India To Witness More Frequent Drought Years In Future: Study

01/06/2016 10:39 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
SAM PANTHAKY via Getty Images
An Indian man walks on a dried out portion of wetlands at Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, some 70kms from Ahmedabad on May 29, 2016. Migratory flamingoes are being encouraged to stay at the wetlands in the western state of Gujarat as the locating of shoals of fish which form the diet of the flamingos, is made easier with the falling levels of water which are the result of drought conditions which are prevailing across northern India. / AFP / SAM PANTHAKY (Photo credit should read SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Even as India is expecting an above normal monsoon after two consecutive years of below average rainfall, a study conducted by group of meteorologist shows that the country is likely to see droughts more often in the future.

After analysing 150 years of historic data on country-wide rainfall, meteorologists from Pune and Kerala have concluded that although there were alternate dry and wet spells in the last 30 years, the frequency of drought condition has been on the rise, according to a news report.

Although India witnessed 10 droughts from 1950-1989 and half as many more since 2000, the number of occurrences of drought years is expected to rise in the 2020-2049 period, the meteorologists said in a research paper published in Current Science.

While a consistent drop in atmospheric temperature over Central Asia is believed to have caused frequent droughts, the meteorologists said that there was further scope for study in this regard since South Asia is likely to witness extreme spells of drought over the next three decades.

“The frequency and severity of droughts during 2020-49 is likely to be higher,” said P V Joseph, senior meteorologist and the lead author of the research paper.

“There is a need to study the occurrence of frequent drought years which occurred during 1950-90 and has started again from 2002 onwards and whether they point out to the frequent discharge of sulphate aerosols?” said Joseph, who is the group head at the Monsoon, Ocean Variability and Climate Change Studies at Nansen Environmental Research Centre in Kerala.

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