ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Climate Change and the Uttarakhand Disaster

The India Climate Justice Collective notes with deep anguish the devastating loss of life, livelihoods and homes in Uttarakhand and beyond.

The tragedy was triggered by extreme unseasonal rains in north India, two to three weeks in advance of what is normal for this region. The director of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Dehradun, said that 340 mm of rain fell in a single day at Dehradun. Such extreme and unseasonal rainfall seems to us to indicate a global warming-induced climate change phenomenon. Warmer air due to global warming has the capacity to hold more moisture, leading to more intense bursts of rainfall. The natural monsoon cycle in India has already been badly disrupted, and a new cycle of extreme rainfall events and prolonged droughts has been reported from all over the country in the recent past. Thus, contrary to statements by senior politicians, the Uttarakhand disaster is not natural: it is no less man-made than the other contributors to the tragedy.

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