October 08, 2010


The detection of climate change is the process of demonstrating that an observed change is significantly different from what can be explained by natural variability. It does not necessarily imply that its causes are understood. The climate change can be attributed to anthropogenic causes and at the same time there are non-climate drivers such as land use, land degradation, urbanisation and pollution, affect systems directly and indirectly through their effects on climate.

The socio-economic processes that drive land-use change include population growth, economic development, trade and migration, which are proceeding at an unprecedented rate in India. Land-use changes hamper range-shift responses of species to climate change, leading to an extra loss of biodiversity. Additional land-use changes have been linked to changes in air quality and pollution taht affect the greenhouse process itself. It can also strongly magnify the effects of extreme climate events, e.g., heat mortality, injuries/fatalities from storms, and ecologically mediated infectious diseases.

There are also a large number of socio-economic factors that can influence, obscure or enhance the observed impacts of climate change and that must be taken into account when seeking a climate signal or explaining observations of impacts and even adaptations. For example, the noted effects of sea-level rise and extreme events are much greater when they occur in regions with large populations, inadequate infrastructure, or high property prices. The observed impacts of climate change on agriculture are largely determined by the ability of producers to access or afford irrigation, alternate crop varieties, markets, insurance, fertilisers and agricultural extension, or to abandon agriculture for alternate livelihoods. Demography (e.g., the elderly and the very young), poverty (e.g., malnutrition and poor living conditions), preventive technologies (e.g., pest control and immunisation), and healthcare institutions influence the impacts of climate change on humans.


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