Cyclone Fani and the impact of global warming captured by NASA
Cyclone Faniis shaping up to be the biggest storm to pass through the Bay of Bengal since 2008.
- An image of Cyclone Fani capture by NASA shows the storm growing in size and heading north-east along India’s eastern coast.
- The growing intensity and frequency of cyclones is indicative global climate change.
The picture captured using the MODIS instrument aboard the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra satellite — launched on 18 December, 1999 — shows how the storm is growing in size.
According to meteorologists, Cyclone Fani is the strongest April cyclone to hit India in 43 years. In fact, severe cyclones like Fani — although they can form at any time — normally occur in November, once the monsoon season is over.
In fact, looking at cyclonic storms that have hit the Bay of Bengal between 1965 to 2017, only two of 46 ‘severe’ storms occurred in April.
The head of the Indian Meteorological Department told The Hindu, “This is a cyclone that’s forming due to the warming of the Bay of Bengal basin…with global warming we have to be prepared for such occurrences and take precaution accordingly.”
Cyclone Fani is shaping up to be the biggest storm to hit the Bay of Bengal since 2008 according to the Weather Channel. And, it’s heading towards the state of Odisha at 190 kilometers per hour.
Sarat Chandra Sahu, the Director of the Center for Environment and Climate at the SOA University told indiaclimatedialogue, “Because of global warming, sea surface temperature remains higher in the Bay of Bengal leading to generation and intensification of cyclonic systems. The southern coasts of Odisha experience cyclonic storms more frequently since Phailin cyclone of 2013.”
Ajay Singh, a climate change researcher with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, agrees in his study published in Science Direct stating, “Overall, the impact of global warming on the climate of India is clearly visible in the form of increased frequency and intensity of most of the extreme weather events.”
The Indian Ocean, in particular has been warming faster than any tropical region on the planet over the past century according to the Climate Research Lab in IIT Madras . And, so it ends up that the Indian Ocean is also the largest contributor to global ocean surface warming.
In preparation for the incoming storm, the navy, coast guard and National Disaster Response Force has been put on round the clock alert. Over 80 trains have been cancelled and 800 shelters have been set up.
Cyclone Fani expected to make landfall in Odisha on May 3
Cyclone Fani, a 'very severe' natural disaster is set to hit India's eastern coast