Global warming to induce extreme drought across India: report

A new World Bank report warns that global warming could lead to more extreme droughts across large parts of India, causing widespread food shortages and hardship in the country, over the next few decades.

The report said the impact of a possible global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius in the next few decades threatened to trap millions of people in poverty.

The rising temperatures would also drive regular food shortages in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Shifting rain patterns in South Asia from the  warming could leave some parts under water, while others would see a paucity of water for power generation, irrigation, or drinking, the report said.

"Events like the devastating Pakistan floods of 2010, which affected more than 20 million people, could become common place. More extreme droughts in large parts of India could lead to widespread food shortages and hardship," the report said.

Another impact of climate change could be degradation and loss of reefs in South East Asia possibly reducing fish stocks and coastal communities, while rendering cities more vulnerable to increasingly violent storms, it said.

The new report adds to a World Bank report released late last year, which projected a warming by 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century if concerted action was not taken right away.

Meanwhile, the World Bank said today that the world needed to stop arguing over whether humans were causing climate change and start taking action to rein in dangerous temperature rise, the president of the World Bank said today.

According to Jim Yong Kim, there was a 97 to 98 per cent agreement among scientists that global warming was real and caused by human activity.

"If you disagree with the science of human-caused climate change you are not disagreeing that there is anthropogenic climate change. What you are disagreeing with is science itself," Kim told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in London.

"It is time to stop arguing about whether (climate change) is real or not," he said.

According to a study last month, 97 per cent of around 4,000 scientific reports giving an opinion about the cause of climate change since the 1990s said it was mainly human. Sceptics said the survey wrongly omitted thousands of papers which did not give a view.

Governments across the world have agreed to cap global temperature increase to under 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).