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Central India seeing long-term climate change – Government

Central India, an area that covers Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, is seeing a long-term pattern of climate change involving rainfall intensity, the government of India said.

“Heavy rain events (>10 cm/day) over central India are increasing at about 1%/year while weak and moderate events are decreasing at about the same rate over the past 50 years. The extreme rain events which are becoming more intense in recent years are localized and could be part of the natural variability of the monsoon system,” the ministry said in respect to a query on climate change in India.

drought

The ministry of earth sciences, however, clarified that the long-term change in climate in the area is only with regard to rainfall, and not to any other climatic factors.

“No such pattern is discerned in respect of other weather phenomena,” it said.

India is expected to be hit the hardest by global warming due to the already high temperatures in the country and the possibility of the disruption of the extremely critical monsoon winds. Monsoon winds are drawn by the low pressure area developing inside the Indian subcontinent during summers from the Indian ocean, and is responsible for the nearly all of the rainfall that India gets. Any change in the pattern would have severe impact on the country, and may disrupt its ability to grow food to feed its 1.3 bln people.

India’s new prime minister Narendra Modi, despite being a conservative, has a reputation for being aware of climate change challenges, and is expected to give a fillip to efforts to limit environmental degradation in the fast developing country.

The ministry said the government is monitoring the variability of the weather phenomena and development of abnormal weather pattern like drought, flood, flash flood, cyclone, rain induced landslides, heat and cold waves, etc. on a continuous basis.

It however, said that no big changes have been noticed so far in terms of excesses and extremes, except in Central India.

“Records of past weather events show that extreme values in respect of heavy rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures, seasonal rainfall etc. remained unsurpassed in many cases. Areas influenced by the abnormal weather pattern change as per the interannual and intra-seasonal weather and climate variability,” it said.

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