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TitleGlobal Environmental Changes in South Asia: A Regional Perspective
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Table of Contents
                            Global Environmental Changes in South Asia
Foreword
Introduction
About the Editors
Contributors
Contents
1: Human Dimensions of Changing Environment
	1. INTRODUCTION
		The Special Role of the Atmosphere
		How Do We Define the Environment?
		Human Influence to Higher Atmospheric Levels
		Environment Prior to Human Influence
	2. THE PRESENT: THE ENDANGERED PLANET
		The Drivers
		Jolting the Earth System: Critical Threshold
	3. INDIA AND THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
	4. CONCLUSIONS
	REFERENCES
2: Development Pathway
	1. ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK
	2. PAST DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESS AND INSTITUTIONS IN SOUTH ASIA
	3. MAJOR DEVELOPMENTAL TARGETS
	4. DEVELOPMENT AND EMISSIONS: ACTIVITY, STRUCTURE, TECHNOLOGY AND FUEL MIX (ASIF)
		4.1 Industry Sector
		4.2 Transport Sector
			4.2.1 Urbanization and motorization
			4.2.2 Vehicle fleet and its projections
			4.2.3 Alternative transportation
	5. AGRICULTURE AND SERVICES
	6. ENERGY SUPPLY SECTOR
		6.1 Oil and Natural Gas
		6.2 Coal
		6.3 Biomass
		6.4 Electricity
		6.5 Prospects of Technology Transfer
	7. DEMOGRAPHY
	8. GLOBALISATION, REGIONALISM AND SOUTH ASIAN TRADE
	9. RESEARCH GAPS
	10. CONCLUDING REMARKS
	REFERENCES
3: Instrumental, Terrestrial and Marine Records of the Climate of South Asia during the Holocene: Present Status, Unresolved Problems and Societal Aspects
	1. INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
	2. INSTRUMENTAL DATA
		2.1 INDIA
		2.2 PAKISTAN
		2.3 NEPAL
		2.4 BANGLADESH
	3. PALEORECONSTRUCTIONS
		3.1 The Land Records
		3.2 The Marine Record
	4. LAND-SEA CORRELATIONS
	5. FORCING MECHANISMS
	6. SUMMARY
	7. FUTURE OUTLOOK
4: Land Transformation and Its Consequences in South Asia
	1. LAND TRANSFORMATION
		1.1 Introduction
		1.2 Scope and Importance
		1.3 World Trends
	2. BIO-PHYSICAL SETTINGS OF SOUTH ASIA
		2.1 Bio-geophysical Zoning
		2.2 Physiography and Relief
		2.3 Climate
		2.4 Rivers
		2.5 Vegetation and Forests
	3. LAND TRANSFORMATION/CHANGES IN SOUTH ASIA
		3.1 Geographical Distribution
		3.2 Land Use/Land Cover Change in South Asia
		3.3 Country Level Changes
			3.3.1 Agricultural Land Use Patterns
			3.3.2 Forest Cover Change
			3.3.3 Wetlands
			3.3.4 Urban Land Use
	4. INDIAN SCENARIO
		4.1 Agriculture Intensification
		4.2 Forest Cover Change
		4.3 Urbanization and Non-agricultural Uses
		4.4 Coastal Transformation
		4.5 Other Land Use Changes
		4.6 Degraded Lands
	5. DRIVERS OF LAND TRANSFORMATION
		5.1 Demography
		5.2 Market Forces
		5.3 Individual and Institutional Forces
	6. METHOD/TECHNIQUES OF LAND TRANSFORMATIONANALYSIS
