|Introduction: Contextual introduction.|
Body: Explain how climate change is affecting the rainfall pattern in India. Also write its implications.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.
Like most of the changes being witnessed in global weather patterns, the changing trends in the Indian monsoon are also being driven primarily by climate change. The rainfall in India is increasingly taking place in short, intense bursts. Extreme rainfall events are increasing both in intensity and frequency.
Affecting the rainfall pattern in India:
- The oceans (Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea) are now warmer than earlier. Warmer ocean currents help the formation of monsoon winds.
- Earlier, rainfall during the monsoon season would bring down the temperature of the ocean. But now, the oceans continue to remain warm even after the traditional monsoon season is over.
- It often results in a heavier downpour than would be expected otherwise. This accounts in part for the increasing instances of extreme rainfall events.
- Wide variation in rainfall across regions is becoming a routine. 7 states have received deficient rainfall. Of them, the 3 are from the North East. In the Northwest, Delhi has deficit of 37% and UP of 35%. The Central and South Peninsula regions witnessed excess rainfall.
- The extension of the monsoon season could also be seen as a consequence of global warming.
- A challenge for forecasting: There is need to set up more observation stations, collect more data, and do more computing.
- Impact on agriculture: A significant part of Indian agriculture still depends on monsoon rainfall for irrigation. Heavy rainfall in September reduces yields of short-duration kharif cropssuch as groundnut, soybean, maize etc. and disrupts storage and transportation, potentially leading to food inflation. The preferred time of sowing of crops, cropping cycle, choice of crops all will be changed.
- Dam management: Most reservoirs in the northern and central parts of the country seek to attain full capacity levels by the end of September. But if the monsoon consistently spills over into October, this practice would need to be revised.
- Floods: The extreme rainfall events have increased the frequency of floods, including in urban areas. This leads to loss of lives and property.
- Uneven distribution rains along with increasing temperatures and humidity can give rise to pest attacks and diseases. This can, in turn, impact the quality of the grain as well as their nutritious value.
- The supply of drinking water and the generation of electricity are also linked to the monsoon.
These extreme events should provide a wake-up call to the global leadership regarding the impacts of climate change. They should now act earnestly to address the exigencies of climate change.