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'Reduce net carbon dioxide emissions'

The main problem is that as a global society, Shukla says, India is not prepared to solve global warming, reports Satyen Mohapatra.

Scientists all over the world feel it is time that developed nations monitored their industrial practices and help in reducing global carbon emissions.

"The developed nations should not continue to emit carbon dioxide just because they have the capacity to compensate for their emissions through carbon trading mechanism. What is needed is a net reduction in carbon dioxide emission globally," says president, Institute of Global Environment and Society, Jagadish Shukla.

Professor and chair at Climate Dynamics, College of Science George Mason University USA, in an interview to the Hindustan Times in the Capital on Sunday, he said, "Each country has to recognise that we are facing a serious crisis and we must be prepared to make changes in our consumption pattern for the future of the entire global society."

"We need a Manhattan project on this to be able to make scientific breakthrough to be able to make models whereby we will be able to give detailed information how climate change will affect different regions and specific spots in the world like New Orleans, Mumbai or Tokyo."

The problem is beyond the capacity of any institution, beyond the capacity of any nation, he said.

"It has to be an international effort to be prepared for the consequences of climate change," he added.

"If the entire Greenland ice sheet melts the sea level will rise by seven metres around 20 feet devastating the coastal area world over," he added.

The main problem with climate change is that as a global society and even as a nation we are not prepared for it and know how and to what extent it will affect different regions, nations, and individual spots around the world. We need science-based adaptation strategy for each place, he added.

"One thing which discussed at the last meet of inter-governmental panel on climate change and to which all emerging scientific evidence now points to is that human activities are bringing about climate change. Even skeptics like Bush and Cheney are coming round to it," he said.

Involved in the establishment of the first Centre for monsoon forecasting in the country with a super computer at the Mausam Bhavan during Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's time, he said, India should have its own climate change model for which a stronger super computer is necessary as modeling has to be done for hundreds of years requiring more than ten million equations to be done.

A dedicated team of at 100 to 200 scientific manpower will also be required, he added.

India could also take the lead in creating a regional model with cooperation from countries of South Asian region, all affected by monsoon, he said.

In backward rural areas of India there are thousands of farmers untouched by modern advances in science, he said.

They do not have basic inputs like a thermometer to check air or soil temperature. The fundamental problem is to get messages about weather across to them and we must intensify our efforts in this direction, he added.

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