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Ecosystem Map Reveals Central India Most Vulnerable To Climate Change

GUWAHATI:  For the first time, ecosystem resilience map of India from 2000-2014 have been prepared using high resolution remote sensing satellite data for all river basins. This study found that two-third of the India’s terrestrial ecosystems is not resilient to drought. 

The maps were developed by a team led by Dr. Manish Kumar Goyal from the Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam. The results were published in Global Change Biology, a journal from the Wiley group.

The Central India was found to be the most vulnerable to climate change and water limiting conditions. An increasing trend in the droughts in India, witnessed over the recent years, is expected to increase both in terms of frequency and severity in future under climate change. 

“The non-resilient characteristics shown by ecosystems in India may result in to the reduction in primary production in future, which could pose a serious challenge in terms of carbon sequestration, crop production, and food security”, Dr. Goyal says. Parts of northwestern, northeastern and southern India are found resilient, leaving rest of the country non-resilient to droughts. 

Analysis of data makes it clear that forests have higher resilience to withstand the climatic disturbances. The deforestation activities, in the name of economic development and expansion of agriculture, will result in making country more vulnerable to climate change. 

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