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