MASSACHUSETTS: The growing climate change will largely affect South Asia particularly India, Pakistan and India as according to scientists these countries will be destroyed by deadly heatwaves in decades to come.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) predict that the whole of South Asia including the northern part of India would be inhabitable.
The scientists have warned that in next few decades, key agricultural areas in the Indus and Ganges river basins will be affected, which will result in reduced crop yields and famine.
“Climate change is not an abstract concept, it is impacting huge numbers of vulnerable people,” MIT professor Elfatih Eltahir told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“Business as usual runs the risk of having extremely lethal heat waves.”
As of now, only 2% of India’s population is exposed to extreme weather but by 2100 about 70% of the people will suffer. As per media reports, around 3500 people were killed by heat waves in 2015. Projections show the Gulf region will be the world’s hottest region by 2100 as a result of climate change.
However, Gulf will be able to battle it out, thanks to its wealthy populations and oil rich status. While there is no verdict on migration, but the study suggests that millions of people from South Asia and mostly from North India and Pakistan will be forced to leave their homes and settle elsewhere.
The report has called for an immediate action plan that would help to keep the regions cooler for an extended period of time.
The study does not directly address migration but researchers said it is likely that millions of people in South Asia will be forced to move due to blistering temperatures and crop failures unless steps are taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Disaster experts from South Asian countries met in Pakistan last month to launch a toolkit to help city governments develop ways to manage the impact of heatwaves in urban areas.
Ahmedabad, in western India, has already introduced a heat action plan – South Asia’s first early warning system against extreme heatwaves.
Authorities in the city of 5.5 million have mapped areas with vulnerable populations and set up “cooling spaces” in temples, public buildings and malls during the summer.