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Impacts of Climate Change under the Threat of Global Warming for an Agricultural Watershed of the Kangsabati River

Authors: Sujana Dhar, Asis Mazumdar


The effects of global warming on India vary from the submergence of low-lying islands and coastal lands to the melting of glaciers in the Indian Himalayas, threatening the volumetric flow rate of many of the most important rivers of India and South Asia. In India, such effects are projected to impact millions of lives. As a result of ongoing climate change, the climate of India has become increasingly volatile over the past several decades; this trend is expected to continue. Climate change is one of the most important global environmental challenges, with implications for food production, water supply, health, energy, etc. Addressing climate change requires a good scientific understanding as well as coordinated action at national and global level. The climate change issue is part of the larger challenge of sustainable development. As a result, climate policies can be more effective when consistently embedded within broader strategies designed to make national and regional development paths more sustainable. The impact of climate variability and change, climate policy responses, and associated socio-economic development will affect the ability of countries to achieve sustainable development goals. A very well calibrated Soil and Water Assessment Tool (R2 = 0.9968, NSE = 0.91) was exercised over the Khatra sub basin of the Kangsabati River watershed in Bankura district of West Bengal, India, in order to evaluate projected parameters for agricultural activities. Evapotranspiration, Transmission Losses, Potential Evapotranspiration and Lateral Flow to reach are evaluated from the years 2041-2050 in order to generate a picture for sustainable development of the river basin and its inhabitants. India has a significant stake in scientific advancement as well as an international understanding to promote mitigation and adaptation. This requires improved scientific understanding, capacity building, networking and broad consultation processes. This paper is a commitment towards the planning, management and development of the water resources of the Kangsabati River by presenting detailed future scenarios of the Kangsabati river basin, Khatra sub basin, over the mentioned time period. India-s economy and societal infrastructures are finely tuned to the remarkable stability of the Indian monsoon, with the consequence that vulnerability to small changes in monsoon rainfall is very high. In 2002 the monsoon rains failed during July, causing profound loss of agricultural production with a drop of over 3% in India-s GDP. Neither the prolonged break in the monsoon nor the seasonal rainfall deficit was predicted. While the general features of monsoon variability and change are fairly well-documented, the causal mechanisms and the role of regional ecosystems in modulating the changes are still not clear. Current climate models are very poor at modelling the Asian monsoon: this is a challenging and critical region where the ocean, atmosphere, land surface and mountains all interact. The impact of climate change on regional ecosystems is likewise unknown. The potential for the monsoon to become more volatile has major implications for India itself and for economies worldwide. Knowledge of future variability of the monsoon system, particularly in the context of global climate change, is of great concern for regional water and food security. The major findings of this paper were that of all the chosen projected parameters, transmission losses, soil water content, potential evapotranspiration, evapotranspiration and lateral flow to reach, display an increasing trend over the time period of years 2041- 2050.

Keywords: Change, future water availability scenario, modeling, SWAT, global warming, sustainability.

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