Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Global warming making Indian monsoon seasons stronger, more chaotic: Study

For every of warming, rainfall is likely to increase by about 5%


NEW DELHI: Climate change will make summer monsoon rainfall in India stronger and more erratic, according to a study that predicts extremely wet years in the future, with potentiall­y grave consequenc­es for over a billion people's wellbeing, economy, food systems and agricultur­e.

The study, published in the journal Earth System Dynamics, compared more than 30 state-of-the-art climate models from all around the world.

"We have found robust evidence for an exponentia­l dependence: For every degree Celsius of warming, monsoon rainfalls will likely increase by about 5 per cent," said study lead author Anja Katzenberg­er from the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany.

"Hereby we were also able to confirm previous studies but find that global warming is increasing monsoon rainfall in India even more than previously thought. It is dominating monsoon dynamics in the 21st century," Katzenberg­er said.

The researcher­s noted that more rainfall is not necessaril­y a good thing for the farming sector in India and its neighbouri­ng countries.

"Crops need water especially in the initial growing period, but too much rainfall during other growing states can harm plants -- including rice on which the majority of India's population is depending for sustenance," said study co-author Julia Pongratz

from Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU) in Germany.

"This makes the Indian economy and food system highly sensitive to volatile monsoon patterns," said Pongratz.

A look into the past underlines that human behaviour is behind the intensific­ation of rainfall, according to the researcher­s.

Starting in the 1950s, human-made forcings have begun to overtake slow natural changes occurring over many millennia, they said.

At first, high sun-light blocking aerosol loadings led to subdued warming and thus a decline in rainfall.

However, from 1980 onwards, greenhouse gasinduced warming has become the deciding driver for stronger and more erratic Monsoon seasons.

"We see more and more that climate change is about unpredicta­ble weather extremes and their serious consequenc­es," said group leader and co-author Anders Levermann from PIK and Columbia University in the US.

"Because what is really on the line is the socio-economic well-being of the Indian subcontine­nt, Levermann said.

He explained that a more chaotic monsoon season poses a threat to the agricultur­e and economy in the region and should be a wakeup call for policy makers to drasticall­y cut greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

 ?? PIC/PTI ?? A pre-monsoon showers in Thiruvanan­thapuram
PIC/PTI A pre-monsoon showers in Thiruvanan­thapuram

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