Photo by Mustafa Yasser / Unsplash

Long-term changes in temperature and weather patterns are referred to as climate change. Climate change harms India's agriculture sector at a larger level.

According to the findings, most Indian farmers have seen an increase in temperature as well as unpredictably decreased rainfall. Indian farmers appear to have implemented a broad range of systemic and gradual adaptation techniques. It is also becoming increasingly typical to implement transformational modifications, such as substantial adjustments to land use, resource and labour allocations, employment patterns, and cropping systems.

A recent study contends that significant investments within the Indian agricultural industry, in general, are required to prevent maladaptive outcomes and promote long-term sustainability. To attain food security and farmers' well-being, it is also essential for policies to be successful by analysing farmers' views of and adjustments to changing climatic conditions and their outcomes.

Impact of climate change on soil

  • Plant life depends on soils, which also support ecosystems and agriculture.
  • Soils will be affected by climate change, which will impact soil porosity, organic carbon, nutrients, and alkalinity.
  • The reporting of carbon dioxide emissions from the soil, which is a crucial way for NSW to reach its Net Zero Emissions target by 2050, is affected by the declining soil carbon as a result of climate change.
  • By employing sustainable soil management concepts, agriculture managers may be able to minimize the effects of these changes and manage their properties to maximize soil health. Principles include reforestation, controlling water and nutrient cycles, and picking the right crops.

How has climate change affected soils throughout NSW?

Changes in temperature and rainfall have an impact on a variety of soil qualities. Thus, anticipated climate changes will have an impact on our soils.

Our vegetation and water quality will be impacted by the degradation of our soils. Additionally, it will impact the output of our agriculture.

Adapting to better soil management:

To reduce the consequences of climate change on our soils, ecology, and economy, careful soil management will be necessary. Landowners and managers can improve soil health by applying sustainable soil management techniques. The principles consist of:

  • Limit erosion, safeguard soil against physical, chemical, and biological deterioration, and prevent deforestation.
  • Repair of the soil in affected regions
  • Maintain the soil ecosystem's operations as well as water availability and quality.
  • Boost soil productivity in line with its natural capacities.

Climate change's effects on water resources

Water resources are essential to both nature and mankind. To maintain our health, we require a consistent, clean drinking water supply. Water is also necessary for agriculture, the development of energy, navigation, leisure, and manufacturing. Many of these applications impose stress on water resources, and climate change is expected to make matters worse.

Climate change is predicted to cause water supply shortages and increased water demand in many places. It would be difficult for water managers to balance the requirements of expanding communities, fragile ecosystems, growers, ranchers, energy providers, and manufacturers at the same time. In other places, runoff, flooding, and sea level rise will be more of an issue than water shortages. The infrastructures that we employ to transport and supply water might be damaged by these effects, which can also lower the quality of the water.

Given that global temperatures are rising and evaporation rates are rising, climate change is probably driving some elements of the hydrological cycle to accelerate. On average, more precipitation is occurring due to increased evaporation.

In some parts of the world, evaporation and precipitation rates are higher. As the typical locations for rain belts and deserts vary in reaction to a changing climate, certain areas may get more precipitation than usual, while other areas could become more susceptible to droughts. According to certain climate projections, the centres of continents would get drier while coastal areas would become wetter. Additionally, some models predict increased rainfall and evaporation.

Climate change-related warming and rising levels of carbon dioxide may hasten plant development in areas with sufficient moisture and nutrients. This could result in increased transpiration, which is the discharge of water vapour into the atmosphere by plants as a result of photosynthesis.

GHG Emissions

It is commonly known that greenhouse gas (GHG) production contributes to climate change. India is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the USA and China.

International Energy Agency data shows that India's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for 2018 were 2,299 million t. This is responsible for 7% of the world's GHG emissions.

The production and consumption of agricultural inputs (primarily water, fertilizers, and pesticides), farm machinery, soil disturbances, residue management, irrigation, and irrigation-related activities account for the majority of agriculture's GHG emissions during the primary production stage.

India’s Climate Change Action Plan

Over the last three decades, there has been an increase in the number of extreme precipitation events as well as a rise in the mean temperature across all of India. The production of important crops varies as a result in different years.

Under the National Technologies in Climate Smart Agriculture program, the consequences of climate change on Indian agriculture were investigated (NICRA). In India, it is anticipated that irrigated rice yields will increase by 7% in 2050 and 10% in 2080 scenarios, while rainfed rice yields will decrease somewhat (2.5% in each scenario). Additionally, maize yields are predicted to drop by 18–23% and wheat yields by 6–25% in 2100. Chickpea productivity is predicted to grow by 23-54% in future climates.

On June 30, 2008, the Indian government unveiled its National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), which outlined eight national missions on the issue. This consist of:

  • Mission Solar National
  • Enhanced National Energy Efficiency Mission
  • National Sustainable Housing Mission
  • Mission National Water
  • A national organization dedicated to preserving the Himalayan ecosystem
  • India's National Green Mission
  • Governmental Agency for Sustainable Agriculture
  • National Mission for Strategic Climate Change Knowledge

The Department of Science and Technology will coordinate two of the eight national climate change projects which are:

  • National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystems (NMSHE) and
  • National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC)

Projected scenarios for climate change

A study predicts that by the year 2100, the mean temperature in India will rise by 2.4–4.4 degrees Celsius, while summer heat waves will likely triple or quadruple. According to the most recent data from the US IFPRI on July 21, the average land production is decreasing as the temperature rises.

According to reports, the South Asian region's annual mean temperatures were expected to increase by 1.2 to 4.3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century (under low- and high-emission scenarios). The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) released research titled "The 2022 Global Food Policy Report" that states that South Asia is a climate change hotspot with numerous climate-induced hazards that are exacerbated by considerable current vulnerabilities.

According to the statement, all countries in the region have ratified the Paris Agreement, although national policies vary. It was claimed that COVID-19 has led to a significant decline in investments related to climate change and that all South Asian countries are falling behind in implementing important measures that would directly support climate adaptation and mitigation within the region. The report claims that the century-long temperature increase in South Asia has been well documented and that the prognosis is dismal.

A transformation to sustainable consumption and production as well as improved livelihoods are essential for the future of global food systems. For more insights follow PriceVision.