Monsoon becomes unpredictable in India as pollution wreaks havoc – Sat, May 27 2023

Vidhi Doshi (Thomson Reuters Foundation) (The Jakarta Post)


Hyderabad, India ●
Saturday, May 27 2023

In a small laboratory on the outskirts of Hyderabad, India, Professor Kirti Sahu studies raindrops.

Using a machine that simulates cloud conditions, he is one of several scientists aiming to understand how climate change and pollution alter the monsoons that support the country’s agricultural economy.

„The Indian monsoon is full of mystery. If we can predict the rainfall, it will be huge for us,” said Sahu, a researcher in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad.

The monsoons, the lifeblood of the country’s US$3 trillion economy, provide nearly 70 percent of India’s rainfall needs to irrigate agricultural farms and recharge reservoirs and aquifers.

The nation of 1.4 billion plans its planting season, harvests and even weddings around the monsoons.

But climate change emissions and pollution from burning fossil fuels for energy are altering monsoons, affecting agriculture and making forecasting difficult.

Climate change is driving more extreme weather around the world, with wet areas becoming generally wetter, while dry areas suffer from more drought.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that although climate change will lead to more rainfall in Asia, the South Asian monsoon has weakened in the second half of the 20th century.

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