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Global Warming is one of the most serious threats that the planet Earth and its inhabitants may ever face. The Earth's climate has changed throughout the Earth's history--from glacial periods when ice covered significant portions of the Earth--to interglacial periods when ice either retreated to poles or melted entirely. Since the advent of 'Industrial Revolution', man-made activities have added significant quantities of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Burning of fossil fuels on a massive scale is releasing huge amount of carbon dioxide which is one of the major gases causing global warming; other gases include methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emphasizes that the warming of the climate system is unequivocal and that it is happening because of unsustainable human activities. The report also states that average temperature of earth will rise around 3°C in this century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at current pace. This will have adverse impacts on agricultural production, food security and availability of fresh water. The climate changes anticipated due to global warming will lead to intensification of tropical cyclones, irregular rainfall patterns and frequent droughts and floods.
The book examines in detail a variety of topics ranging from the history of global warming to the current global trends. It focuses on the controversy regarding the main causes of global warming, the role of UN on climate change, and specific problems of India in this regard. It also studies its overall projected impacts, sectorwise impacts on different regions, the importance of the Himalayan glacial system and the effect of present climatic conditions on Himalayan glaciers, vast coastal areas and numerous islands. The latest initiatives and measures taken to reverse the dangerous process of global warming form an integral part of the book.
The book will be highly useful to the government executives, policymakers and NGOs concerned with global warming problems. It will also be useful to the students, teachers and researchers in the field of environment. Common readers will also find it interesting and informative.
K.R. Gupta has published over a dozen books and more than hundred papers in leading journals published in India and abroad. He has been teaching postgraduate classes and guiding research for about two decades in the University of Jammu and Kurukshetra University. He has worked as an Economist in private as well as public sector. He has edited multi-volume Encyclopaedia of Environment which includes so far published volumes entitled Environment: Problems and Policies; Environment: Global Warming and Environmental Legislation in India. More volumes are in press.