Indian ocean can witness many more super cyclones like Amphan in the coming years — and climate change is to blame
- India suffered from two powerful storms — super
cyclone Amphanand extremely severe cyclone Nisarga— in a span of 15 days.
- And now, Indian Meteorological Department has issued yet another warning of Gati — a low pressure area developing over the Bay of Bengal.
- According to climate scientists, such extreme weather events in the northern Indian Ocean are common now due to climate change.
India suffered from two powerful storms — super cyclone Amphan and extremely severe cyclone Nisarga — in a span of 15 days. And now, Indian Meteorological Department has issued yet another warning of Gati — a low pressure area developing over the Bay of Bengal. Storm Gati may not cause as much damage as super cyclone Amphan but it will definitely bring heavy rains in Odisha.
According to climate scientists, such extreme weather events in the northern Indian Ocean are common now due to climate change. Moreover, they expect the frequency and intensity of such cyclones to increase on both the east and west coast of the Indian subcontinent.
“There is emerging evidence for an increase in annual global proportion of Category 4 or 5 tropical cyclones in recent decades (low confidence), an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report said.
A category 4 cyclone (extremely severe cyclone) has a wind speed of 209-251 kilometres per hour, whereas a category 5 cyclone (super cyclone) has a wind speed of over 252 kilometers per hour.
Warm temperatures Climate change is one of the primary reasons behind the increase in such cyclonic storms which affects millions of people.
This year, both the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea were about 1 degree hotter than usual — giving a conducive environment for cyclonic storms to intensify, according to Jayaraman Srinivasan, scientist at Divecha Centre for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science.
In other words, super cyclone Amphan and extremely severe cyclone Nisarga emerged after they became powerful due to warm temperatures in the ocean. An increase in ocean temperatures mean more tropical cyclone winds, rainfall, an increase in extreme waves, as well as rising sea levels. While the climate change phenomenon holds true for all the five oceans, the most-affected one remains the Indian Ocean as it has the warmest temperature of all.
It is difficult to warn people early as these cyclones intensify very quickly. Moreover, since mangroves are decreasing over the years, these cyclones are capable of causing much greater damage. And, lesser ponds and ineffective drainage systems add more to the problems of people who suffer through cyclones every year.
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