Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Indian monsoon getting both wetter and drier

  • Written by  Olivia Edward
  • Published in Climate
The result of an Indian Monsoon The result of an Indian Monsoon Shutterstock
01 Jun
2014
Significant changes are taking place in the patterns of extreme wet and dry events in central India, increasing the risk of drought and flood in one of the world’s most densely populated regions

A team of scientists from Stanford University in California analysed data on rainfall during the Indian monsoon gathered by the Indian Meteorological Department and other sources over a 60-year period, comparing peak monsoon rainfall patterns during two time periods – 1951–80 and 1981–2011 – and during the peak months of July and August. 

The results suggested that although the average total rainfall during the monsoon season has declined, rainfall during the peak monsoon months has become more variable, with increases in the intensity of wet spells and in the frequency of dry spells.

‘The statistical techniques show that the changes in these characteristics are robust and that these changes are unlikely to happen purely by chance,’ said Deepti Singh, the study’s lead author.

‘There are many predictions that global warming should cause heavier downpours and more frequent dry spells,’ said one of the study’s authors, Noah Diffenbaugh. ‘That’s what we’ve found here, but India is a complex region, so we want to be sure before we point the finger at global warming or any other cause.’

This story was published in the June 2014 edition of Geographical Magazine

Related items

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Climate

Parkesine, celluloid and Bakelite – the first three kinds of…

Geophoto

Flat and level landscapes might not have much to offer…

Geophoto

Winning entries include meerkats, zebra sharks and courting nudibranches

Oceans

The UN’s World Ocean Day is a day to celebrate…

Nature

Breathe easier this World Environment day with this collection of…

Climate

A 50-year look at the activity of aphids, moths, butterflies…

Geophoto

The British Isles are packed with natural landmarks that serve…

Geophoto

The prestigious photography awards to go on display in some…

Tectonics

The discovery of a slow-motion earthquake near Istanbul, which took…

Oceans

The 2014 to 2016 marine heatwave, which took place off…

Climate

Marco Magrini discovers that hydrogen is back, but hopefully not…

Wildlife

 A ten-year analysis of chimpanzees has revealed that the presence…

Wildlife

The return of the pine marten to UK forests has…

Energy

A project in Orkney is converting excess wind energy into…

Geophoto

Mountains provide a dramatic sight at the best of times,…

Wildlife

A surge in reports of dead hares has resulted in…

Oceans

Four scientists have banded together to make the case against the farming of octopuses, arguing…

Climate

As planetary oil consumption hits the 100-million-barrel mark Marco Magrini…

Oceans

A ship that ran aground early in February has been…

Wildlife

Two whale populations on either side of the African continent…