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20th January 2024 (8 Topics)

Evaluating Climate Resilience: Implications for India's Economic Outlook


The significance of region-specific climate analyses in the context of the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) 150th year and its contemporary relevance for climate resilience planning.

1.  Monsoon Trends and Agriculture Impact:

  • Historical Context: IMD's origin in colonial times focused on understanding the southwest monsoon's impact on harvests, reflecting the British administration's concern for revenues tied to agricultural outcomes.
  • Data Analysis: Analysis of IMD's meteorological data from 1982-2022 reveals that 55% of India's tehsils experience increasing monsoon rainfall, with 11% witnessing a decrease.
  • Agricultural Hotspots: Tehsils in the Indo-Gangetic plains, northeastern India, and the Indian Himalayan region are crucial, contributing to over half of India's agricultural production.

2.  Districts and Rainfall Extremes:

  • Rainfall Variability: 30% of India's districts face deficient rainfall, while 38% witness excessive rainfall over several years, impacting agriculture and water management.
  • Changing Patterns: Regions like Rajasthan, Gujarat, central Maharashtra, and parts of Tamil Nadu, traditionally dry, are experiencing increased rainfall, requiring adaptive measures.
  • Changing Dynamics: The northeast monsoon, affecting peninsular India, has seen a 10% increase in rainfall in the past decade in significant percentages of tehsils in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.

3.  Climate Resilience Planning:

  • Contemporary Relevance: The increasing vulnerability of India's monsoons to dry spells and intense wet spells is acknowledged, with ongoing research exploring the role of natural variability and global warming.
  • Policy Implications: The article underscores the contemporary relevance of regional weather analyses for climate resilience planning, advocating for prioritizing regional and sub-district forecasts over national ones.
  • Overall Contribution: The southwest monsoon contributes 76% to India's annual rainfall, while the northeast monsoon accounts for 11%, emphasizing their combined influence on the climate.
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