chapter  19
18 Pages

Climate Change and Indian Agriculture

Climate Change ............................................................................ 320 Keywords .............................................................................................. 324 References ............................................................................................. 324

19.1 INTRODUCTION

Significant variation in either mean state of climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer) is referred as climate change, which may be due to natural internal processes or external forcing or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use (NRAA, 2014). Climate change is being perceived as greatest threat to mankind in twenty-first century however, its nature, extent and magnitude are variable in different regions and locations. Indian agriculture is very diverse due to wide range in edapho-climatic conditions. Over the past century, surface temperatures have risen, and associated impacts on physical and biological systems are increasingly being observed (PRC, 2007). Rise in temperature shall enhance respiration rate, reduce crop duration, alter physiology of flowering, fruiting and hasten ripening and maturity which may adversely affect the crop productivity and adaptability. Earlier studies conducted in India also generally confirm the trend of agricultural decline with climate change (Sinha, 1993). Climatic extremes like droughts, floods, tropical cyclones, heavy precipitation events, hot extremes and heat waves are mainly originated and triggered by climate change causes negative impact on agricultural production. It has been projected by the recent report of the IPCC and a few other global studies that unless we adapt, there is a probability of 1040% loss in crop production in India by 2080-2100 due to global warming despite beneficial aspects of increased CO2 (Parry et al., 2004). According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report of 2007 (AR4), climate change can reduce agricultural yields as much as 50% under rainfed farming. In India rainfed agro-ecologies contribute 60% of the net sown area (Vision, 2050) hence climate change is expected to cause serious difficulties for Indian agriculture.