Thursday, 14 November 2013

Many more storms to visit India

Warsaw, November 13: India may suffer fewer storms than other peninsular nations but then, the Indian storms will be more devastating. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on Wednesday in its ‘Provisional statement on status of climate in 2013’ said India could suffer more violent cyclones in the coming years, with severe flood disasters. “Although India has fewer cyclones than other ocean basins and the number is not expected to increase, when they do arrive, they will be far more devastating,” said the WMO scientists.

The report, released at the UN climate change conference here on Wednesday, confirmed that the sea level globally has reached a new high, thanks to indiscriminate attack on environment by greenhouse gas emissions. “Sea levels will continue to rise because of melting ice caps and glaciers. More than 90 per cent of the extra heat we are generating from greenhouse gas is absorbed by the oceans, which will consequently continue to warm and expand for hundreds of years”, it said.

Speaking to me on the sidelines of the report’s release, Dr Rupa Kumar Kolli, chief of the Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch at the WMO said, “Just as Phailin evolved into the strongest storm in the North Indian basin since 1999, India may suffer fewer cyclones but then, all of them would be very intense.” He said in 2013 alone, a total of 86 storms were recorded across the globe till November whereas only 89 were seen during the previous three decades. “At the same time, the North Indian Ocean had a below-average season with only two tropical cyclones compared with the 1981-2010 average of four. But those storms were intense,” Dr Kolli said.

Deputy secretary Jerry Lengoasa of the WMO said, “What the science tells us is not that there will be more storms, but that the storms we get will be more violent.  ‘Perfect storms’ if we can call them that, like hurricane Sandy last year and typhoon Haiyan this year, will become normal occurrence”, he told me.