Wet spell: An active monsoon saw floods in several parts of the country including a cloud burst and landslide in Kerala's Idukki district (in photo) which has reportedly claimed 70 lives | Photo: The News Minute

Torrential rain in India claims several lives, wipes out July deficit

After recording a lull in July, India’s monsoon season brought rain to northwest and central India between August 11 and 14, taking the overall precipitation to an excess – 103% of the long-period average (LPA). According to a report by the ministry of home affairs’ disaster management division dated August 12, 868 people have lost their lives to floods in 11 states, compared with 908 deaths in the same period last year.

Karnataka reported at least 12 deaths and a monetary loss of ₹3,500 crore, including extensive crop damage. Kerala also battled incessant rain and strong winds leading to a third consecutive year of floods. In Pettimudi in Kerala’s Idukki district, a landslide claimed 70 lives on August 6. A top official claimed a cloud burst led to the landslide.

Mumbai reported flooding in new areas this year, especially South Mumbai. Activists and experts blamed ongoing infrastructure projects such as the coastal road and metro work for the new trend, but officials maintained it was because of incessant rainfall.   

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert for two districts in Maharashtra and predicted heavy rainfall for Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Telangana in the next few days.

COVID-19 effect: UN climate science report won’t be ready before Glasgow summit next year

Only the first section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the science of global warming will be ready for release ahead of the November 2021 summit in Glasgow because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means the other two main sections of the report, which dealt with the impacts of climate change and ways to curb greenhouse gas emissions, will be delayed.

Tropical storms Josephine and Kyle marks unusually active Atlantic hurricane season this year

Hurricane season in the Atlantic has been unusually active this year. Tropical Storm Josephine and Kyle became the earliest 10th and 11th named storm on record in 2020. At this time of the year, the US typically records around three named storms. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted 25 tropical storms for this year, the highest in its history.

Satellite imagery captures extent of Milne ice shelf split

Satellite images of the Arctic’s Milne ice shelf, which split between July 30 and July 31, paint a worrying picture of the impact global warming has had on the region. The ice shelf area, which covered 8,600 sqkm at the beginning of the 20th century, now measures under 500 sqkm.

A new study supported the prediction that the Arctic would be sea ice-free by 2035. The study arrived at the conclusion after comparing Arctic sea ice conditions between the last interglacial and present day.

Warming rate higher than 0.5°C per decade in China: Study

A new study found that the warming rate in China is higher than 0.5°C per decade in numerous stations across the country. What makes this study unique is that while most previous research calculates warming rate based on either a long period or selected periods, this one calculated the same based on the seasonal temperatures obtained from 2,479 weather stations across China between 1958–2017. The study also found that the amount of seasonal warming over the past 60 years was highest in winter, followed by spring, autumn and summer.

Global warming can unlock carbon from tropical soil: Study

In a rare experiment, researchers tried to find out the effect of global warming on tropical forest soil. While past studies have concluded that warming leads to a much lesser carbon loss in tropical soil compared to forests in higher altitudes, this study found that tropical soil is highly sensitive to warming. The study exposed the soil profile to warmer temperatures (up by 4 degrees Celsius) for two years and found increased CO2 emissions by 55% compared to soils at ambient temperature.

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