Heatwave augurs well for monsoon, but rains likely to bring more hazards | Lifestyle News

Even as the term ‘climate change’ has become ubiquitous and oft-repeated coinage across the world, Kerala too has not been spared from the harsh conditions unleashed by the climate crisis. The state is reeling under sweltering heat now, and several regions have touched record temperatures. However, these conditions in the state are said to be conducive to a normal monsoon, according to weather forecasters in the state.

The Kerala perspectiveA source with the IMD, Kerala, has told Onmanorama that the present heat wave conditions forecast a normal monsoon. “Climate change is at work already, and the extreme weather conditions have triggered a gamut of adverse impacts across the world,” the official said, “It’s also been making an impact in our state. There has been a rise of 0.5 to 1 degree C in temperatures recorded at various observatories in Kerala over the past 30 years.”

“But, the present hot conditions in Kerala are expected to bring a normal monsoon in the state. The high temperature is caused by the El Nino phenomenon which is characterised by the warming of the oceans,” the official said. When the air gets heated up, its capacity to capture moisture rises, which ultimately leads to heavier rainfall. By the time monsoon arrives, it will be La Nina pattern in the region, which is recognised by the cooler-than-normal oceans. This will bring more rains, he said.

The need for preparednessGiven the climate scenario in Kerala at present, it’s likely that there is a possibility of a spike in the frequency of hazardous events. Usually, the government takes precautionary measures ahead of every monsoon season following reports by relevant authorities.

Citing the forecast of heavy rains and inundation of low-lying areas the vulnerable areas are identified to evacuate people to safer places. Places like Iduki, Peerumedu, Varkala, Neriyamangalam, Aruvikkara, Chertalai, Kumarakom, and Kannur are prone to increased instances of landslides, flooding and cyclones. So we need to be more alert and better precautionary measures should be in place to ward off catastrophes, the official warned.

Indian Ocean DipoleThe Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)is a pattern of climate that affects the Indian Ocean. During the positive phase of IOD, warm waters are pushed to the Western part of the Indian Ocean, while cold deep waters are brought up to the surface in the Eastern Indian Ocean. This is a good sign for a normal monsoon in Kerala, the IMD official said.

While most of the international climate summits pursued efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change and save the planet, a concrete endeavour from any corner of the globe is yet to materialise.


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