A study has been published on sequential extreme weather events by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar. The study was based on the extreme rainfall and heat waves in the summer over the same regions. The study on sequential extreme weather events in India was conducted for a period spanning from 1951 to 2020. Based on this study a report was published.
KEY FINDINGS OF THE STUDY ON EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
- The study by IIT-G reported that extreme weather events like flooding and heat waves are expected to rise multiple times.
- During 2071-2100, i.e., by the end of the 21st century, the heat wave duration which is currently 3 days, will increase to 11 days due to extreme weather if the emissions remain at their lowest. However, if the emissions are higher or if they are at their highest, then the heat wave duration may rise to 33 days.
- It is reported in the study that extreme weather events will have extremely severe implications on the public health, infrastructure, and agricultural sector in India which is already suffering from climate change conditions.
- 20% of India was severely impacted by the massive heat waves during the summer of 1995 whereas 8% of India was severely impacted by the massive heat waves that occurred during the summer of 1998.
- It is reported in the study that a part of the urban area and total population affected by extreme weather events will increase rapidly if the global mean temperature rises above 1.5º from the pre-industrial levels. It is also reported that the population exposed to extreme weather events will also rise significantly in proportion to the rise in global mean temperature with respect to pre-industrial levels.
REASON FOR THE EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
The warming of climate and variations in the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) will increase the risks related to extreme weather events. ENSO refers to a recurring climate pattern that has the potential to change the global atmospheric circulation which has implications for precipitation and temperature in the Eastern and Central Tropical Pacific oceans.
MAGNITUDE OF THE AREA AFFECTED BY THE EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS: POSITIVE PHASE & NEGATIVE PHASE
It was reported in the study that the area affected by the extreme weather events in the El Nino phase (Positive Phase of ENSO) was more than the area affected during the La Nina phase (Negative Phase of ENSO).
Positive Phase: The area of warmer water moves to the area of normal water into the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean due to the weakening or reversal of trade winds during a positive phase.
MITIGATION OF RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
The study also suggested the way forward to deal with extreme weather events. The mitigation of climate change and minimizing the vulnerabilities associated with extreme weather events may be helpful in mitigating the risks associated with it. The improvement and development of infrastructure and upgrading and uplifting of the socioeconomic status of people might be really helpful in mitigating the risks associated with extreme weather events.
The study on extreme weather events is eye-opening, and the steps towards mitigating the risks associated with it are the need of the hour and it is not only the responsibility of governments across the world. It must be seen as a high-alert warning as it projects a rise in heat waves and floods in the near future and that is going to affect our own future generations. In the end, it is going to affect us as a population and along with us, the natural habitat of flora and fauna, so it is our responsibility that we collectively take a step from the very moment itself.