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

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Extreme Flooding Events and Land Cover Change

An Empirical Assessment of Western India

The author would like to thank his supervisor, T Jayaraman, for triggering his interest in climate and sustainability research, sharing his unique perspectives on the subject with the author, and supporting him all through his PhD journey. Usual disclaimer applies.

Land use change through developmental activities and deforestation is widely regarded as the primary driver of extreme flood events. This perception is typical of a reading of disasters influenced by environmentalism. The alarm bells of large-scale environmental damage are rung after every extreme event in the monsoons with little provision of a sound causal analysis to support these claims. This has led to popularising an outlook that does not see any other measure of flood control besides putting a restriction on developmental activity. The article examines how substantiated these fears are with reference to the realities of land cover change.

Many climatologists and ecologists widely regard climate change as the natures ticking time bomb. The fear is not unfounded, given the increasing frequency of extreme weather events over the past few decades. Floods, heat waves, cyclones, variability in temperature and precipitation, raging forest fires, etc, can be understood as long-term impacts of climate change. The widely perceived measure to mitigate the impact of climate change is by switching over to cleaner sources of energy production and stabilising the levels of greenhouse gases that overwhelmingly bear the responsibility for global warming. The other widely understood solution is to prevent the rate of degradation of land cover that is exacerbated by deforestation and infrastructure development and improve the globes overall carbon sequestration potential.

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Published On : 17th Jan, 2024

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