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Melting glaciers, sinking isles: Warming hits India

Earth News: India

Global Warming Observations

Feb 02, 2007
With India's Himalayan glaciers melting, its eastern islands sinking and FREAK RAIN flooding deserts, environmentalists say global warming is already taking its toll on this populous Asian nation. In India, the signs already back up forecasts that as the mercury rises the Indian subcontinent, home to one-sixth of humanity, will be one of the worst-affected regions. Rising temperatures will also hurt the annual June-September monsoon rains, which India is heavily dependent on for its crops. In the Sunderbans, off India's east coast, scientists say two of the 104 islands have disappeared over the past decade partially due to rising sea levels. "Both islands were inhabited and thousands of people were forced to relocate to some of the other islands." In western India, freak torrential rains flooded the desert state of Rajasthan, displacing hundreds of thousands and killing 140 people last year. Barmer district in the state recorded 58 cm (23 inches) of rainfall in just three days - more than double the average it usually receives for the entire year.

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