The recent impact of climate change might affect West Bengal in terms of biodiversity loss that might even lead to the loss of many species, feels an expert in the field.
According to Dr Anjal Prakash, research director with the Bharti Institute of Public Policy, Indian School of Business, though West Bengal is known for its rich biodiversity, climate change is expected to lead to the loss of many species. "This could have significant implications for ecosystems, as well as for human livelihoods," said Prakash.
His observations are based on his analysis of the 6th assessment report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where Prakash is himself an author.
Another probable impact of climate change, according to Prakash, could be coastal erosion. "West Bengal has a long coastline, and rising sea levels due to climate change could lead to coastal erosion. This could have significant implications for communities living along the coast, as well as for infrastructure and the economy," he said.
He has also apprehended that since West Bengal is highly dependent on rainfall, the changes in the precipitation patterns due to climate change could lead to water scarcity. "This could have significant implications for agriculture, which is a major source of livelihood for many people in the state," Prakash added.
Finally, he has also forecast frequent heat waves in West Bengal, which, according to him, might pose health risks for vulnerable sections of the population. "West Bengal is already known for its hot and humid climate, but climate change is expected to lead to even higher temperatures," he added.
Commenting on the national context, he said that as per the 6th assessment report of IPCC, each fraction of warming will have catastrophic impacts on the lives and livelihoods of people in the country.
"India has about 400 million people, especially those from marginalised societies, that are most vulnerable to climate change residing in coastal zones and those having agricultural incomes, and this trend is very alarming for the country," he added.
( 350 Words)