Global Warming Current Affairs - 2019
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El-Nino disturbs the atmospheric conditions across the world. El-Nino occurs every two-to-seven years with very strong El Niño’s occurring about every 15 years results in droughts, floods, wildfires, dust and snow storms, fish kill, and even elevated risks of civil conflicts.
The El-Nino is measured by studying the averages sea surface temperature anomalies over the central-eastern tropical Pacific. A study which analyses the impact of global warming on El-Nino has been published in the journal Nature in December 2018.
Findings of the Study
The important findings of the study are:
- The study serves a warning to the countries on all continents that suffer from these extreme weather events during strong El Niño events such as the ones during 1982-83, 1997-98 and 2015-16.
- The study notes that eagerly-awaited winter rain and snow storms over California did not occur during the latest extreme El Nino. Hence it is unclear whether global warming is already affecting El Nino and its remote impacts.
- The study argues that it is unclear if the impact of global warming on El Nino can easily be extracted considering its intrinsic tendencies and its dependency on so many factors that are not easily predictable.
The study concludes that various models to study El-Nino deliver a slightly different rendition of El Niño compared to nature. Hence it is imperative that models be held to very stringent standards on their performance of El Niño behaviour during historic periods, especially the 20th century, as a test of their reliability for future projections. As a result it is difficult to conclude how reliably the models can project El Niño response to global warming in addition to how the models perform in reproducing floods and droughts of 20th century.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has released a bulletin highlighting the important features about the climatic conditions of 2018:
- India’s average mean monthly temperatures were “warmer than the normal” during all the months of the year except December.
- This more than normal mean monthly temperature is attributed to global warming.
- The annual mean surface air temperature averaged over the country in 2018 was +0.41 degree Celsius above (1981-2010 period) average.
- The year 2018 was the sixth warmest year on record since nationwide records commenced in 1901.
The other warmest years on record are 016 (+0.72 degree Celsius), 2009 (+0.56 degree Celsius), 2017 (+0.55 degree Celsius), 2010 (+0.54 degree Celsius) and 2015 (+0.42 degree Celsius), which are all recent years.
- The worrying factor is, 11 out of 15 warmest years were during the recent past 15 years (2004-2018) and overall 2018 was the sixth warmest year on record since nationwide records commenced in 1901.
- India recorded 1,428 deaths in 2018 due to extreme weather events and heavy rains and subsequent flooding, dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning claimed half the lives.
- Cyclones Titli and Gaja killed almost 122 people.
India Meteorological Department (IMD)
India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the chief government agency for meteorological services in the country. Formed in 1875, IMD functions under Ministry of Earth Sciences and is headquartered in New Delhi. It deals with everything related to meteorology, seismology and associated subjects like
- Undertaking meteorological observations and provide current information and forecasting information for most favourable operation of weather-dependent activities such as irrigation, agriculture, aviation, shipping etc.
- Offering warnings against severe weather phenomenon such as tropical cyclones, norwesters, dust storms, heat waves, cold waves, heavy rains, heavy snow, etc.
- Providing met-related statistics needed for agriculture, industries, water resources management, oil exploration, and any other strategically important activities for the country.
- Engaging in research in meteorology and allied subjects.
- Detecting and locating earthquakes and evaluate seismicity in various parts of the country for developmental projects.
From a modest beginning in 1875, IMD has progressively expanded its infrastructure for meteorological observations, forecasting and weather services. IMD was the first organisation in India to adopt a message switching computer to support its global data exchange.