Climate change is a scientific challenge, says expert

Udhagamandalam: Students and residents of this hill station got some valuable insight into various aspects of climate change thanks to a lecture, organised by the British Council, the Nilgiris Documentation Centre and the Rotary Clubs in the Nilgiris district here on Friday.

The Emeritus Professor of Climate Modelling Lord Julian Hunt delivered the lecture.

Understanding how the climate is changing in different ways around the world and how these variations will evolve is a great scientific challenge of our time, including the possibilities of changes to the Indian monsoon and El Nino climatic effects, he said.

Problems relating to climate change surfaced in the 1980s but nobody took them seriously then. Only about ten years ago did the world start understanding the importance of the issue.

Though human beings destroy the environment they also possess the capacity to think ahead. Variations have to be monitored in detail and considered carefully in investigating appropriate future policies especially for adaptation.

These policies have to be integrated with other policies, technologies and political considerations needed to ensure overall sustainable development, including reduction of air pollution, economic growth and mitigation of green house gas emission.

Down memory lane

Lord Julian also recalled his association with the Nilgiris and took a walk down memory lane.

The Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, M.R. Srinivasan, referred to the unusually heavy downpour experienced in Ketti area near here recently and the questions that it raised.

The vice-president, Nilgiris Wildlife and Environment Association, Geetha Srinivasan, who presided, said while climate change is a process of nature which has been going on for billions of years, the speed at which humanity is driving the process may result in mankind becoming the last of the endangered species on Earth.

According to her, a change can be brought about only with the efforts of individuals. Changes in individual lifestyles of people can change the situation.

The Nilgiris being a unique area needs a special district planning authority.

The Director, Nilgiris Documentation Centre, Dharmalingam Venugopal, said that climate change and survival are now inextricably intertwined.



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