat loss of animals and plants due to the climate crisis

There has also been biodiversity or habitat loss of animals and plants due to the climate crisis in some parts of Asia. Future climate change would cause greater biodiversity and habitat loss in many parts of Asia, modelling studies indicate. The risk of irreversible loss of coral reefs, tidal marshes, seagrass meadows, plankton communities and other marine and coastal ecosystems will increase.

Climate change caused loss to infrastructure

Climate change caused loss to infrastructure, disruption in services and affected supply chains in Asia and will increase risk to infrastructure further -- even as it creates opportunities to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure and green jobs, the report said.
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