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CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS IN KERALA-AN OVERVIEW Dr.Roy Kunjappy Convenor, FANSA-Kerala Chapter/ Director CCHR Centre for Community Health Research (CCHR), – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Dr.Roy KunjappyConvenor, FANSA-Kerala Chapter/
    Director CCHR
  • Centre for Community Health Research (CCHR),
  • Sadanathil bungalow, Vettikavala, Kottarakara ,
  • Kollam ,Kerala India. Tel 91 474 2403358 Mob

Kerala- Map
Kerala Geography
  • Location Kerala is a small strip of land lying
    at the south-west corner of India. It lies to the
    north of the equator between 8 18' and 12 48'
    north latitude and 74 52' and 77 24' east
  • Extend Kerala extends over an area of 38,863 which is only 1.03 percent of the total
    area of India. It has a total coastline of 580
    km. Its width varies greatly from west to east.
    It is about 120 kilometres at its maximum and
    just 30 kilometres at its minimum.

  • Kerala is divided into three geographical
  • Highlands
  • Midlands
  • Lowlands

  • The Highlands slope down from the Western Ghats
    (also known as the Sahyadri) which rise to an
    average height of 900m, with a number of peaks
    well over 1800 m in height. It is 18650 in
    area and accounts for 48 percent of the total
    land area of Kerala.
  • This is the area of major plantations like tea,
    coffee, rubber and various spices. This area is
    often known as the Cardamom Hills. This region is
    one of the largest producers of many spices
    especially cardamom from which it earns its name
  • Most of the rivers of Kerala originate from the
    Western Ghats.

  • The Midlands, lying between the mountains and the
    lowlands, is made up of undulating hills and
    valleys. It is 16200 in area ie, about 40
    percent of the total land area.
  • This is an area of intensive cultivation. Cashew,
    coconut, arecanut, tapioca, banana and vegetables
    of different varieties are grown in this area.

  • Lowlands are also known as the Coastal Area. It
    covers an area of almost 4000 It is made
    up of numerous shallow lagoons known locally as
    kayels, river deltas, backwaters and shores of
    the Arabian sea and is essentially a land of
    coconuts and rice.
  • This area is very fertile and most of the paddy
    cultivation is along this area. Kuttanad region
    of Kerala is one of the very few places in India
    where cultivation is done below sea level.

  • Although Kerala lies close to the equator, its
    proximity with the sea and the presence of the
    fort like Western Ghats, provides it with an
    equable climate which varies little from season
    to season.
  • The temperature varies from 28 to 32 C.
    Southwest Monsoon and Retreating Monsoon (
    Northeast Monsoon ) are the main rainy seasons.

Climatic seasons
  • The temperature in Kerala normally ranges from
    28 to 32 C (82 to 90 F) on the plains but
    drops to about 20 C (68 F) in the highlands.
  • Owing to its diversity in geographical features,
    the climatic condition in Kerala is diverse. It
    can be divided into 4 seasons - Winter, Summer,
    South-West Monsoon and North-East Monsoon.

Climate in Kerala
  • Kerala receives an average rainfall of 118 inches
    (3,000 millimeters) annually.
  • The rainfall amount in the State decreases
    towards the south with decrease of height of
    Western Ghats. The southern most district of
    Thiruvananthapuram where Western Ghats are
    nearest to the sea coast and its average height
    is also least in the State receives minimum
    amount of rainfall.
  • Kerala would have been a dry land because of the
    dry winds blowing from the north, but for the
    Western Ghats which prevent this wind from
    entering the land.

Temperature rise
  • Temperature data for seven IMD stations of kerala
    were collected from National Data Centre of IMD,
    Pune from 1956 to 2004.(49years)
  • There was an increase in maximum temperature over
    Kerala by 0.64 C during the period of 49 years,
  • Increase in minimum temperature was 0.23 C.
  • Overall increase in annual average temperature
    was 0.44 C.
  • It indicated a clear upward trend in surface air
    temperature of Kerala

Temperature rise
  • Between 1961 and 2003 ( India Meteorological
    Department ) the mean annual maximum temperature
    over Kerala has risen by 0.8 degree centigrade,
  • The mean annual minimum temperature has risen
    by 0.2 degree Celsius and
  • The average increase by 0.5 degree centigrade

Temperature riseIndian Institute of Tropical
  • Place of study Kozhikode (North
    Kerala)Trivandrum(South Kerala)
  • Period of study 19012007
  • Annual max. temp. of North kerala increased by celsius per 100 years
  • Annual max.temp. of South kerala increased by celsius per 100 years
  • The increase in temp. was 0.4 degree celsius per
    decade during the past three and half decades

INCCAReport 2010
  • Indian Network of Climate Change Assessment
    Report-November 2010
  • Climate Change and India A 4X4 Assessment -A
    sectoral and regional analysis for 2030s

