Impacts of Global Warming in India: Narratives from Below
This chapter uses ethnographic and documentary material to provide glimpses of how people experience, talk about, and negotiate climate change and increased variability in different parts of India. Using this approach, it aims to provide a qualitative narrative of some key, current impacts of global warming from below. What people say, combined with evidence from the scientific literature, increasingly indicates that its effects are already severely impacting ecosystems and lives, particularly the underclasses and others least responsible. Four key impacts are presented – sea level rise in the Sunderbans, shifts in the location of other species, effects across the Himalayan range, and the Uttarakhand disaster of 2013 in which several thousand people were killed. It is deeply concerning that these, and numerous other impacts currently experienced in different parts of India, are observed at 0.8⁰C of average warming. Much greater urgency in dealing with global warming is clearly warranted.
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