NEW DELHI:Scientists at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) will analyse whether the
increasing frequency and severity of dust storms and the unusual high temperature in the last few years are linked to climate change.
The dust storm killing over 120 people in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan this week, has raised serious concerns over extreme weather events in the country. Similarly, the day temperature in March this year touched an unusual high, with Delhi-based Regional Weather Forecasting Centre (RWFC) recording mercury almost 7 degree higher than usual.
The National Weather Forecasting Centre (NWFC), which keeps a tab on the soaring mercury during the summer, has also recorded a rise in dust storm days. “The severity of dust storm this year is on higher side and even its activity is more as compared to the last year. There is forecast for dust storm on most of the days this week and the one following it. Dust storm usually occurs during March-May and the period remains the same,” said Dr K Sathi Devi, Head, National Weather Forecasting Centre (NWFC).
Scientists at the NWFC are expected to carry out analysis of impact of global warming on severity of dust storm.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report says that since the 1950s, there have been clear changes in many types of extreme events with more hot days and heat wave, fewer cold nights and an increase in the intensity and number of heavy rainfall days.
“There have not been many studies done by Indian scientists that link climate change with dust storm. It needs to be analysed with data over the years in the Indian context,”
According to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the extreme weather events are expected to increase in coming years with warming sea surface temperature globally. “The enormity of losses due to dust storm is truly shocking. But the fact is dust storms will become more and more intense as the global temperature increases further. Climate change is intensifying extreme weather events,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director, CSE.