Extreme rainfall events on the rise, but not linked with climate change

Environment minister Prakash JavadekarEnvironment minister Prakash JavadekarUnion environment minister Prakash Javadekar has admitted that there is a rise in the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events in the last 40-50 years in India, but doesn’t think the phenomenon is linked with climate change. He was responding to a query raised in Parliament on Monday.

“Extreme rainfall events that occurred at some isolated places (heavy rainfall over Mumbai, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Kashmir) are highly localized and are part of the natural variability of the Indian monsoon system. Although some recent studies hint at an increasing frequency and intensity of extremes in rainfall during the past 40-50 years, their attribution to global warming is yet to be established,” said Javadekar.

He also called extreme rainfall events over coastal districts of Tamil Nadu highly localized “and part of the natural variability of the Indian monsoon system”.

Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his radio programme Mann ki Baat on 29 November had expressed concern over torrential rains in Tamil Nadu in November that claimed over 250 lives and linked it with climate change.

“There is continuous news of natural calamities from various parts of the world. And sometimes the news is very bizarre, never seen or never heard of. We are now realizing the effects of climate change very rapidly. In our country itself, we have experienced torrential rains, that too without season and for a very long duration. Tamil Nadu has suffered heavy losses and other states suffered too. Many people lost their lives,” PM had said.

The environment minister also stated that, “there is no conclusive evidence to attribute observed weather and climate variability to the increased concentrations of Green House Gases and associated global warming”.

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