Climate change to affect forest cover: Govt report

Climate Change is going to have an adverse impact on India’s forest cover as well as the wheat production in the future,a government report to the United Nations has said

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: May 12, 2012 3:35 am

Climate Change is going to have an adverse impact on India’s forest cover as well as the wheat production in the future,a government report to the United Nations has said.

In its second National Communication on Climate Change to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,India has painted a grim picture of the impact of climate change. Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan published the report Wednesday.

The report assesses that 45 per cent of the country’s forest grids will undergo changes thanks to climate change. In the report,a digital forest map of the country was used to determine spatial location of all the forested areas. This map was based on a high-resolution mapping,wherein the entire area of India was divided into over 165,000 grids. Out of these,35,899 grids were marked as forested grids — along with the forest density and forest types.

Vulnerability assessment showed that the sensitive forested grids are spread across India. “However,their concentration is higher in the Upper Himalayan stretches,parts of Central India,northern Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats,” said the report prepared by the Environment Ministry.

Similarly,a one-degree-Celsius increase in temperature associated with increase in carbondioxide in atmosphere could hit wheat production in India unless “adaptation” strategies are adopted,the report said.

The report argued that in the absence of adaptation and CO2 fertilisation benefits,a one degree Celsius rise in temperature alone could lead to a decrease of six million tonnes of wheat production.

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