Study Identifies North East Forests and Western Ghats as Vulnerable to Climate Change

The Western Ghats
Ramki Sreenivasan

A forest impact study by a four-member team from the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Bengaluru has identified that due to climate change, there is going to be a 45 percent change in forest vegetation in the North East and the Western Ghats, by 2100. The study, along with a related crop impact study, was published in the latest issue of the Indian Science Journal, Current Science. In addition to climate change, low biodiversity, low tree density and fragmentation also contribute to the vulnerability of these areas. The southern Western Ghats and the forests of Eastern India are estimated to be least vulnerable. The study concludes that there is a need to develop tropical forests and India-specific vegetation models.

Climate change, the study points out, is one of many stresses forests in India undergo. The others are over-extraction of forest produce, insect outbreaks, fuel wood collection, livestock grazing and forest fires besides anthropogenic pressures. “There is a need to develop tropical forests or India-specific dynamic global vegetation models,” they study concluded as one of the measures to counter climate change impact.

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