Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region: All you need to know about the report by MoES
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India has published its annual report on the 'Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region'. This is India's first-ever national forecast report over the impact of global warming in the coming century. The affected regions or states have not been mentioned in the report.
The report has spearheaded the experts of climate at IMD and IITM. The atmospheric and oceanic data between 1951 and 2015 was taken into consideration and the report is divided into rainfall, temperature and climate modelling.
What does the report say?
During 1901-2008, the average temperature of India has risen by 0.7°C. As per the report, the average temperature in India is expected to rise by 4.4°C compared to the time period between 1976 and 2005 by the end of this century.
The rise in temperature is due to the emission of Green House Gases. This exponential rise in the temperature will increase the summer heatwaves (between April and June) over India by 3-4 times by the end of this century. This is a worrying situation for a country like India as the intensity of droughts will go up and increased variability of monsoon precipitation will be witnessed.
During the monsoon season, there's a projected decline in the rainfall. The monsoon variability is projected as 14% by 2100 and may go up by 22.5%. However, it must be noted that this variability is not defined-- meaning that it may be an increase or decrease. During 1950 and 2015 time period, the rainfall in the summer monsoon (from June to September) has declined by 6%. The notable decrease has been witnessed in the Indo-Gangetic and Western Ghats region.
Between 1981 to 2011, the frequency of dry spells during the monsoon season has increased by 27% as compared to the time period between 1951 and 1980. Between 1950-2015, the intensity of wet spells over India has also increased as central India received 75% more extreme rainfall events.
The frequency of localised heavy rainfall has increased. Due to the decrease in seasonal summer monsoon rainfall, droughts have increased in India particularly in Central India, Southwest Coast, Southern Peninsula and north-eastern India. Also, the area affected by the drought has also increased by 1.3% per decade over the same period.
3- Changes in the Himalayan Region:
During 1951 to 2014, the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) have experienced a significant rise in the temperature-- 1.3°C. Several parts of this region have witnessed a decline in the snowfall in the recent decades in addition to the retreat of glaciers. In contrast to this, the Karakoram Himalayas have witnessed higher winter snowfall shielding the region against the glacier shrinkage. The report has projected that the annual mean surface temperature over the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) is projected to rise by 5.2°C.
4- Sea Level Rise:
During 1874 to 2004, the North Indian Ocean (NIO) witnessed a Sea level rise at a rate of 1.06 to 1.75 mm. By the end of this century, it is projected to be increased by 300 mm. The report also projected a global mean rise during this period by
5- Tropical Cyclones:
The frequency of severe cyclonic storms during the post-monsoon season has risen significantly in the last two decades. This means that per decade a cyclonic storm is witnessed.
The report concluded that in the middle of the twentieth century, India witnessed several climate changes-- rise in average temperature, decrease in the monsoon precipitation, rise in rainfall, droughts, sea-level, increased intensity of cyclones, etc. The report further concluded that these climate changes have risen due to human activities and will continue to affect the climate changes in the twenty-first century.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences was initially established in July 1981 as the Department of Ocean Development (DOD). It was then a part of Cabinet Secretariat directly under the charge of the Prime Minister. In March 1982, it became a separate Department. In February 2006, the Government of India notified the Department as the Ministry of Ocean Development. On July 12, 2006, the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) came into existence. India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) are governed by this Ministry.