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Nothing abnormal in rainfall activities: expert


GUWAHATI, Aug 21 - The unprecedented excess rainfall over Kerala and the resultant devastating flood there, compared to a virtually rainless condition in the usually�rain-drenched�northeastern region this year, has nothing abnormal in it, as it is merely a part of a year-to-year variation in the rainfall activities over the country.

This was the observation made by renowned meteorologist and former Director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Prof BN Goswami. Prof Goswami is an expert in tropical meteorology, monsoon dynamics and predictability of weather and climate and air-sea interactions.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Prof Goswami maintained that study of the rainfall data for the past 100 years makes it evident that there is a pattern that suggests the present year-to-year variation in the rainfall activities over the western and northeastern parts of the country. However, he said, in the same breath, that this pattern was not observed to be as strong as it appeared to be this year.

But, he asserted that the variation in rainfall activities that was observed this year over these two parts of the country was a reflection of that pattern and there is nothing abnormal in it. �We cannot claim it to be a product of the impact of climate change,� he said.

Prof Goswami maintained that the overall rise in the maximum and minimum temperatures in the country has a link with the phenomenon of global warming, besides their links also with the incidence of�the urban heat island.

It is pertinent to mention here that Union Minister for Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan, on July 18 this year, while replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, claimed that the all-India mean temperature has risen nearly around 0.64 degree Celsius, which is less than the rise in global temperature (that is by 0.85 degree Celsius, plus-minus 0.18 degree Celsius) over the last 110 years.

The minister further informed the House that his ministry launched a high-priority programme to address the scientific issues related with global and regional climate change (GRCC) with a well-equipped state-of-the-art Centre for Climate Change Research (CCSR) at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune for interdisciplinary research and training in the area of science of climate change.

Moreover, an Earth System Model (ESM) has been developed for generating future climate change scenarios. Currently, the CCSR is leading the Co-ordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) for the South Asian Region under the aegis of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the minister said.

The India Meteorology Department (IMD) said in a press release on August 19 that Kerala received a total rainfall of 2,346.6 mm of rainfall between June 1 and August 19 this year, against the normal of 1,649.5 mm. This was 42 per cent excess of its normal rainfall for this period. Moreover, in the month of June, Kerala received 15 per cent excess rainfall and in July and August it received 18 per cent and 164 per cent excess rainfall respectively. Rainfall during August over Kerala was exceptionally high, the IMD said.

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