[Editorial Analysis] A climate risk: On extreme weather events

Mains Paper 3: Environment
Prelims level: Climate Pattern
Mains level: Excess rainfall and effect on Climate Change

Context:

• For the majority of last week, rainfall across India was more than 50% higher than normal for this time of year.

• Extreme rainfall has been reported in many parts of the Konkan coast and the southern peninsula.

• According to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the ‘South Peninsula’ received 29 percent more rain from June 1 to July 25 than is typical for this time period.

Shift in Climate Pattern:

• The monsoon is known for its unpredictable variability, which forecast models can only capture to a limited extent.
• However, there is a growing body of evidence that there is a distinct change in climate patterns. In the last two decades, the frequency and intensity of cyclones over the Arabian Sea have increased.

• According to a new study published in Climate Dynamics, there has been a 52 percent increase in the frequency of cyclones over the Arabian Sea from 2001 to 2019, and an 8% decrease over the Bay of Bengal, compared to 1982-2002, when the Bay of Bengal has historically seen the most cyclones.

• More cyclones are bringing moisture from the Arabian Sea in, contributing to extreme rainfall events along the western coast, the most recent example being cyclone Tauktae in May, which was one of the strongest cyclones to approach Mumbai, with winds of 185 kilometres per hour. Storm surges engulf the coast as a result of their actions.

Possible Factors :

• According to studies, a warming globe has increased atmospheric moisture levels, resulting in short, intense rainstorms.
• The interaction between warming, rainfall, and temperature is complicated, and variables like aerosol emissions, particulate matter pollution, agricultural, and forestry patterns must all be taken into account.

• However, the overall picture suggests that extreme events — such as bursts of torrential localised rainfall and prolonged droughts and heatwaves — are likely to become more common, emphasising the importance of accurate forecasts that can predict such events three to five days ahead of time.

Conclusion:

• Evacuations in advance of a flood or a cyclone are not always effective, so limited construction in areas designated as vulnerable is required.

• Similarly, just as it is possible to plan earthquake-resistant structures and site them scientifically, but it is difficult to predict a major quake, proper planning can protect against nature’s inevitable extremes.

• International climate change agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will only benefit the world in the long run, but what is done now will determine whether we survive or thrive.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Which of the following is/are the factors that limit the sovereignty of the Indian Parliament?

1. Fundamental Rights

2. Federal system of Government

3. Written Constitution

Choose the correct answer from the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) All the above

Answer: D

Mains Questions:

Q.1) Discuss the impact of climate change phenomena on India with reference to recent disasters and changing climatic patterns.

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