		6.1 Perspectives of Land Transformation
		6.2 Modelling Land Transformation
		6.3 Role of RS and GIS
	7. CONSEQUENCES OF LAND TRANSFORMATION
		7.1 GHG’s Emission and Regional Climate Changes
		7.2 Natural Disasters
		7.3 Urban Problems
		7.4 Land Degradation and Desertification
		7.5 Siltation
		7.6 Degradation of Coastal and Marine Resources
	8. RESEARCH PRIORITIES
	9. CONCLUSIONS
5: Atmospheric Composition Change and Air Quality
	1. INTRODUCTION
	2. NATURAL AEROSOLS
	3. ANTHROPOGENIC AEROSOL EMISSIONS FROM SOUTH ASIA
	4. DIRECT AND INDIRECT AEROSOL RADIATIVE FORCINGS
	5. EMISSIONS OF TRACE GASES
	6. STRATOSPHERIC-TROPOSPHERIC EXCHANGE
	7. AIR QUALITY IN SOUTH ASIA
	8. ACID RAIN SCENARIO IN INDIA
	9. HEALTH EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION IN INDIA
6: Global Warming, Changes in Hydrological Cycle and Availability of Water in South Asia
	1. INTRODUCTION
	2. MONSOON VARIABILITY AND HYDROLOGICAL CYCLE IN SOUTH ASIA
	3. HYDROLOGICAL CYCLE AND AVAILABILITY OF WATER UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE REGIME
	4. CONCLUSIONS
7: A Review on Current Status of Flood and Drought Forecasting in South Asia
	1. INTRODUCTION
	2. FLOOD AND DROUGHT FORECASTING – PRESENT STATUS
	3.0 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
8: Hydrometeorology of Floods and Droughts in South Asia – A Brief Appraisal
	1. INTRODUCTION
	2. HYDRO-METEOROLOGICAL FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR FLOODS
	3. FLOOD PRONE REGIONS OF SOUTH ASIA
	4. MAGNITUDE AND FREQUENCY OF FLOODS IN SOUTH ASIA
	1. INTRODUCTION
	2. CAUSES OF DROUGHT
	3. DROUGHT PRONE REGIONS OF SOUTH ASIA
	4. CONCLUSIONS
9: The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Stream-flows in the Greater Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) Basins – A Climate Outlook
	1. INTRODUCTION
	2. DATA, BASIC INDICES AND METHOD
	3. FINDINGS
	4. SST AND STREAM-FLOW LINKS – PHYSICAL MECHANISM
	5. CONCLUSION
10: Changes in the Coastal and Marine Environments
	1. BIOGEOCHEMISTRY OF THE NORTH INDIAN OCEAN
	2. AIR-SEA FLUXES OF CO2, N2O, CH4 AND (CH3)2S IN THENORTH INDIAN OCEAN
	3. CORAL REEFS
	4. THE BENGAL DELTA
	5. THE SUNDARBANS: A UNIQUE MANGROVE ECOSYSTEM
	6. MANGROVES
	7. IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
	8. INFORMATION GAPS AND RESEARCH NEEDS
11: Key Vulnerabilities of Human Society in South Asia to Climate Change and Adaptation Issues and Strategies
	1. INTRODUCTION
	2. OBSERVED AND PROJECTED CHANGES IN CLIMATE
	3. PROJECTED IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
	4. CLIMATE CHANGE AND IMPLICATIONS ON CITIES
	5. TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL STRATEGIES FOR ADAPTATION
	6. ADAPTATION AND CITIES
	7. TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED ADAPTATION FRAMEWORK
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Global Environmental Changes
in South Asia

