Author: Shannon Hall

The climate disaster strikes: what the data say

Source(s): Nature International journal of science

India is facing a harsh new reality. In Kerala, near the southern tip of the subcontinent, floods frequently inundate farmlands and pour into households. In the sea off Mumbai, fewer fish are caught owing to an increase in cyclones and heavier rainfall. 

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Since the pre-industrial period, India’s rising temperature has caused the Himalayan glaciers to retreat, droughts to worsen, flash floods and landslides to increase and cyclones to intensify across the country’s 7,500-kilometre-long coastline.

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In 2020, India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences published the first climate-change assessment report for the country1. It was based on data from 1901 to 2018 and showed that the country’s average temperature in that period had risen by roughly 0.7 °C, bringing with it extreme weather patterns.

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Part of the problem is that India is positioned between the melting Himalayas and three rapidly warming bodies of water. The Arabian Sea warmed by 2 °C from 1982 to 2019, pumping moisture into northwest India. But the mountains squeeze the moisture from these damp winds as if they were a sponge, dumping rain and causing floods and landslides. 

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Hazards Flood Landslide
Country and region India
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