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Climate change would incite volatile monsoons in India: Study

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Global warming would derail the rhythm of normal monsoon rainfall in India, says an analysis report by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The study published in the journal Earth System Dynamics inferred that increasing temperature proportionally increases the rainfall during monsoons in the country.

"We have found robust evidence for an exponential dependence: For every degree Celsius of warming, monsoon rainfalls will likely increase by about 5%," lead author Anja Katzenberger of the study said.

According to the institute's press release, dated 14th April 2021, the study done by a team of German researchers compared 30 state-of-the-art climate models from all around the world and found "more extremely wet years" ahead for the country. Also, they warn that it will have severe consequences affecting one billion people's well-being, economy, food systems and agriculture.

Anja Katzenberger adds that their study enabled them to confirm previous reports regarding the issue and found that global warming increases monsoon rainfall in India at a rate more than what was believed before. She says the phenomenon is dominating monsoon rainfall in the 21st century.

The report says that more rainfall is harmful to crops.

"Crops need water, especially in the initial growing period, but too much rainfall during other growing states (stages) can harm plants," Julia Pongratz, co-author of the study report, said. This is significant because India has an enormous agriculture sector that caters for many. Julia adds that volatile monsoon patterns could affect the food and economic system in the country.

The report points out that human behaviour disrupted the monsoon patterns and intensified rainfall. Even from the 1950s, human interference in nature altered the slow changes in nature that otherwise required millennia. According to the report, the aerosol loadings blocked sunlight to repress the warming earlier and led to rainfall decline. Now gas-induced warming smashes the rhythm of Monsoon seasons.

"We see more and more that climate change is about unpredictable weather extremes and their serious consequences," team leader and co-author Anders Levermann from PIK said. He also repeated what his colleagues said of the threat that a chaotic monsoon poses over the Indian subcontinent and presses the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. "This is a wake-up call for the policymakers worldwide," he added.

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