Temperature-(IMD)Indian Meteorological
All-India annual mean, maximum and minimum
temperature variations during 1901-2007
Increase in temperature projected
  • Projections for the 2030s indicate an all-round
    warming over the Indian subcontinent associated
    with increasing GHG concentrations.
  • The annual mean surface air temperature is
    projected to rise by 1.7C and 2.0C in 2030s

Western coastal region
  • In the western coastal region, mean annual
    temperatures are likely to increase from a
    minimum of 26.80.4oC to 27.50.4oC in the 2030s.
  • The rise in temperature with respect to the 1970s
    will be between 1.7oC and 1.8oC

  • Kerala showed decreasing trend in monsoon
    rainfall for the period 1901-2007
  • After 1999,rainfall was below long term average
    rainfall (except in 2006)
  • Another study showed that Kerala experienced
    decline in annual monsoon rainfall during the
    recent past decades(1961 and 2003 )

Projected increase in precipitation (INCCA
  • All the regions namely the Himalayan region, the
    Western Ghats, the Coastal Area and the
    North-East Region in India show a small increase
    in annual precipitation in the 2030s with respect
    to the baseline, that is 1970s.

Coastal region
  • Projections for the western coast indicate a
    variation in rainfall from 935185.33mm to
    1794247mm, which is an increase of 68 with
    respect to the1970s an increase that is ranging
    from 69 to 109 mm.
  • Though June, July and August (monsoon)show an
    average increase of 8mm rainfall in 2030s with
    respect to 1970s,
  • The winter rainfall is projected to decrease on
    an average by 19 mm during the period January and
    February in 2030s with reference to 1970s.
  • The period March, April and May also show a
    decrease in rainfall with respect to1970s

Shift in rainfall pattern
  • Rainfall data for the IMD stations of the State
    of Kerala for the period from 1871 to 2008(140
    years) revealed a declining trend in annual and
    southwest monsoon rainfall during the past 60
  • and an increasing trend in post monsoon
    rainfall, indicating likely shifts in rainfall

Trends in seasonal precipitation extremes-an
indicator of CC
  • A study on seasonal precipitation pattern in
    Kerala during five decades(1954-2003) showed that
    the seasonal extremes in rainfall cause floods
    and water scarcity which are indicators of
    climate change (Indrani Pal and Abir Al

Kerala state faces problems
  • Kerala state was facing serious crisis in major
    areas of food security, agriculture, health and
    marine resources due to climate change.
  • The agriculture sector in Kerala was badly
    affected due to continuous rain.
  • Similarly continuous rain has affected
    maintenance and construction of roads

Crop Damage Due to Untimely Rain in Kerala
  • The untimely rain in Kerala, which hit the entire
    region since March 14, 2008 has caused crop
    damage and flooding.
  • It is estimated that farmers could not harvest
    paddy worth about Rs. 128 crores  (1280 million
    rupees) due to unexpected flooding in the
    Kuttanad fields.extending to 2000 hectares which
    is quite unusual with the normal summer rain.
  • Experts suggest that this untimely rain
  • is a clear evidence of climate change.

Thermo-sensitive crops
  • The thermo-sensitive crops like black pepper,
    cardamom, tea, coffee and cocoa will be badly
    affected as temperature range (the difference
    between maximum and minimum temperatures) is
    likely to increase and rainfall is likely to

Pepper output likely to fall in 2009
  • Heavy pre-monsoon showers (and a lethal attack by
    wasps) may hit pepper production in Kerala, the
    main producer of the commodity in India.
  • The industry estimates that production in fiscal
    2009 would be 40,000-45,000 tonnes compared with
    the 50,000 tonnes produced last year(2008).

Production declines
  • Increase in maximum temperature of 1-3 C
  • during summer 2004 adversely affected
    thermo-sensitive crops like black pepper and
    cocoa in Kerala (Rao et al.,2008).

Crops affected
  • The prolonged wet spell in kharif 2007(summer
    crop) and unusual rains in 2008 devastated the
    paddy production to a large extent in kerala.
  • Records show that almost all the plantation crops
    suffered to a great extent in 1983 and 2004 due
    to disastrous summer droughts

Shift from foodgrain crops
  • A clear shift was noticed from foodgrain crops
    (Paddy) to non-foodgrain crops in Kerala over a
    period of time(1952-2008).
  • Increase in area under coconut, arecanut, banana,
    black pepper and rubber was noticed at the cost
    of phenomenal decline in rice area.
  • One major reason was frequent floods in monsoon
    season and droughts during
  • summer season, apart from various other reasons

Cashew production declines
  • Though Kerala stood first in cashew production a
    decade ago, at present it occupies only fourth
    position and likely to go down further.
  • It was due to steady decline in cashew area and
    also occurrence of weather aberrations during the
    reproductive phase of cashew (Rao et al.,2008).

