University of Hertfordshire

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Climate change, monsoon failures and inequality of impacts in South India

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Original languageEnglish
Article number113555
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date8 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


This article examines the structural aspects of climate vulnerabilities in the context of monsoon failures. The paper is based on a unique household survey, conducted in Tamil Nadu, India. The study uses a rural differentiation framework to interrogate unequal vulnerabilities to monsoon failures, based on measures such as Gini coefficients and Lorenz curves of monetary losses. Results show that negative consequences of climate change in general, and monsoon failures in particular, intensify pre-existing socio-economic disparities. When the rural differentiation theory is applied in a broader sense, the analysis shows that landed and farming households have greater exposure and losses. When we move beyond these aggregate categories, the revelation is that households with pre-existing disadvantages such as marginal landholders, subsistence farmers and agricultural workers are more vulnerable.


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