A moody monsoon: The 2021 monsoon season has so far been marked with inconsistencies in distribution, with over a third of the country seeing deficient rains | Source: IMD

India records 33% rain deficiency in August after second monsoon “break”

A “break” in the monsoon season this month resulted in a 33% deficiency in the overall rainfall across the country. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the deficiency is the highest in central India (51%), followed by peninsular India (37.7%), northwest India (22%) and the east and northeast of the country (5%). This is the second “break” recorded this season. The first was between June 29 and July 11. Experts said the monsoon trough hovered mostly over the foothills of the Himalayas during this time and blamed the unfavourable position of the Madden Julian Oscillation for the break in monsoon. There was a brief revival on August 19 but the IMD predicted this was likely to weaken again from August 24 onwards.  

Climate change-induced water crisis in Syria, Iraq puts 12 million at risk

A water crisis triggered by climate change in Syria and Iraq is putting 12 million people at risk of losing water, food and electricity, according to aid groups working in these areas. Record high temperatures in the region as a result of less rainfall has led to droughts, while drying dams have led to a decline in power levels. The groups urged authorities to take quick, but sustainable action to minimise the water crisis in the region that has already been battered by conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

July floods in Germany, Belgium more intense due to climate change: Study

A new study revealed climate change made the deadly floods that engulfed parts of Germany and Belgium in July up to nine times more likely. Using weather records and computer simulations, the scientists found two flood-hit areas had been particularly hit by unusual precipitation at the peak of the crisis. The study linked these unprecedented downpours to human-induced warming. The researchers said not only had climate change increased the likelihood of such floods occurring, it had also increased their intensity.

Montreal Protocol protecting terrestrial carbon sinks: Study

Without the Montreal Protocol, there could have been 325–690 billion tonnes less carbon held in plants and soils by the end of this century, a new study estimated. This could have resulted in the atmosphere carrying an additional 115–235 parts per million of carbon dioxide that could have triggered additional warming of the global mean surface temperature by 0.5°C-1°C, according to the study. The international treaty aimed to protect Earth’s ozone layer by stopping the production of ozone-depleting substances, which are potent greenhouse gases. The ozone layer also protects plants and soils from ultraviolet radiation that has the ability to deplete the capacity of carbon sinks. The study, published in the journal Nature, therefore, concluded that the Montreal Protocol is protecting the earth’s terrestrial carbon sink.