How land relates to climate

3 min read
  1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently released a report titled Climate Change and Land’ which shows how land based activities affect climate and in turn gets affected by climate change.
  2. Land acts as both the source as well as a sink of carbon. Activities like agriculture and livestock rearing release greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide and contribute to global warming.
  3. Further, soil, trees, plantations, and forests absorb carbon dioxide for the natural process of photosynthesis, thus reducing the overall carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere.
  4. Nearly, 50% of all carbon dioxide generated from the earth is trapped by land and oceans and the rest is released into the atmosphere. Through the process of carbon cycle, CO2 is continuously exchanged between the land, ocean and atmosphere.
  5. Largescale land use changes, like deforestation, urbanisation, or change in cropping pattern, have a direct impact on the overall emissions of greenhouse gases.
  6. Climate change also impact land in various ways. Climate change contributes to land degradation through gradual changes in temperature and rainfall patterns. For example, in central India, there has been a threefold increase in widespread extreme rain events during 1950-2015, which has influenced several land degradation processes
  7. Climate change also affects agriculture through increased warming, changing rainfall patterns and increased frequency of extreme weather events.
  8. Afforestation, halting deforestation are important aspects for combating climate change. India as a part of its Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement has pledged to create an additional carbon sink of about 2.5 billion to 3 billion tonnes by the year 2032 by increasing its forest cover, and planting more trees.