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World Environment Day: Maharashtra witness highest deaths due to extreme weather, says CSE

According to CSE, the year had many more warning signs of the calamity that is confronting the nation, says the report:

Sharbani Banerjee | New Delhi |

Maharashtra suffered the most deaths due to extreme weather events in 2021, stated a report released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

Of over 1,700 people who lost their lives to extreme weather events (lightning and thunderstorms, cyclones, floods, heavy rains and landslides) in India in 2021, 350 were from Maharashtra. Odisha followed with 223 casualties; and in Madhya Pradesh, 191 lives were lost.

To mark the World Environment Day, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), has released some startling figures over the impact of climate change which has drastically affected our environment.

According to CSE, the year had many more warning signs of the calamity that is confronting the nation, says the report:

Mercury rising: The past decade (2011-2020/2012-2021) was India’s warmest decade on record. Eleven out of the 15 warmest years were in the last 15 years (2007-21).

India recorded its fifth warmest year in 2021 when the average temperature remained 0.44°C above normal (1981-2010 average). The country was 0.71°C warmer than normal in 2016, India’s warmest ever year.

In 2021, the country also had its third hottest March ever, and in 2022, March temperatures beat all previous records.

Just five states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana – accounted for 54 per cent of the heatwave days in the country.

Melting glaciers: There are 25 glacial lake and waterbodies across India, China and

Nepal that have recorded more than 40 per cent increase in their water spread areas since 2009 pose a grave threat to seven Indian states and Union territories and need to be monitored closely, says the report.

Dipping expenditures: There has been an almost 30 per cent reduction in India’s expenditure on natural calamities in 2021-22, compared to 2020-21. In six states and UTs, the cut-down has been over 50 per cent, while it has been over 70 per cent in another five.