Every year, news cycles are flooding with updates of incessant monsoon rain in northeast India, especially Assam and Meghalaya, and this year was no exception. A study by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), however, found that rainfall over the region has been decreasing over the past three decades, indicating a change in pattern because of climate change.
According to the study, while the quantum of rainfall is decreasing, extreme rainfall events are on the rise in the region. This is consistent with the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). So far this year, at least 121 people have died since April 1 in Assam and 2.5 million people have been affected. Scientists have linked the erratic and early rains in the northeast and Bangladesh to climate change.
Monsoon covers India earlier than usual, sets stage for a rainy July
The southwest monsoon covered the entire country on July 2, six days ahead of schedule, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced last week. A combination of favourable conditions has seen monsoon progress picked up in the second half of June after a staggered onset which saw June rainfall record a deficit of 8%. The formation of a low pressure zone off the coast of Odisha has moved northwards and inland over the past week, setting in motion an active phase of the monsoon. Heavy rains this week have battered multiple locations across the country, particularly in the along the west coast, east coast and the Himalayan region.
50,000 people told to evacuate after floods in Sydney; Typhoon Chaba hits China
Australia’s largest city, Sydney, was hit by floods over the past weekend. Around 50,000 people were asked to evacuate their homes after the city received eight months of rain in just four days. According to experts, flooding has become a more frequent event in the region because of climate change and a La Niña weather phenomenon.
In China, Typhoon Chaba was downgraded to a tropical depression but is expected to bring heavy rain to central and eastern China. It already brought heavy rain to the southern provinces that are already reeling from incessant rainfall and thunderstorms.
Freshwater lakes evaporating faster than previously thought: Study
Freshwater lakes are disappearing at a rate that is faster than previously thought, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. Warming temperatures and a rise in solar radiation because of changing cloud cover patterns has led to more evaporation of water from these lakes, according to the study.
Loss of ice cover has also exasperated the problem. The study observed evaporation rates in 1.42 million global lakes using satellite data. It found the long-term lake evaporation is 1,500 plus or minus 150 cubic kilometres per year, which is 15.4% larger than previous estimates.
Cement CO2 emissions doubled in past 20 years: Data
Carbon dioxide emitted during cement production has doubled in the past 20 years, according to new data. According to data released by Norway’s CICERO Center for International Climate Research and the Global Carbon Project, last year, global emissions from cement production for buildings, roads and other infrastructure stood at 2.9 billion tonnes of CO2, more than 7% of global carbon emissions. In 2002, this figure stood at 1.4 billion tonnes. This spike has been largely driven by China, where cement emissions have been estimated to grow at a rate of 2.6% a year.