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Mains Test Series

Indian Climate – Monsoon system

Q. How much can the changing nature of the Indian Monsoon be attributed to human Intervention? (150 words)

Introduction:

The Monsoon is a seasonal wind that reverses its direction with the changing of season. It is a phenomenon unique to only South and South-East Asia. More than 70% of total rainfall in South Asia occurs during just 3 months of Summer Monsoon each year, between June and September, and its stability is critical for Indian agriculture and Industry.

But, in recent times, the nature of the Indian Monsoon has been changing. 

Changes in the Indian Monsoon due to human Intervention:Everything You Need To Know About Indian Climate – Monsoon System Mains Test

  1. Global Warming Caused Due to Anthropogenic Emissions:
    1. El-Nino: The frequency of El-Nino has increased significantly, every time disrupting the Southern Oscillation (SO). In normal conditions, warm water in the western Pacific is vital for the Summer Monsoon, but the El-Nino disrupts it. For example, this year (2023), the “Below-Normal” is attributed to El Nino.
    2. Indian Ocean Dipole: During the normal cycle, when the western Indian Ocean is warm, and the eastern Indian Ocean is relatively cold, the Indian Monsoon is normal. However, this cycle is also being disrupted by the Global Warming.
  2. Urban heat island effect: Rising temperature due to urban heat islands alters the dynamics of the monsoon patterns, leading to changes in wind patterns and atmospheric circulation, which can impact the timing and amount of rainfall.
  3. Aerosol and other suspended particles: Aerosols can affect precipitation through the radiative effects of suspended particles in the atmosphere and can heat the temperature, reducing the amount of low clouds by increased evaporation in cloud drops. These aerosols induce changes in cloud amounts related to rainfall changes.
  4. Changes in Land use pattern:
    1. Giant skyscrapers in urban areas: This increased built-up area allows increased heating of the surface, which increases temperature, causing more evaporation and further affecting rain patterns.
    2. Deforestation: Around 80% of India’s annual rainfall comes from the Indian summer monsoon, spanning from June to September, but deforestation has caused the summer monsoon to weaken, resulting in a decline in rainfall (Scientific Reports).
    3. Excessive irrigation causes a negative impact on soil moisture, diminishing its capability to reflect or absorb heat. Crops generally reflect more solar radiation than forests, which instead absorb it.
    4. Mining of Mountains reduces the orographic rainfall. Such effect is seen in both Western Ghats and the Aravalli.

Way forward:

  1. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential to slow the current trend of global warming. Governments around the world are working toward this goal under the Paris Agreement.
  2. Shifting towards linking environment and development to sustainable land management UNCCD.
  3. To restore degraded land and rehabilitation, achieving Land Degradation Neutrality (SDG 15.3).
  4. The establishment of a Western Ghat Ecology Authority under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 was to manage the ecology of the region (Madhav Gadgill Report).

Conclusion:

Recognising human Intervention is one of the primary reasons for changing the nature of the Indian Monsoon and overall climate, the government has introduced the National Action Plan on climate change. India is one of the few countries to adhere to the targets set under the Paris Agreement.

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