Some evidence of climate change in twentieth-century India
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- Dash, S.K., Jenamani, R.K., Kalsi, S.R. et al. Climatic Change (2007) 85: 299. doi:10.1007/s10584-007-9305-9
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The study of climate changes in India and search for robust evidences are issues of concern specially when it is known that poor people are very vulnerable to climate changes. Due to the vast size of India and its complex geography, climate in this part of the globe has large spatial and temporal variations. Important weather events affecting India are floods and droughts, monsoon depressions and cyclones, heat waves, cold waves, prolonged fog and snowfall. Results of this comprehensive study based on observed data and model reanalyzed fields indicate that in the last century, the atmospheric surface temperature in India has enhanced by about 1 and 1.1°C during winter and post-monsoon months respectively. Also decrease in the minimum temperature during summer monsoon and its increase during post-monsoon months have created a large difference of about 0.8°C in the seasonal temperature anomalies which may bring about seasonal asymmetry and hence changes in atmospheric circulation. Opposite phases of increase and decrease in the minimum temperatures in the southern and northern regions of India respectively have been noticed in the interannual variability. In north India, the minimum temperature shows sharp decrease of its magnitude between 1955 and 1972 and then sharp increase till date. But in south India, the minimum temperature has a steady increase. The sea surface temperatures (SST) of Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal also show increasing trend. Observations indicate occurrence of more extreme temperature events in the east coast of India in the recent past. During summer monsoon months, there is a decreasing (increasing) trend in the frequency of depressions (low pressure areas). In the last century the frequency of occurrence of cyclonic storms shows increasing trend in the month of November. In addition there is increase in the number of severe cyclonic storms crossing Indian Coast. Analysis of rainfall amount during different seasons indicate decreasing tendency in the summer monsoon rainfall over Indian landmass and increasing trend in the rainfall during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon months.