Got to live with it: The IMD is now going official with the “new normal” dates for India’s monsoon season, having had to recalibrate dates used for 79 years | Photo: MIT

India set to adopt ‘new normal’ reference dates for its monsoon season

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will release the ‘new normal’ reference dates for the monsoon season in the country. While the arrival of the southwest monsoon in Kerala is likely to remain the same, June 1, the withdrawal of rain from north-west India is likely to be delayed by at least 10 days – from September 1 to September 10.

India has been adhering to the previous dates for the past 79 years. The new dates are based on the analysis of historic data on changing rainfall patterns across India. IMD hopes the change will help farmers, disaster management authorities and other civic agencies to plan better for the season.

Methane emissions in Arctic Ocean highly overestimated: Study

Methane emissions, especially in regions like the Arctic Ocean, are highly overestimated, a new study states. It opines that because the Arctic Ocean region is a harsh working environment, scientific expeditions are only conducted during the warmer months because of predictable weather and water currents. Therefore, most of the data on methane discharge from the ocean floors in this region is collected in summer and early autumn.

The study, however, states that methane discharge system hibernates in the winter months. Case in point: “We have found that seasonal differences in bottom water temperatures in the Arctic Ocean vary from 1.7°C in May to 3.5°C in August. The methane seeps in colder conditions decrease emissions by 43% in May compared to August.” says oceanographer Benedicte Ferré, researcher at CAGE Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. This means that climate gas calculations are disregarding seasonal temperature variations, according to the study. It does not, however, look into the future when ocean temperatures are set to rise to anywhere between 3°C to 13°C because of climate change. It only looks are correcting the current methane emissions budget.

Study links climate change with an increase in violent crimes in the US           

Climate change could lead to a significant increase in violent crimes in the United States every year, according to a new study. The study, which was published in Environment Research Letters, states that depending on the rate at which temperature rises, the country could see at least 2 to 3 million more violent crimes between now and the end of the century.

The projections were made by combining empirical models from previous studies with 42 state-of-the-art global climate models and the study also accounted for regionality and seasonality.

Ocean temperatures hit record highs last year as global warming rate accelerates

Heat in oceans across the world reached record levels in 2019. This is a clear sign of the acceleration of global warming because oceans absorb 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere because of human activities such as fossil fuel burning. According to the new analysis, the past five years are the top five warmest years recorded in the ocean and it is the result is the same with the past 10 years. This is significant because hotter oceans would lead to faster thawing of ice and rising seas, which have already reached record levels.

According to another report, warming oceans are also forcing leatherback turtles to travel twice as far for food because rising temperatures is causing their prey to move further north. The exhaustion of travelling so far for food is leading to the turtles laying fewer eggs on beaches, causing a decline in the population of the largest turtle species.

Chile’s 2017 mega fires doubled country’s greenhouse gas emissions

Mega fires in Chile in 2017 emitted an equivalent of 90% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions that year. According to a report by Universidad de Chile’s Center for Climate and Resilience, the mega fires burnt more than 570,000 hectares of land and cost %350 million to put out. The fires released 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, almost as much as the 111.6 million tonnes emitted by the entire country the year before.

In Australia, brief rain spells and thunderstorms brought some hope the wildfires would be put out. But this was short-lived as the fires continue to rage in the country’s south-east. Some scientists fear the wildfires may permanently alter the country’s landscape, despite the country’s efforts to reseed the damaged areas. This is because the high temperatures, drought and the threat of more wildfires will make the recovery process much longer, scientists believe.

Oil and gas boom in US could mean new significant rise in greenhouse gas emissions: Study

The oil and gas boom in the Gulf and southwest regions of the US could generate more than half a billion tonnes of additional greenhouse gases per year by 2030, according to a study published in Environmental Research Letters this month. This is equivalent to 8% of the country’s current total annual emissions rate.

 Texas and Louisiana will record the bulk of these emissions, according to the study. This would make reducing the country’s emissions even more difficult if immediate steps aren’t taken to curb the rise.

Deforestation in Amazon rose 85% between 2018 and 2019: Brazilian government data

Deforestation in the Amazon rose by 85% last year compared to 2018. Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) found the area with deforestation warnings last year totalled 9,166 sq km, compared to 4,946 sqkm in 2018.

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