Learning to live with shifts in monsoon - Hindustan Times
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Learning to live with shifts in monsoon

ByHT Editorial
Jun 25, 2024 09:27 PM IST

The climate crisis calls for focus on devising policies that can deal with these threats adequately and puts the onus on even local governments to ensure proper implementation.

The monsoon this year has been deceptive — after arriving two days early on May 30 in Kerala, it progressed slowly to reach Maharashtra on June 11, about nine days late. Since then, it has picked up momentum, but remains seven days behind schedule. So far, it’s performance is in keeping with the trend of below-normal rainfall in June, proper onset only in July, and prolonged, heavy rainfall in September. While the exact causes remain unclear, one explanation for the shift in monsoon patterns is delayed western disturbances and Arctic Sea Ice melting as a result of the climate crisis. What is clear is that the country should prepare for the new character of the weather system, which brings with it erratic rainfall distribution, an increasing number of dry days, and abnormally high night temperatures.

FILE - A farmer carries a sack of paddy on his bicycle during monsoon rains as clouds hover over the sky on the outskirts of Guwahati, India, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath, File) (AP)
FILE - A farmer carries a sack of paddy on his bicycle during monsoon rains as clouds hover over the sky on the outskirts of Guwahati, India, June 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath, File) (AP)

A dry June hurts the kharif crop, heavy rainfall days in July hurts vegetable output, and the season continuing well beyond September means a delay in the rabi crop. What may act as a double whammy for Indian farmers, are some key reservoirs running dry after an exceptionally dry winter. The situation, though far from a drought, calls for both mitigation measures for farmers to stave off economic losses, and adaptation for how the country manages its water, particularly reservoirs that cater to the drinking water needs for most of the plains in the summer months. HT reported on Tuesday that nine years since 2008 have seen below-normal rain in June.

The climate crisis calls for focus on devising policies that can deal with these threats adequately and puts the onus on even local governments to ensure proper implementation.

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