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Extreme Weather Events in India

India is largely an agricultural state, its market and further its expansion depends upon the vagaries of the weather and also specifically the intense weather events. The info on extreme weather events lie scattered from the technical and scientific papers and at the research work of several writers and if placed together will assist the research community for further investigation. This article shows a factual and concise overview of the intense weather events which happened in India during the previous 100 years (1991-2004).

Extreme Weather Event, Image Credit: Daphne Zaras, NOAA.

The socio-economic impacts of these extreme weather events like floods, droughts, cyclones, hail storm, thunderstorm, cold and heat waves have been rising because of substantial migration of people towards urban areas that have resulted in greater vulnerability.

Recently according to WMO inspection, global reductions from these intense weather events are around the US $50-100 billion yearly with loss of lives of approximately 2,50,000 people. Therefore, greater efforts are required to improve the prediction skill and utilize these much better predictions in catastrophe management.

How extreme weather events affect climate change science in India?

India is being visited by more extreme weather, with the recent years being the warmest and driest in history, that contains the very rare example of consecutive droughts in 2014 and 2015, but this period has also seen many cases of brief bursts of torrential rain that flooded Mumbai in 2005, Uttarakhand in 2013, Kashmir in 2014 and Kerala in 2018.

In 2018, the southwest monsoon started late in Mumbai, which makes it relatively dry for a month, however, the city received heavy rainfall over the course of two days. The amount if rain received was equal to what the city gets from the whole month of June. “Because of global warming, frequency of rain in addition to temperature extremes are rising, and will continue rising in the long run,” stated SK Dash, former leader of the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, IIT Delhi, including that scientific models must estimate the association between climate change and also a specific weather event. Global warming causes intense bursts of rain because higher temperature raises the moisture-holding ability of the air.

Official weather information indicates that India is now much hotter in the past couple of decades. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), 2018 was the sixth warmest year in India since the weather office started maintaining records at the start of the previous century.

Droughts to flash flooding: Could India weather the climate problems?

From heat waves to flash flooding, India has seen intense weather conditions this season. While portions of southern and northern India were fighting with drought-like states in the summertime, the Northeast and western coastal regions are battered with torrential downpour recently. Successive disasters have forced us to turn our focus to the million-dollar query: Why has climate catastrophe hit home?

According to current weather site El Dorado on 11 Aug 2019out of the 15 areas that have obtained most rain throughout the world in the previous 24 hours, eight are in India. Naliya, a city in Gujarat, obtained a listing 10.3 inch rain, followed closely by Okha (Gujarat, 6.54 inch), Rajkot (Gujarat, 5.83 inch), Mahabaleshwar (Maharashtra, 5.59 inch), Cochin (Kerala, 4.97 inch), Alappuzha (Kerala, 4.45 inch) and Kozhikode (Kerala, 4.57 inch).

Just two weeks ago, the exact same weather record origin had counted four locations in India one of the world’s hottest 15 areas.

Adaptation strategy:

Build climate resilient infrastructure

Building infrastructure that’s resilient to the effects of climate change and catastrophe is essential for continuing human well-being. As a platform which brings together existing knowledge to create new thoughts and knowledge on climate and disaster resilience of infrastructure and locates that a sensible implementation of those thoughts, a universal organisation should concentrate on reducing risk.

Increase forest cover

Since trees assist in preventing climate change by eliminating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and releasing oxygen to the air which in turn helps in regulating climate. Trees supply many advantages to us, daily.

Save water via water conservation measures

Weather and water, the fragile balance between evaporation and precipitation, is the principal cycle whereby climate change is sensed. Nature-based solutions for example mangroves protecting shorelines from storms, lakes preserving big water supplies and floodplains consuming excessive water runoff are an integral part of the strategy.

Fine heavy polluters

As stated by the World Bank, poorer districts in India would be the most vulnerable to climate change since they lack the infrastructure and therefore are largely agrarian. Air contamination and climate change are tightly linked. In addition to forcing climate modification, that the primary trigger of CO2 emissions — that the extraction and burning of fossil fuels — is also a significant source of air pollutants. Now is the time to locate and penalise heavy polluters.

Increase low carbon energy uptake

India is also very vulnerable to climate change, especially due to this melting of the Himalayan glaciers and affects the monsoon. The country has pledged a 33-35% reduction in the “emissions intensity” of its market by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

Adaptation strategy for individuals:

Save Water

Using less water, people do not have to pump and treat as much water; less money has to be spent on electricity, substances, and extra reservoirs or boreholes. Lowering the total amount of energy utilized from the pumping of water decreases our carbon emissions, which leads to greenhouse gases, also contributes to climate change.

Harvest Rainwater

Throughout the rainy season, a rain harvesting system (water tank layout ) is used to capture and collect rainwater. The rain harvesting system design utilizes gravity to get water circulation, reducing the power that would otherwise be required for pumping. This water is available for individuals to consume and use during the rainy season if there’s a lack of clean water. Similarly, a rain harvesting method also collects rainwater and funnels it into the ground so as to conserve groundwater from the long run.

Construct eco friendly and climate-resilient buildings

Green construction encompasses a construction’s preparation, design, construction, operations, and end-of-life renewal or recycling whilst contemplating water, energy, indoor environmental quality, materials selection, and place. Green buildings and buildings reduce landfill waste, empower alternative transport use and promote retention and production of vegetated soil areas and roofs.

Green buildings may be a part of this solution in combating climate change. It considerably lowers the carbon footprint of occupants and buildings outside what energy efficiency does.

Increase tree cover on your land

Trees are among the greatest partners in regards to agriculture. They behave favorably in many manners: they decrease soil erosion, improve fertility and help dirt obtain moisture. Fallen tree leaves reduce soil temperature and protect against dirt from losing an excessive amount of moisture. So growing sufficient tree cover on your land is a must do activity for all. For instance “Cauvery Calling” is also a fantastic initiative nowadays.

Prepare for infectious diseases via preventative measures

Individual exposure to waterborne infections occurs by contact with polluted drinking water, bottled water, or meals. This may come from individual activities, such as improper disposal of sewage wastes, or become due to weather events.

Rainfall can help determine the transportation and dissemination of infectious agents, while fever affects their survival and growth. These include many infectious diseases, health effects of temperature extremes and impacts of extreme weather and climatic occasions. It’s already occurring again and so it’s time to prepare for illnesses diseases via preventative measures.


While scientific knowledge and studies have improved our Comprehension of extreme weather Events / hydro-meteorological disasters and climate change, at the neighborhood level, the communities have endured local knowledge and wisdom developed through shared experiences of Centuries. Hence a reservoir of local power is currently available, which requires to be acknowledged, understood, examined, used and incorporated with modem scientific understanding. Hence skills shouldn’t be ‘assembled’ from scratch, but they need to be ‘developed’ on the present base of traditional knowledge, through a vital evaluation of the present capacities, gaps in the abilities and specific strategies to be taken in the creation of the abilities to tackle the requirements of climate change adaptations.

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