India will experience warmer days and nights along with frequent heavy rainfall spells causing floods till the end of 21st century, summarised a report titled ‘Climate change assessment over Indian region’.
The first-of-its-kind report for the Indian region, however, did not specify regions or states that would suffer due to these weather conditions in the future. Until now, climate assessment reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was referred to in order to plan policies and mitigation measures.
The study, spearheaded by climate experts at India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), has considered atmospheric and ocean data for the period between 1951 and 2015. It has chapters on temperature, rainfall and climate modelling.
According to the report, the country’s annual all-India rainfall during this period showcased a declining trend. Reduced rainfall activity was particularly observed along the Indo-Gangetic plains and Western ghats. Both these belts are known to house some of the wettest locations in the country.
In an agrarian country like India, cultivation along these belts could take a hit under reduced rainfall conditions, warned experts. ” An increase in anthropogenic activities over the northern hemisphere could have played some role for this declining rainfall,” the report suggested.
Contrarily, the number of heavy rainfall days and events has gone up during the same period. This, in turn, was found to cause heavy flooding leading to loss of life, property and livelihoods. Being highly localised events, land use, along with concentration of aerosols, was attributed for this increased rainfall.
Heatwaves to severe heatwave conditions, over larger geographical areas than present day, could be a norm in the coming years, the report highlighted. Normally, heatwaves are reported between March and May, with a spell lasting for a week to 10 days.
“There are warming trends recorded between 1951 and 2015, with significant warming noticed between 1986 and 2015. The mean surface air temperature can rise anywhere between 1.39 and 2.70 degrees Celsius during two epochs — 2040 – 2069 and 2070 – 2099,” stated the report.
The annual mean and maximum temperatures was noted to have jumped by 0.15 degrees Celsius, whereas the minimum temperatures soared by 0.13 degrees Celsius, between 1951 and 2015.
Among the seasons, pre-monoon (March to May) is reported to have greater warming, followed by the post-monsoon (October to December) season. Warming remained the least from June to September, the monsoon season, over the country.
Similar to spikes in heavy rainfall days, there will be more warmer days and warmer nights in the near future.