Cold wave attributed to global warming

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 12, 2008 16:28 hrs

Mumbai: The recent cold wave sweeping across Mumbai and other parts of India could be attributed to global warming, experts said on Tuesday here at an environmental conference.

Addressing the ‘Combat Global Warming’ conference at the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) here, former Union minister for power and environment Suresh Prabhu said global warming was primarily a problem created and induced by human beings.

He said the increase in emission of green house gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and methane had resulted in the situation, which could prove catastrophic if unchecked.

Prabhu said the cold wave that swept Maharashtra and other parts of India recently could be attributed to the phenomenon of global warming.

He said global warming had already affected agriculture and water availability in various parts of the country. "A recent study revealed that 70 percent of India's water bodies are polluted," Prabhu said.

The former minister said India was one of the world's top five polluters, which also include the US, European nations and Japan.

IMC president Niraj Bajaj said the fluctuating climatic conditions due to global warming posed a threat to the very survival of the planet.

To drive home his point, he quoted Mahatma Gandhi: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

Environmental scientist Emmanuel D'Silva said Mumbai and Kolkata were among the ten worst cities in the world with regard to environmental pollution and sanitation.

"It is estimated by the year 2050, another seven million persons are expected to take refuge in Mumbai after global warming leads to either a drought or deluge in their village or city elsewhere in the country," D'Silva said.