ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Climate Change: Challenges Facing India's Poor

Briefly summarising the existing literature on the causes and the characteristics of expected climate changes in India over the coming years, this paper discusses the ways in which these changes might affect the lives of the poor. Rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, and an increased frequency of floods and droughts are likely to have serious effects on rural populations in the absence of policies that actively help these households adjust to their changing geography. Survey data from villages affected by the Kosi flood of 2008 is used to speculate on how households and governments are likely to respond to unexpected weather events. The flood in Bihar rendered much of the land in the area uncultivable and resulted in large-scale unemployment. The state, while effective in providing immediate relief to flood victims, has done little to help the rural population adapt to their changed geography.

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