Climate change hits mango production
  • Nearly 2,500 farmers in Muthalamada grama
    panchayat in Palakkad district are engaged in
    mango farming on an acreage of 4,000 hectares.
    The annual production is 35,000 tonnes of high
    quality mangoes such as Alphonso, Malgova,
    Sindhooram, Kalapadi, Banganapilly, etc.

  • Climate change and unseasonal rain in November
    and January
  • over the last two years(2009 and 2010) have
    dampened the
  • prospects of mango farmers in Muthalamada, known
    for its
  • early mango harvest and large-scale export of
    the fruit.
  • Late flowering of the fruit and the resultant
    delay in harvest
  • has hit the annual export market.
  • Muthalamada mangoes fetch a high price in the
  • fruit market mainly on account of early
    availability,from January.

Climate change is affecting the growth of fruits
in Kerala.
  • Kanthalloor in Idukky district, the only winter
    fruit-growing centre of Kerala, bordering Tamil
    Nadu, is experiencing unprecedented weather
  • Apple, strawberry, orange, cherimoya, plum,
    guava, gooseberry, peach and passion fruit The
    fruit bowl of the hill station is rich and
  • The variations in weather-the rain patterns have
    changed and there is unprecedented heat(
    temperature rise)
  • The flowering season of apple and many other
    fruit trees has changed. Apple trees used to
    bloom in February, indicating the beginning of
    spring. Now it is advanced.
  • All have badly impacted on the quantity of fruit

  • As per INCCA report(2010), yields of
    coconut are projected to increase in the west
    coast of India (includes kerala) by up to 30 due
    to temperature increase.
  • Increase in coconut yield IN THE WEST COAST may
    be mainly attributed to projected increase in
    rainfall (10) and relatively less increase in
    temperatures, apart from CO2 fertilization

Effect on small pelagic fishes
  • The oil sardine Sardinella longiceps and the
    Indian mackerel Rastrelliger kanagurta are
    tropical coastal and small pelagic fish, forming
    massive fisheries (21 of marine fish catch of

Distribution in Malabar coast
  • The oil sardines, were known for their restricted
    distribution in Malabar coast (kerala)14degreeN
    along the southwest coast of India where the
    annual average sea surface temperature ranges
    from 27 to 29oC.

Distribution to North
Until 1985, almost the entire catch of oil
sardine was from the Malabar coast. In the last
two decades, however, the catches from north
beyond kerala are consistently increasing,
contributing about 15 to the all-India oil
sardine catch in the year 2006 (Vivekanandan et
al., 2009). The surface waters of the Indian
seas are warming by 0.04oC per decade, and the
warmer waters (27-28.5oC) is expanding to
latitudes north of 14oN, enabling the oil sardine
to extend their distributional range to northern
latitudes (Maharashtra and Gujarat)
Distribution to southeast
  • Another notable feature is the extension of oil
    sardine distribution to the east coast of India
    as well.
  • Until the mid-1980s, the oil sardine did not form
    fisheries along the southeast coast. In the
    1990s, oil sardine emerged as a major fishery
    along the southeast coast

Warming is beneficial
  • It is also found that the catches from the
    Malabar upwelling zone have not decreased,
    indicating distributional extension and not a
    distributional shift.
  • These observations indicate that the abundance of
    oil sardine has increased over the decades, ie.
    the current warming is beneficial to herbivorous
    small pelagics

Indian mackerel
  • Compared to the oil sardine, the Indian mackerel
    Rastrelliger kanagurta had wider distribution
    along the Indian coast, but the catches and
    abundance were predominantly along the southwest
  • Statistics showed that the mackerel catch in the
    south east coast increased from10.6 of all India
    mackerel catch(1961-76) to 23.2(1997-06)
  • It is indicative of extension of mackerel to
    northern boundaries

Mackerels opt north and vertical extension
  • Fish catch statistics show that the Indian
    mackerel, in addition to extension of northern
    boundaries, are found to descend to deeper waters
    in the last two decades
  • The mackerels are expanding the boundary of
    distribution to depths as they are able to
    advantageously make use of increasing temperature
    in the sub-surface waters. It is a vertical
    extension of distribution, and not a
    distributional shift.

