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How marine heatwave fuelled super cyclone Amphan

  • Published
    29th Jun, 2022

Context:

A new study has suggested that warm subsurface waters in the Bay of Bengal likely helped fuel the 2020 Amphan super cyclone.

Marine heatwaves:

  • First described in 2011: The term “marine heatwave” was initially used to describe an extreme surface warming event off the west coast of Australia during 2010-11 austral summer.
  • Marine heatwaves like The Blob has resulted in mass mortalities in marine mammals and birds, and collapse of fisheries and aquaculture in the US, Korea, etc.
  • Marine heatwaves are periods of extremely high temperatures in the ocean (above the 90th percentile).
  • These events cause marine habitat destruction due to coral bleaching, seagrass destruction, and loss of kelp forests, affecting the fisheries sector adversely.
  • Impact on the Monsoon
  • The marine heatwaves in the western Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal are found to result in dry conditions over the central Indian subcontinent.
  • There is an increase in rainfall over south peninsular India in response to the heatwaves in the Bay.
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