A Regional Perspective

Page 192

Land Transformation and Its Consequences in South Asia 163

the hydrology of several watersheds of the country, resulting in a greater
frequency and severity of floods, and reducing water availability in dry
season. The storage capacity of many reservoirs has been reduced drastically
due to accelerated erosion and deposition. Siltation of major river courses
and spillover sections due to excessive deposition of silt is observed
extensively in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh since many flood-prone rivers flow
through them. The total area affected by this problem is estimated to be 2.73
Mha (Das, 1977; Mukherjee et al., 1985). The Ganga and Brahmaputra carry
the maximum sediment load, about 586 and 470 million tonnes, respectively,
every year. Approximately 6000 to 12,000 million tonnes of fertile soil are
eroded annually and a significant proportion of it is deposited in the reservoirs
resulting in a reduction of their storage capacity by 1%-2%.

7.6 Degradation of Coastal and Marine Resources

The rich marine environment in the South Asian region is subjected to great
pressure leading to coastal hazards and other impacts which varies from
place to place because of differences in exposure to monsoons and storms,
differences in local tectonics and subsidence, and variations in air and sea
climates.

• India and Bangladesh, with their vast coastline, is often struck by cyclones
and the resultant coastal storm surges. The recent tsunami in Indian Ocean
has forcefully added a new dimension to the natural calamities affecting
India and it is argued that majority of losses are due to improper planning
and implementation of coastal land use.

• Transformation of rice fields into shrimp farms has changed the land use/
land coverage of the densely populated coastal areas of Bangladesh. During
1975–2000, the country’s shrimp pond area has increased from less than
20,000 to 141,000 ha causing salinity, fertility degradation and ecosystem
damage (Shajaat Ali, 2006).

• Mangroves have been exploited for timber, fuel wood and other purposes,
while large areas have been cleared for agricultural activities and for
shrimp farming. Further, freshwater interceptions for agricultural schemes
have severely affected mangroves and other coastal habitats.

Table 6: Land use change in the Thar desert (Mha)

Land use 1980 1990 1993

Desert area of no or minimal value 0.4
Area in danger of desertification 13.4
Cultivated area 12.8 13.2 12.3
Pasture land 5.9 5.4 5.2
Others 0.3 0.4 0.4

Report of MEA, submitted to CSD in 1995

Page 193

164 V.K. Dadhwal and A. Velmurugan

• Marine-based tourism also leads to environment degradation through the
construction of hotels, beach clubs and marinas involving infilling, dredging
and resuspension of contaminated silts.

• Oil pollution threatens the coral reefs, where boating activities for tourism
and fishing are unregulated. Most of the shallow water coral reef habitats
of Sri Lanka, Maldives and India were severely damaged as a result of
bleaching.

• Coastal erosion is a coastal hazard that is accelerated due to poor land use
practices and deforestation in the catchment areas, coral mining for the
manufacture of cement and sand-removal.

• Other hazards, like the occurrences of algal blooms along coastlines, and
saline water intrusion into ground water are also increasing at alarming rate.

8. RESEARCH PRIORITIES

New estimates of areas and rates of major land-use/cover conversions have
greatly narrowed down uncertainties. A number of more subtle land changes
still need to be better quantified at national and regional scale. This is
particularly the case for anthropogenic changes that strongly interact with
natural environmental variability and therefore require longitudinal data over
a long time period for a reliable assessment.

Different assumptions about human-environment relationships and
temporality lead to varying explanations and interpretations of the causes
and significance of environmental changes. A systematic analysis of local
scale land-use change studies, conducted over a range of timescales, helps
to uncover general principles to provide an explanation and prediction of
new land-use changes.

Improved understanding of processes of land-use change should lead to
emphasis on the potential for ecological restoration through land management
(Victor and Ausubel, 2000) to mitigate human impact on the environment for
the present and future scenarios. To fulfill this evolution of the new research
questions, methods and scientific paradigm have to be developed.

Improved understanding of the complex dynamic processes underlying
land-use change will allow more reliable projections and more realistic
scenarios of future changes. Institutional and technological innovations may
lead to negative feedback loops that decrease the rate of change or even
reverse land-use/cover change trends. The relative strength of amplifying
and attenuating feedback can be influenced by policies. The analysis of
interaction, coherence, or conflict between social and biophysical responses
to changes in both ecosystem services and earth system processes caused by
land changes is still a largely unfocussed area which deserves to be given
priority.

The three dimensions of land-use change models, namely, space, time
and human decision; along with two distinct attributes of each, i.e., scale and

Page 383

Index 355

oligohaline, 306
onset, 264, 266
optical properties, 176
organic matter (OM), 177
organisms, 293
OTCs (Open Top Chambers), 12
outflows, 278
oxidation, 286
oxides of nitrogen (NOx), 173
oxidising capacity, 173, 195
oxygen, 4, 275, 279
ozone, xii, 2, 171, 190
ozonosonde, 194

paddy, 264, 300
paleoclimate reconstruction, 57
paleodata, 108
paper industry, 26
pastures, 147
peat, 55, 98
peninsular region, 247
per capita income, 22
pH value, 174, 202
physical parameters, viii
physiography, 64, 329
phytoliths, 98
pigment, 275
plantation, 139
plateaus, 129
PM10, 173, 197
polar, 195
policy change, 151
pollen, 98
pollutants, xii, 194
population, vii
poverty, 20, 21, 327
power generation, 229
precipitation, 74, 227, 245, 272, 313
premonsoon, 87
primary productivity, 154, 274, 284,

