India is the world’s third largest carbon emitter but historically, between 1850-2019, India contributed just 4% of global cumulative greenhouse gas emissions. Even so, like many countries from the global South, India is heavily affected by cloudbursts, flash floods, droughts, cyclones and heatwaves.

The Indian heatwave in the summer of 2022 was categorised as an extreme event that caused massive human and environmental damage. Nine Indian states feature in the list of top 50 states globally that will see heavy damage to their physical infrastructure due to climate change-related natural hazards by the year 2050.

The country is experiencing the adverse effects of climate change every year, with a 55% increase in heat-related deaths between 2000-2004 and 2017-2021, and income loss equivalent to 5.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) due to extreme heat. India had extreme weather events on 242 of the 273 days between January 1 and September 30, 2022.

There is no relief in sight. India saw an unusually hot February this year, and March has been marked by unseasonal rains in many parts of the country.

Tracking the impacts of climate-change at the local level is key to understanding its current and potential impacts on people, in mitigation, and in larger policy-formulation to combat climate-change and its impacts.

Over 2018 and 2019, we had tracked, in ground reports by Disha Shetty, the changing climate and its repercussions through the crumbling homes in Honnavar, Karnataka; the increasing rain in Tilonia in the desert state of Rajasthan; depleting forests in Mawphlang and Cherrapunji, Nagaland; rainfall variability and more intense cyclones in Bhadrak, Odisha and climate change refugees from Mosuni, West Bengal.

We are re-launching the project, tracking climate change hotspots across India, starting with Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Kutch in Gujarat and Ganjam in Odisha.