Floods in north India cost the lives of 1900 people and displaced more than three million in 2019 according to a Global Report by Christian Aid.
The UK-based charity organisation’s report released on December 26, reveals that the floods are indicative of climate change being directly responsible for frequent incessant rains.
The report lists flood in northern India among the events with the greatest loss of life after Cyclone Idai, in Africa in March 2019 which killed 1,300 people.
The report also identifies 15 climate-related extreme weather events which include Cyclone Fani that hit India and Bangladesh. It killed 89 people and caused damage of $US8.1 billion and uprooted 10 million trees.
“Cyclone Fani was the strongest storm to make landfall in India in over 20 years, hitting India and Bangladesh from May 2 to 4, 2019, with wind speeds up to 200 km/hr and led to storm surges of 1.5 meter”, the report said.
It adds, “May and June saw $28 billion of damage in Asia. Cyclone Fani struck India and Bangladesh, parts of China experienced their highest rainfall for 60 years, and in Northern India, a stronger than usual monsoon led to floods that killed 1900 people.”
Michael Mann, Professor at Pennsylvania State University, said that 2019 saw profound weather events around the world. “With each day now we are seemingly reminded of the cost of climate inaction in the form of ever-threatening climate change-spiked weather extremes,” Mann said.
On August 28, 2018, Christian Aid’s report on Kerela floods directly linked global warming to the extreme rainfall in the state.
Dr Kat Kramer, Global Lead on Climate Change at the Christian Aid said, “Science tells us that India and South Asia can expect more flooding events like the ones in Kerala, as global warming continues. Studies also show that climate change could lead to a reduction in winter rainfall in India, causing drought in the dry summer months, and an increase in the monsoon season, leading to more flood.”
In the present global climate report, Kramer said that 2020 is going is to be a huge year for how the world responds to the growing climate crisis.
Dr Doreen Stabinsky, Professor of global environmental politics at the College of the Atlantic, referred to the report as a warning against the use of fossil fuels. He said that the cost of climate change, both economic and human will continue to rise unless we stop burning fossil fuels.
“It is no wonder youth around the world are taking to the streets to demand that we write a different story towards a better future – a story where we take urgent and immediate actions now to stop the emissions that are leading to these devastating disasters,” Stabinsky added.