Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ups-and-downs of Indian monsoon rainfall likely to increase under warming

20.06.2013
Day-to-day rainfall in India might become more variable due to climate change – potentially putting millions of farmers and the country’s agricultural productivity at risk.

The Indian monsoon is a complex system which is likely to change under global warming. While it is in the very nature of weather to vary, the question is how much and whether we can deal with it. Extreme rainfall, for example, bears the risk of flooding, and crop failure.

Computer simulations with a comprehensive set of 20 state-of-the-art climate models now consistently show that Indian monsoon daily variability might increase, according to a study published by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

“Increased variability – this rather technical term translates into potentially severe impacts on people who cannot afford additional loss,” says Anders Levermann, one of the study’s authors and co-chair of PIK’s research domain Sustainable Solutions. “The fact that all these different models agree is a clear message that adaptation measures can be built on.”

Even if seasonal mean precipitation would remain unchanged, impacts could be substantial, Levermann points out. “Focusing on the average is not always useful. If rainfall comes in a spell and is followed by a drought, this can be devastating even if the average is normal. This requires the right kind of adaptation measures that account for this variability – such as intelligent insurance schemes, for example.”

The strongest change of 13 to 50 percent is found in a scenario in which greenhouse gases continue to be emitted unabated. However, even if global warming would be limited to the internationally acknowledged threshold of 2 degrees Celsius of global warming, this would bear the risk of additional day-to-day variability between 8 and 24 percent above the pre-industrial level, according to the analysis. “So limiting global warming is key to reduce day-to-day monsoon variability, adaptation cannot replace but rather complement it,” says Levermann.

The researchers focused on the ten models with the most realistic monsoon pattern – a conservative approach, as these ten models yield generally lower rates of change. The other ten models showed higher rates of change. “This is not about exact percentages. It is the clear trend that conveys the message,” says Arathy Menon, lead-author of the study. The scientists used the latest ensemble of climate models, prepared for the 5th assessement report of the International Panel on Climate Change. All of them show increased variability.

Taking into account all 20 models, the spread of results reduces when the scientists looked at the rainfall changes per degree of global warming independent of the exact time path of the warming. The consistent result is that 4 to 12 percent variability change of daily monsoon rainfall in India are to be expected per degree Celsius of warming. “This is a robust indicator,” says Menon.

About 80 percent of annual rainfall in India occur during the monsoon season from June through September. Factors that could perturb rainfall regularity include the higher holding capacity of moisture of the warmer air, but also more complex phenomena like cooling in the higher atmosphere which changes current pressure and thereby rainfall patterns.

Article: Menon, A., Levermann, A., Schewe, J. (2013): Enhanced future variability during India's rainy season. Geophysical Research Letters (online) [DOI: 10.1002/grl.50583]

Weblink to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50583/abstract

For further information please contact:
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-Mail: press@pik-potsdam.de
Follow us on twitter: PIK_climate

Jonas Viering | PIK Potsdam
Further information:
http://www.pik-potsdam.de
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50583/abstract

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht An Atom Trap for Water Dating
28.02.2017 | Universität Heidelberg

nachricht NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California
24.02.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cells adapt ultra-rapidly to zero gravity

28.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

An Atom Trap for Water Dating

28.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>