NEW DELHI: Concerned over the increased frequency of extreme weather events in the country over the last decade, the Ministry of Earth Sciences has decided to further study the reasons behind it and find out whether it has any link with the changing climactic conditions of the South Asian region. The events include the Mumbai floods of 2005, the Leh cloudburst in 2010, Uttarakhand floods of 2013 and the Jammu & Kashmir floods now.
According to ministry officials, there has been a spurt in extreme weather events like extreme rainfall in a short span of time with the Uttarakhand flood last year and J&K this year leading to loss of life and property.
“We want to understand the reasons behind such events and are also exploring international cooperation, as extreme weather events are inter-related with changes in climactic conditions in North Pole impacting the Indian monsoon,” said a senior ministry official. According to researchers, climate change has impacted the monsoon with extreme weather events, such as excess rainfall or drought, in the last few years. .
According to the latest analysis by the Working Group II of the IPCC Assessment Report (AR5), floods and droughts are likely to increase in India. India will get more rainfall but will have fewer rainy days. Increase in extreme precipitation during monsoons is also predicted.
The ministry is already in the process of putting up a Doppler radar in Srinagar to forecast extreme weather events at short duration. Doppler radars are capable of predicting severe thunderstorms, enabling warnings to be quickly issued. As of now, 15 major cities have Doppler radars and there is a plan to put up nine more by 2017 in the Himalayan states.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said the country has witnessed four extreme weather events in past nine years and an analysis suggests that this could very well be another manifestation of an extreme weather event induced by a changing climate. “The Kashmir floods are a grim reminder that climate change is now hitting India harder. In the last 10 years, several extreme rainfall events have rocked the country, and this is the latest calamity in that series,” said Chandra Bhushan, CSE DDG and the head of its climate change team.