by Vijay Jayaraj
Climate is particularly important to farmers in agrarian countries. Drought could mean the difference between life and death.
India, for example, is predominantly agrarian. Of the country’s 1.3 billion people, 300 million, nearly a fourth, are poor even by Indian standards, and millions of others are on the borderline. So, agriculture is a big deal.
Climate alarmists argue that the world has been progressively warming in recent decades (due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions) and that this has altered the normal rainfall pattern. Almost all major climate reports warn about the dangerous effects of climate change on rainfall in India.
However, the claims are false.
There is no “normal rainfall pattern” in India
The rainfall pattern in India has never been stable. There have been small epochal trends lasting a few decades, but their onset is unpredictable.
The graph below shows the highly unpredictable and wildly swinging nature of the summer monsoon rainfall pattern in India between 1871 and 1990. It is literally impossible to predict the future rainfall pattern in India.
All India Summer Monsoon Rainfall (1871–2016). Figure Source: (IIITM, 2017)
No Negative Impact of Modern Anthropogenic Climate Change
Though there is no “normal rainfall” pattern, current rainfall trends can be compared to decadal averages and means to see if, and how much, rainfall intensity has deviated from specific baselines.
Annual rainfall for 113 years (1901–2013) reveals no negative footprint of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Departures from the 113-year average during the recent decades of AGW were not unprecedented. Similar departures (positive and negative) have occurred in the past too.
Fig: Annual Rainfall (mm) between 1901 and 2013.
Data Source: (Government of India, 2014)
If anything, a revival of the monsoon has been recorded since 2002. Research published in Nature Climate Change revealed that summer monsoon rainfall (June–September) has increased in India at 1.34 mm per decade since 2002.
With the varied and complex climatic history stretching back through 100 years, it is difficult to predict the nature or timing of future interannual and decadal changes in monsoon rainfall.
Call it climate change or global warming, either way, it seems to have had no undesirable impact on India’s rainfall.
Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Contributor for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.
[A new graph was added on “Area Weighted Rainfall” as the original was not visible to some readers. Mod]