Business Standard

Volume IconWhat's triggering extreme weather events in India?

Business Standard's Sanjeeb Mukherjee speaks to Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General of Meteorology, India Meteorological Department, to know more about how climate change is impacting India

ImageSanjeeb Mukherjee New Delhi
Climate change


Q1: Very recently, IMD has come out with the annual climate statement, which shows that there is an increase in temperature – the average mean temperature – across the country. 2021 was the fifth warmest year since 1901 and the decade was also the warmest ever in India. I want to understand, what it signifies, what does it mean for the country?
Ans:
> Average temperature over land surface in India during 2021 was 0.44-degree Celsius above the long-period average, based on data from 1981 to 2010
>2016 was the warmest year – the temperature was 0.71-degree Celsius above the long-period average
>Rise in temperature has been more significant in India after the 1970s
 
 
Q2: So, why is this happening?
Ans:
>Temperature of the Earth is changing because of various astronomical factors and anthropogenic (man-made) activities
>Urbanisation, industrialisation, rise in population and other economic activities are releasing greenhouse gases that are aiding the rise in temperature
 
 
Q3: We have all noticed that in the last few years there have been instances of severe adverse weather events like sudden rainfalls, sudden cyclones. Intensity of the cyclones have also correspondingly going up. Is it all because the average mean temperature has been rising over the last few decades?  
Ans:
>Climate change can impact frequency, intensity or severity of extreme weather events
>In India, the frequency of heavy rainfall events (> 15 cm in 24 hrs) are increasing
>Climate change is leading to erratic distribution of rainfall and increased probability of flash/urban floods
>Rise in average temperature is increasing the frequency of heat waves, mostly in heat-prone areas of northern India
 
 
Q4: Agriculture has the biggest impact from climate change. Do you think the increase in the rise of temperature will have an impact on agriculture as well?
Ans:

>Rise in temperature, variability of rainfall and increase in extreme weather will have a significant impact on agriculture – crop yields, input costs, safety of farmers etc 
>Indian farmers should adopt sustainable verities of crop and cultivation patterns
 

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First Published: Jan 21 2022 | 8:30 AM IST

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