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Climate Change: CSE Ponders Frequency in Cyclones, Flash Floods with Alarm

The number of extreme climate events has risen tremendously over the last 100 years and will increase due to climate change, the Centre for Science and Environment said Thursday.

Figures presented by the CSE Deputy Director General Chandra Bhushan revealed that the number of extreme weather events recorded between 1900-09 were 2.5, which increased to 350.4 in 2000-09.

"This increase is also because of improved observation, but the truth remains that such events have increased," said Bhushan, at the annual media briefing of CSE.

"It is not yet established if frequent cyclones are related to climate change. But events of extreme weather are related to heavy rain," he said.

"In 2005, Mumbai received 994 mm of rain in 24 hours. In 2010, when there was a cloud burst in Leh, the rainfall was 15 to 220 mm in 30 minutes, its like a bomb being dropped".

In the Uttarakhand disaster, the rainfall in 24 hours was 340 mm, 850 percent more than average. In Jammu and Kashmir this year, the rainfall was 200 mm in 24 hours," he added.

"Such events are going to happen more frequently in coming years," the CSE deputy director general said.

CSE Director General Sunita Narain said governments choosing to ignore the reality of climate change is a serious concern.

According to Bhushan, during 2001 to 2006, developing countries suffered the most, losing nearly one percent of their GDP to extreme weather events, while developed countries, who have more resilient economies, lost just 0.1 percent of their GDP to such events.

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