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Extreme rainfall events may increase: Experts

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
Aug 03, 2021 04:33 AM IST

India experienced a spate of extreme rainfall events this July leading to flooding, landslides and loss of life in the Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra region

Extreme rainfall events during monsoon months are likely to only increase in all emission scenarios and are expected to spike further where the current global emission trends continue and no efforts are made to cut down emissions, a senior scientist from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) said on Monday.

Most climate models agree that extreme rainfall events during monsoon months will increase. (ANI Photo) PREMIUM
Most climate models agree that extreme rainfall events during monsoon months will increase. (ANI Photo)

IITM’s climate model, Earth System model is contributing to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report. It is the first Indian model to contribute to IPCC’s evaluation.

“Most climate models agree that extreme rainfall events during monsoon months will increase. We are already seeing a rise in these trends in recent years. Our model is also showing similar results that extreme events will increase in future. Not every extreme rainfall event can be attributed to climate change directly. Natural variability is combining with anthropogenic climate change to create this complex scenario,” Professor Ravi Shankar Nanjundiah, director, IITM, said during a press conference.

He added that due to the long residence time of greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere its difficult to say when the occurrence of extreme rainfall events stabilise. On whether we have crossed the threshold on moderating extreme rainfall events, he explained: “We have already crossed 400 PPM of globally averaged carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations. This cannot be reversed soon...if we continue with business as usual, we are in for very tough times and are likely to see a rapid increase in extreme rainfall events during monsoon months in India.”

Nanjundiah’s comments come ahead of IPCC presenting its report, the Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis. The IPCC is meeting remotely from July 26 to August 6 to approve the report.

India experienced a spate of extreme rainfall events this July leading to flooding, landslides and loss of life in the Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra region and towards end of July there were several cloudburst events in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir which caused widespread devastation.

IITM is presently hosting International Conference on Clouds and Precipitation 2021 where international scientists and cloud physicists will discuss latest research on clouds, convection and rain with particular focus on the monsoon. “Clouds are a major uncertainty in climate change projections, so their role is very important,” said Prof Andrea Flossmann, President, ICCP Commission.

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