Are we experiencing a gradual shift in local climate pattern in Hyderabad with the city experiencing its heaviest rainfall in recent years?
The answer is yes, according to top climate change experts, who have been monitoring the frequency of depressions and intensity of showers that are lashing India’s newest state this monsoon.
With another depression forming in west-central Bay of Bengal, the Indian Meteorological Department has said Hyderabadis will have to brace for five more days of rain, before a lull for some time.
“For the next three days, we foresee very heavy rainfall in Hyderabad and the rest of the state. But, the worry is that towards the end of the month there could be another depression bringing more rain to the city ,“ says YK Reddy , IMD in-charge for Telangana and AP .
Hyderabad has so far received 725.4 mm of rainfall, which is 23 per cent more than the average of 588.6 mm rainfall, and there seems to be no let-up. Telangana received four per cent surplus rain this monsoon.
“It’s very strange that several depressions are forming near Odisha and Andhra Pradesh pa coast. They normally i travel northwestwardly and end up in Gujarat r and Rajasthan, but that seems to be not happening this year. This is a strange pattern as there are no rains on the coast of Kerala and Karnataka,“ says G Bala, a climate change expert at Indian Institute of Science’s Divecha Centre for Climate Change based in Bangalore.
Experts say high carbon emission and its concentration in the atmosphere is triggering more localised rain.
“Our lives evolve around seasons, but now due to high concentration of carbon in the atmosphere, the rain and wind patterns are going haywire. This is triggering more depressions and more rain off the AP coast,“ said Sanjay Vashist, a top expert at Climate Action Network.“Without any short-term or long-term policy , you will see more of these weather patterns,“ he adds.
Other experts, while agreeing, say , warmer sea temperature, widespread destruction of AP coastline, emission of greenhouse gases and localised destruction of ecology , are other reasons for climate change.
“The conditions are favourable to form a depression in the Bay of Bengal compared to the Arabian S e a due to war mer sea condi tions. There is no doubt that we are witnessing something unique and it’s the result of climate change,“ says RV Subba Rao, an expert in studying the weather charts.“Rainfall variations are a key component of climate change and there needs to be immediate localised studies to find out why this is happening so frequently ,“ the retired senior meteorologist adds.
Siddharth Pathak, head of Political Advocacy , Climate Action Network Inter national, says the current conditions might have been triggered by regional disturbances, but there is a larger trend of uncertainty . “Climate change and increasing global temperatures are resulting in greater variation in monsoon patterns and this is only going to increase if global temperature rises and carbon emissions are not controlled immediately . The intensity and distribution of monsoon is going to be impacted and we have been seeing increasing trends towards that. Not only would it impact agriculture, but the city infrastructure is also under greater risk,“ Pathak said from New York.
While Kerala has reported a 30 per cent deficit rainfall this sea son, eastern Rajasthan to (Jaipur, Pushkar and e Ajmer), strangely re ceived 30 per cent excess e rain, and northeast has had a 15 per cent deficit rainfall, with barely days to go before the Southwest monsoon withdraws. “I am concerned about huge spa cial difference of rainfall be tween regions. That’s a major concern,“ says G Bala.
While the Met department says monsoon has been more active this year on Andhra coast, some climate experts believe that it’s a direct result of localised climate change impact caused by various man-made reasons. “Not just rains, we may witness severe drought in the years to come and there will be floods with huge destruction of AP coast line,“ says S Jeevananda Red dy, author of Climate Change and its Impacts.