India got a welcome break from peaking summer heat over the past fortnight as most parts of the country saw spells of rainfall and cool weather. The unusual spell of cool weather and rainfall weather came after the development of three consecutive western disturbances (WD) flowing eastwards from Iran towards eastern India. As temperatures show signs of picking back up over north and central India, attention has shifted to cyclone Mocha developing in eastern Bay of Bengal. The cyclonic circulation is expected to bring heavy rains in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands before moving northwards towards the eastern coast of mainland India.
Severe heat waves pose risk to economy, SDG goals
A new study led by a team of scholars at the University of Cambridge has found that severe heat waves across India are putting “unprecedented burdens” on India’s agriculture, economy and public health and may hinder or reverse the country’s progress in fulfilling the sustainable development goals (SDGs). More than 90% of India’s total area now lies in extreme heat danger zones and is not fully prepared to adapt to changing conditions.
According to an HT analysis of unit-level data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), the official source of employment statistics in India, 49.4% of India’s workforce are exposed to the sun and work under harsh conditions. It includes the workers employed in agriculture as well as the non-farm workforce. Extreme heat could ultimately lead to a 15% decline in outdoor working capacity, reduce the quality of life of up to 480 million people and cost 2.8% of GDP by 2050.
Severe droughts, heatwaves, and devastating floods have affected communities on every continent: WMO report
According to the annual report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), released on Earth Day 2023, droughts, floods and heat waves have affected communities on every continent and have cost many billions of dollars. Antarctic sea ice has fallen to its lowest extent on record and the melting of some European glaciers has been off the charts.
The State of the Global Climate 2022 shows that the global temperature, in the years 2015-2022 was the eighth warmest on record despite the cooling impact of a La Niña event for the past three years. Melting of glaciers and sea level rise – which again reached record levels in 2022 – will continue for up to thousands of years. Throughout the year, hazardous climate and weather-related events drove new population displacement and worsened conditions for many of the 95 million people already living in displacement at the beginning of the year. The report also puts a spotlight on ecosystems and the environment and shows how climate change is affecting recurring events in nature, such as when trees blossom, or birds migrate.
With El Niño looming over strong, India sets up contingency plans for farmers
The government is putting in place a contingency plan to mitigate the harmful effects of the looming El Niñoand protect farmers and farm output by setting up a system for specific advisory services and forecasts for each of India’s 700-odd districts based on different rainfall scenarios, which will be disseminated through Krishi Vigyan Kendras, a network of federally-run farm centres.
While the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had declared a 50% probability of an El Niño, it has now assessed a 70% probability in the June-August season and the probability rises to 80% in the July-September season. It is likely to be a mild to moderate intensity El Niño. There are chances of another weather phenomenon, a currently positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which tends to boost the rains and thwart an El Niño. IOD is the temperature difference between two spots (western and eastern) in the Indian Ocean.
Why is govt taking steps to monitor stock levels of pulses in the country?
After heavy rain and hailstorm in the second fortnight of March and early April in the country, the government has started taking steps to monitor stock levels of pulses in the country.
As per a report in Down To Earth, central consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh told reporters, “Officials of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution visited 12 places in different parts of the country to talk to market players. They urged traders to upload pulses stock information on the ministry’s portal every Friday and warned of strict action if the instructions were not followed,”
There have been reports of damage, especially from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, but this loss is only three-five per cent. The target for the current year has been kept at 29.55 million tonnes. The total production of pulses in 2021-22 was 27.3 million tonnes, while production was projected at 27.81 million tonnes in the second estimate.
Global sea surface hits record high temperature, alarms scientists ahead of El Niño
The world’s oceans are heating rapidly and scientists are worried that it might add to more global warming. Combined with other weather events and the approaching El Niño – a phenomenon that heats the ocean – the world’s temperature could reach a concerning new level by the end of next year. A new study has found that the global sea surface has hit a new record high temperature – in March, sea surface temperatures off the east coast of North America were as much as 13.8C higher than the 1981-2011 average. As per OISST data – a tool that provides a real-time daily index of ocean surface temperature – there is above-average temperature almost everywhere and currently the highest anomaly value on record.
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