The Impact of Climate Change Beyond the Weather

• from Meisha Swaby

With the world’s second- highest pop­u­la­tion and a wide- ranging infra­struc­ture system nation­wide, India could be greatly impacted by the effects of cli­mate change.

Stu­dents on a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram this summer spent five weeks exploring the country and learning how cities and coast­lines, as well as farm­lands and power plants, there are preparing for cli­mate change. Auroop Gan­guly, a cli­mate change expert and asso­ciate pro­fessor in the Depart­ment of Civil and Envi­ron­mental Engi­neering, led the expe­ri­en­tial learning pro­gram. The group was joined by Jonna Iacono, director of the Uni­ver­sity Scholars pro­gram, and Ganguly’s doc­toral stu­dent Devashish Kumar.

“(India) will most likely expe­ri­ence extra­or­di­nary impacts based on the poverty, large pop­u­la­tion, and infra­struc­ture issues there,” said Rose Leopold, SSH’16, a stu­dent who went on the Dialogue.

An extended journey around the country

By vis­iting so many diverse places around India, from the southern coast to the Himalayas in the north, Leopold said the group was able to see first­hand the var­ious ecosys­tems cli­mate change could impact. The group even vis­ited Bengal tiger nat­ural reserves in Rajasthan and in the Sun­dar­bans, a nat­ural region on India’s eastern border with Bangladesh, which is already expe­ri­encing rising sea levels.