No respite: The IMD has predicted more rain in South India until November 20. Photo: PTI

Peninsular India inundated with rain; IMD predicts more wet days ahead

Rain lashed parts of peninsular India this past fortnight. Chennai surpassed its monthly average rainfall in the first week of November itself. Nungambakkam Observatory recorded a total of 464mm of rainfall from November 1-9, while Minambakkam reported 369mm of rain, as against the normal average of 374mm. In Andhra Pradesh, massive flooding in Tirumala, left several tourists in the temple town stranded. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted light to moderate rainfall in South India in the next few days. It also predicted bouts of heavy rainfall over isolated areas in coastal and south interior Karnataka, north Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, and south Konkan and Goa till November 20.

The IMD made the predictions based on two low pressure systems that are currently forming in the Bay of Bengal and the North Andaman Sea. Fishermen have been advised to stay away from both water bodies for the next 2-3 days.

1 billion people will be impacted by extreme heat at 2°C warming: Study

Extreme heat stress is likely to impact a billion people if the warming limit reaches 2°C—a 15-fold increase in the number affected currently— according to data released at COP26 by the UK Met office. If the warming limit goes up to 4°C, half of the world’s population is likely to suffer from heat stress, the research revealed. Climate change is leading to a rise in a deadly combination of heat and humidity, the study stated.

Research predicts bigger floods, changes in flow in the Ganga basin

A new study published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports has warned that the combined effect of climate change and human activity such as the building of large dams in the upper Ganga basin has modified water activity and sediment transport in the basin. This effect, studied over the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda tributaries, has already caused increased flow in the Ganga basin. The future is likely to see more devastating floods in the region due to the coupled effect of large infrastructure and climate change, the study predicts. According to lead author and researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research (ICWaR), IISc, Somil Swarnkar, “We observed that Alaknanda basin has a high, statistically increasing rainfall trend, unlike the Bhagirathi basin. Most of these trends were observed in the downstream region of the Alaknanda. Therefore, we have also seen an increase in the magnitude of extreme flow in these regions.”

NASA’s new mission aims to help scientists better predict extreme weather events  

A new $177 million mission to be launched by American space agency NASA, in the latter half of the decade, will aim to observe tropical storms and thunderstorms and the impact they have on weather and climate models. The Earth Science Mission called Investigation of Convective Updrafts (INCUS), which is part of NASA’s Earth Venture Program, will launch three small satellites in 2027, which will be in tight coordination with each other. 

These satellites will try to understand the science behind why storms, heavy rainfall and cloud formations occur at a specific location. NASA scientists hope this information will help improve weather models and better predict the risk of extreme weather.   

Climate change affecting oceans’ ability to trap carbon: Study 

For centuries, the ocean floor has acted like a ‘buffer’ for the CO2 released into the atmosphere. One-third of the CO2 released into the atmosphere dissolves in the ocean. But a new study by the International “i-Atlantic” project, found that rising ocean temperatures may be diminishing the ocean’s ability to lock away carbon. The carbon buried in the ocean is most likely being released back into the atmosphere as a result of the rising temperatures, thereby causing more global warming, the study found.