Global sea level rise
  • Globally, sea level is expected to continue to
    rise over the next several decades. During 2000
    to 2020 the rate of thermal expansion is
    projected to be 1.3 0.7mm/year
  • In the absence of the availability of regional
    projections, for the 2030s, global projections
    can be used as a first approximation of sea-level
    rise along the Indian coasts in the next few

Sea-level rise
  • Global sea-level change results mainly from two
    processes, mostly related to recent climate
    change, that alter the volume of water in the
    global ocean through
  • a) thermal expansion and
  • b) the exchange of water between oceans and other
    reservoirs (glaciers and ice caps, ice sheets,
    other land water reservoirs, including through
    anthropogenic change in land hydrology and the

Sea level rise by 1.3 mm\year
  • Observations based on tide gauge measurements
    along the Indian coast, for a period of 20 years
    and more for which significantly consistent data
    is available indicate that
  • the sea level along the Indian coast has been
    rising at the rate of about1.3mm/year on an

Sea level rise in Kochi (Kerala)
  • The mean sea level rise trends in Kochi (kerala),
    based on 54 years of available data, is 1.75mm
    per year

Inundation of coastal areas
  • Estimation of inundation of coastal areas due to
    sea level rise was made for one location (Kochi)
    along the west coast of India.
  • The estimate shows that the inundation area will
    be about 169 km2 of the coastal region
    surrounding Kochi for a 1.0 m rise in sea level
  • .Since Kochi region covers the backwaters, a lot
    of inland areas far from the coast, but adjacent
    to the tidal creeks, backwaters and lakes will be
    inundated. This causes considerable increase in
    the total area of inundation

Projected coastal inundationdue to sea- level
Coastal inundation (red in colour) map of Kochi
region for a 1.0 m sea-level rise
Salinity intrusion
  • The potential impacts of global climate change in
    coastal Kerala are salinity intrusion into
    aquifers and rise in salinity of wetlands
  • Studies indicate that fall in rainfall and sea
    level rise, along with other factors have
    resulted in salinity intrusion affecting ground
    water resources in the coastal districts of the

Salinity in coastal aquifers
  • It has also been observed that over exploitation
    of ground water in certain stretches of kerala
    coast has contributed to the entry of salinity
    into the coastal aquifers from the sea.
  • Though this tendency is mainly observed during
    the summer months, when recharge is partially
    zero, there is a possibility for aggravation of
    the problem due to increase in withdrawal rate to
    cater to the requirements of dense coastal
  • Further aggravation is possible due to low
    rainfall, sea level rise and other climate change

Sunstroke\Heat stroke (?)Reported
  • Sunstroke\Heat stroke has been reported from
    places like Palakkad in kerala in March2010 and
    during previous years
  • In the first week of March2010, temperatures
    across all districts in Kerala have risen to an
    unprecedented high. (Palakkad it
    reached41degree celsius )
  • Due to the heat, 10 people from the northern
    districts of Palakkad, Kannur and Thrissur
    suffered severe burn injuries and were
    hospitalised for emergency first aid care.

Sunstroke\Heat stroke
  • Sunstroke is a form of hyperthermia, an
    abnormally elevated body temperature with
    accompanying physical and neurological symptoms,
    resulting from exposure to high temperature
  • Sunburn
  • It is literally a burn on your skin. It is a burn
    from UV radiation. The consequence of this burn
    is inflammation of the skin-reddening of skin
    with some blisters. Skin damage and loss may take

  • Malaria is a climate-sensitive disease and its
    transmission dynamics are greatly affected by
    climatic conditions.
  • The development of the parasite takes place in a
    mosquito .Being a cold-blooded creature, the
    mosquito is sensitive to climatic conditions such
    as temperature, rainfall, relative humidity and
    wind velocity. There is evidence of increasing
    malaria prevalence throughout India

Malaria in kerala
  • Malaria, which made a comeback in Kerala in
    Thrissur district. In a district, so far 82 cases
    of Malaria have been reported this year (July
    2010,The Hindu).Last year, 154 instances of
    Malaria attack were reported.
  • Of the 82 cases this year, 77 cases were due to
    plasmodium vivax infection one due to plasmodium
    falciparum and four due to mixed infections.
  • It is reported that Malaria cases identified in
    the district were among migrant labourers, mainly
    from north Indian States of Orissa, Bihar and
    West Bengal.

  • Chikungunya in Kerala is due to climate
  • Chikungunya is a viral disease that spreads
    through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It is
    characterised by severe, sometimes persistent
    joint pain, as well as fever and rash.

CC effect on chikungunya
  • There was chikungunya outbreak in Kerala during
    2006 and 2007. In these two years, over 100
    people died, while more than 100,000 were
  • Aedes aegypti

  • Chikungunya virus

Window period extends
  • Due to change in climate, it becomes conducive
    for mosquitoes to spread to new areas and affect
  • The window period (the interval that elapses
    between infection or inoculation with a pathogen
    and the onset of symptoms or of detectability of
    infection by laboratory testing) of disease
    transmission through mosquitoes would increase
    due to climate change. (WHO,2008)

  • Kerala has started witnessing the climate change
    and its impacts on various geographic regions and
    economic sectors. These are quite crucial.
  • In order to meet these challenges, suitable
    mitigation and adaptation measures are to be

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