Final flurry: After a delay of close to a month, the southwest monsoon is finally withdrawing from the Indian subcontinent, just in time for the onset date for the northeast monsoon | Photo: IMD

Southwest monsoon beats the retreat in India, records above-normal rain overall

The southwest monsoon season finally came to an end in India, 13 days after its normal date of retreating. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced the commencement of the northeast monsoon, which brings rain to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala in the last three months of the year. Overall, the country received 109% rainfall of the Long Period Average (LPA) with the months of June, August and September recording excess rain, while the month of July recorded a deficit, IMD stated.   

Climate-resistant super wheat set to be grown in Argentina

As the threat of water scarcity and food shortages increase, possible relief comes in the form of climate-resistant super wheat that has just been green-lit for production in Argentina. The gene-edited wheat called BIOX.BA HB4 can be grown even in dry conditions, which is apt for the region that has suffered from water stress for the past few years. In field trials conducted over a period of 10 years, the seed varieties increased crop yield by an average of 20% during growing seasons that had been affected by drought. Concerns have been raised about the GMO wheat, however, as no other countries have approved its importation. 

Climate change could trigger mass migration from tropical to cooler climes within decades: Study

A new study predicted that within decades, increasing climate change would prove to be an additional incentive for hundreds of millions of people residing in tropical and subtropical countries to migrate to cooler temperate countries. The study, published in the journal Earth System Dynamics, found India would have the greatest number of people with this incentive to move. In general, the study stated that it was areas with the highest projected population growth rates that would be most adversely affected by climate change. 

Rapidly sliding mountains due to melting permafrost in Alaska trigger Tsunami threat 

New research indicated that mountains in cold places across the world, such as Alaska, are collapsing because the permafrost that holds them together is melting rapidly. This could trigger tsunamis if they fall into the sea. A particular area of concern is the popular tourist attraction Barry Arm fjord in Alaska, which began sliding early last century and the process has increased rapidly in the past decade. 

The Arctic sea ice in Siberia, meanwhile, is yet to start freezing, which has never been the case since records began. The delay in the Laptev Sea could be a result of unusual warmth in northern Russia and the intrusion of Atlantic waters, scientists said.  

Scientists, however, found evidence suggesting frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean have started to be released off the East Siberian coast. This could potentially accelerate the pace of global warming, scientists fear.

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