Losing livelihoods: Extreme rain and flooding damaged infrastructure and crops in peninsular India. Photo: Hindustan Times

Peninsular India records 143% excess rainfall; farmers demand compensation for crop loss

A fortnight later, the northeast monsoon continues to inundate peninsular India. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the region recorded 143.4% excess rain between November 1 and November 25. Flooding continued in Chennai and parts of Andhra Pradesh. 

The extreme rain and flooding has led to major damage to crops. Farmers in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapuramu district began a month-long protest march, which will cover 780km and 170 villages, to demand compensation for their losses from crop damage, especially the banana crop. 

Mumbai recorded its second-highest-ever 24-hour December rain on December 1. The unseasonal rainfall also led to a drop in the city’s temperature by 9 degrees, its second-lowest for December in 10 years. Grape, onion and vegetable farmers from Nashik district expressed concern about the adverse impact of the unseasonal rain on their crops.   

In the north, apple farmers in Kashmir said they have lost up to half their harvest this year to early snow. This is the third consecutive year that untimely snow has wiped out apple orchards in the region. The region’s weather patterns have been gradually shifting in the past 20 years, but the trend has intensified in the past five years.

According to experts, the climate crisis will increasingly hit production, and the orchards are likely to become unsustainable in a few years. Cyclone Jawad, currently battering the east coast, is likely to add to the country’s weather woes.

Study links melting Arctic sea ice to intensifying fires in western US 

Melting Arctic sea ice is fuelling “fire-favourable” weather across western US, a new study found. The low sea ice levels in the Arctic are pushing the jet stream northwards. This, in turn, is causing hotter and drier weather in western US, which is leading to more intense and frequent fires, the study published in the journal Nature stated. As Arctic sea ice levels continue to deplete, the US will become even more susceptible to intense fires, the study added. 

First post-monsoon cyclone likely to hit Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast this week

A cyclone is currently forming in the Bay of Bengal and is likely to hit the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast on December 4, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The IMD warned of a low-pressure system that had developed off the Thailand coast and was likely to enter the Andaman Sea on Wednesday. The Met predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha till Friday.

This will be the first cyclone post monsoon. October and November are usually peak cyclone seasons. This will be the first time in three decades that both months did not report any cyclones. According to experts, a possible cause of this could be the delayed withdrawal of the southwest monsoon and the improper formation of the southeast monsoon, among other likely reasons.     

Quarter of world’s protected areas to see high rates of climate change, land use change by 2050: Study

A new study warned almost one-quarter of the earth’s protected area networks are likely to see high rates of land use change and climate change by 2050. The study predicted that the most vulnerable impact areas are likely to be tropical moist and grassland biomes, which are home to several tetrapods and vascular plants that don’t require very stringent management. The researchers arrived at the conclusion using high and low future warming scenarios. 

Climate change endangering two flycatcher species found in Western Ghats: Study 

The future of the Black-and-orange Flycatcher (BOF) and the Nilgiri Flycatcher (NIF), two species endemic to the Western Ghats, is under threat because of climate change. According to a study published in the journal Current Science, the BOF and NIF are likely to suffer a 31% and 46% loss of their range respectively by 2050. The study also found around 75% of the current suitable areas for both species—​​Anamalai and Nilgiri Hills—lie outside protected area networks. 

About The Author