By Dr Sucharita Sen
The author is Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Of India’s more than one billion people, about 68 per cent are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture even today. Despite rapid technological interventions, about two thirds of India’s agricultural area remain rainfed and vulnerable to present day climate variability. The implications of climate change are yet not very clear, although scholars agree that global climate change will lead to greater unpredictability of weather conditions at local levels. This warrants serious deliberations on implications of climate change for agriculture in general and rural livelihoods in particular.
The Causes of Climate Change Climate change is primarily attributable to an increase in trace gases - carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, also called greenhouse gases (GHGs) that warm the atmosphere by trapping heat radiating from the earth. Human activities resulting in constantly escalating use of energy ‘subsidies’ in the form of fossil fuels and also through more economically ‘productive’ land use changes are the primary reasons for increased GHGs. These gases cause aberrations in the global carbon cycle...