335
productivity, 20, 274
proxy data, 86
proxy records, 100
public transport, 31, 32, 33

radiative forcing, 180, 182
radiative impacts, 176

radio waves, 4
rail transport, 33
rainfall, x, 222, 235, 244, 264
rainwater, 201
recession, 262, 266
regenerative processes, 285
regional models, 7
regionalisation, 45
remote sensing, 153, 179
reservoir, 106, 225
resource, 19, 151, 329
respiration, 277
respiratory and cardiovascular, 206
respiratory, 175, 207
rice, xii, 136
rice fields, 156
riparian, 266
risk, 346
river, xv, 130, 285
river runoff, 56
riverine, 283
ruminant, xvii, 134
run-off, 225, 313
rural households, 206

salinity, 271
salinity ingress, 229
salt balance, 272
satellite, 4, 240
saturation, 286
savannas, 127
scattering aerosol, 179
sea level, 310
sea level rise, 248
sea surface temperature (SST), 85,

225, 235, 261
seagrasses, 295
sea-salt, 183
sediment, 135, 283
sediment fluxes, 56
sedimentation, 225, 296
sedimentation rate, 98
settlements, 147
shifting cultivation, 133, 161
siltation, 161
sink, 155
socio-economic

features, viii

Page 384

356 Index

sector, 54
variables, 152

socio-political framework, 127
soil moisture, 61
solar activity, 7
solar radiation, 220, 273
solar variations, 107
soot, 171
South Asia, vii
South Asian Association for Regional

Cooperation (SAARC), 14
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), 59,

261
southwest monsoon, 74
spatial, 293
speleothem, 92
SPM, 173
sputum, 208
stalactite, 93
steppes, 127
storm surges, 85, 248, 330
storms and depressions, 59
stratification, 284, 285
stratosphere, 3, 194
stream-flow, 259
stream-flow forecasts, 269
sub-alpine, 86
suboxic, 276
subsurface, 285
subtropical, 278
sulphate, 197
sulphur dioxide (SO2), 171, 173
summer monsoon, 54
Sunderbans, xv
supersaturation, 289
suspended particulate matter, 173
sustainable development, 54
SWAT model, 227

technology, 50, 200
transfer, 43

tectonic, 299
teleconnections, 59
temperature, 61, 91, 225, 311, 337
temporal, 293
terrestrial biosphere, 156
thermal power plants, 172
thermosphere, 3
Tibetan plateau, 76

TOA, 176
topography, 241
torrential rainfall, 239
tourism, 146
transformation, 128, 151
transport, 25, 29, 145, 174, 190

model, 172
transportation, 30
tree rings, 55, 86
tropical, 74, 86, 173, 190
troposphere, 3, 172, 194
tropospheric, xiv
tsunami, 163, 297, 309
turbidity, 284, 294, 314
typology, 148

UNFCCC, xii, 8, 227
upwelling, 272, 279
urban, 131, 145, 157, 208, 346
urban sprawl, ix, xv
urbanization, vii, 327
UV radiation, 196
UV-B, xiv

variability, 223, 285
vegetation, 130, 155
volatile organic compounds

(VOC), 183
volcanic eruption, 89
volume mixing ratio, 191
vulnerability, 11, 85, 158

warming, xvi, 278
wasteland, 144
water resources, 161, 222
watershed, 258
west coast, 58
western disturbances, 73
Western Ghats, 64
wetlands, x, 140, 315
wood, 42, 308
WTO, 48
WTO Agreement, 45

Yangtse river, ix
Younger Dryas, 103

zooplankton, 275
zooplankton biomass, 283

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