Government of Mahrashtra has identified the most vulnerable district of the state that will be affected by climate change in the coming time – Nandurbar. The name of the district is mentioned in the state vulnerability index , issued by the Maharashtra government based on the variabilities in temperature, rainfall and humidity levels projected for 2030, 2050 and 2070, as studied by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).The government has pulled up their socks and undertaken improvement of overall forest cover, identifying water deficient areas and initiating water conservation measures along with studying the feasibility of switching to alternate energy sources like solar and wind power.It is well known fact that climate is changing with ever rising speed, record breaking heat has been recorded at various places in India and elsewhere in year 2015-2016. According to the scientists of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), the rainfall variation over Marathwada has been observed on a yearly basis.However, Kulkarni highlighted the warming trend observed over minimum temperatures over Maharashtra.“Marathwada typically receives anywhere between 600mm and 650mm rainfall annually. Though there are annual and inter-seasonal variations in the rainfall observed, the overall rainfall has not shown any decline in the last 150 years,” said Ashwini Kulkarni, senior scientist at the Centre for Climate Change Research at IITM.She said, “While the maximum temperatures are rising, what we have also found is that the nights, too, are rapidly warming.” Some of the other districts, which will have poor resilience to climate change as mentioned in this index, include Dhule, Buldhana, Jalgaon, Hingoli, Nashik, Jalana, Gondiya, Washim and Gadchiroli. The TERI report has projected rising humidity levels during 2030s, 2050s and 2070s, posing adverse effects on agriculture. Some of the crops most likely to be inflicted by pests include pomegranate, grapes, orange, banana and mango.“With the rising temperature and humidity, the chances of standing crops falling prey to pest and other diseases are higher. The rising threat is hailstorm and the union government has directed the formation of a mitigation plan in this regard,” he said. Cotton, lentils, grapes, groundnut during both kharif and rabi seasons are some of the most cultivated crops in Nandurbar, Dhule, Jalgaon and Nashik districts. The renewed plan is hopeful of improving people’s participation, especially in forest conservation under the special sensitisation programme titled ‘My forest, my water’.
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