India is strongly affected by climate change because of its geographic characteristics as well as socio-economic factors.

Geographic characteristics

Because of its diverse climatic regions including deserts, glaciers, and the long coastline, as well as its dependency on seasonal rainfall and temperature variability, the changing patterns in rainfall and temperature affect India strongly and in multiple ways.

Socio-economic factors

A large proportion of India's inhabitants is very poor and lives in rural areas. Thus, they are directly dependent on natural resources, including water availability and soil quality. Also, important sectors for the Indian economy are highly climate-sensitive, like agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Therefore, the effects of a changing climate are strongly felt by the Indian economy and population.

Expected climate change in India

According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology there is still no full consensus among climate models concerning the extent of increased variability in monsoon rainfall due to climate change. However, some general conclusions about climate change are drawn.

The institute's model projects for 2050: 

  • An overall decrease in the number of rainy days across the major part of the country.
  • An overall increase in rainy day intensity by 1-4 mm/day, except for some areas of northwest India.
  • An increase in 1-day extreme rainfall across most of India.
  • An increase in extreme daily maximum temperature in most parts of the country. In the northern regions increases may amount to over 4°C.
  • An increase in extreme daily minimum temperature of up to 4°C; Southern peninsula, northeast India and some parts of Punjab, Haryana and Bihar will maybe exceed 4°C.

Country at a glance

Population: 1.251 billion (2015)
GDP: $2.183 trillion (2015 est.)
GDP Growth: 7.3% (2015 est.)
Inflation: 5.6% (2015 est.)