Global warming likely to make monsoon in India wetter, dangerous, says research 

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Certain research models have suggested that the global warming caused by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and increased moisture in the warmed atmosphere cause rainier monsoon with unpredictable, extreme rainfall.

Global warming likely to make monsoon in India wetter, dangerous, says research 

According to new research published in The New York Times, the Indian monsoon is likely to become wetter and more dangerous, thanks to global warming.

Rising pollution levels in the country and resultant global warming have led to rise in temperatures in the last few years with maximum temperatures touching the 50-degree-Celsius mark in certain parts.

Climate change has disrupted the monsoon and certain research models have suggested that the global warming caused by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and increased moisture in the warmed atmosphere cause rainier monsoon with unpredictable, extreme rainfall.

The monsoon, which generally continues from June to September, affects the lives of a fifth of the world's population in South Asia, either nourishing agricultural products or wreaking havoc in extreme conditions, destroying crops and causing devastating floods.

The new paper, published Friday in journal Science Advances, adds evidence to this by looking back over the past million years to give a sense of the future monsoons.

The climate change could reshape the region and history is a guide to that, suggest the scientists who used mud from the Bay of Bengal for their research. They drilled core samples in the Bay of Bengal in the northern Indian Ocean where the runoff from monsoon seasons drains away from the subcontinent.

The core samples, which were 200 m in length, were taken during a two-month research voyage on a converted oil-drilling ship, JOIDES Resolution. The trip had began in November 2014 with a crew of 100 and 30 scientists.
Scientists say that wetter seasons put more water into the bay, reducing the salinity at the surface. The plankton that lives at the surface die and sinks.
Working through the core samples, the scientists analysed the fossils of the plankton, and measured oxygen isotopes to determine the salinity of the water they lived in. The high rainfall and low salinity times came after periods of higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, lower levels of global ice volume and subsequent increase in regional moisture-bearing winds.

Now with higher levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, India can expect the same monsoon patterns to emerge, according to the research.

Lead author of the study, Steven Clemens, a professor of earth, environmental and planetary sciences at Brown University, said they could verify over the past million years that rise in the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had been followed by a substantial increase in rainfall in the South Asian monsoon system. “The predictions of the climate models are wonderfully consistent with what we see in the past million years," he said.

Anders Levermann, a professor of the dynamics of the climate system at Potsdam Institute in Germany, who was not involved in the new paper, said that the consequences are dire for the world’s largest democracy.

"The monsoon already brings a tremendous amount of rain and at times can be destructive, but the risk of catastrophically strong seasons is growing,” he said, adding the increasingly erratic nature of the seasons holds its own risks. "And it is hitting … in many ways, the most challenged democracy on the planet," he further said.

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