Friday, August 28, 2009

Climate change threatens India's monsoons

Dean Nelson in the Telegraph (UK): One of India's leading meteorologists has given warning that in Central India the "days of long duration rains are almost gone". In a study of monsoon patterns in India over the last 150 years, BN Goswami, director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, said global warming had made India's weather more unpredictable.

He said there were now longer dry spells and shorter sudden heavy showers, replacing the three month continuous rain which has characterised the Indian monsoon. His comments will fuel fears that climate change will cause increasing hardship for farmers in India, where the failure of the monsoon has already reduced food output by 20 per cent. Ministers reduced the country's growth projection this year by just under two per cent as drought hit crops throughout the country.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee this week said there had been a 25 per cent decline in rainfall this monsoon in 252 districts throughout ten states, while in Maharashtra crop yields fell by more than 40 per cent….

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