H/T to Josh for this story from the Calcutta Telegraph.
New Delhi, Jan. 26: India’s monsoon is in no danger of catastrophic collapse in response to global warming and air pollution, two atmospheric scientists said today, refuting earlier predictions that the monsoon could shut down within 100 years.
The scientists at Yale University in the US who used computers to model the Earth’s atmosphere, land and oceans have found that the expected changes in the monsoon will not abruptly alter their strength or their water volume.
Their results contradict earlier forecasts by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany portending frequent and severe failures and even a breakdown of the monsoon, which is critical to India’s food, water resources and economy.
“Our models show that monsoon rainfall will change smoothly in response to rising greenhouse gas concentrations, air pollution, and changes in land use,” William Boos, an associate professor at Yale University told
“We should expect changes in the monsoon rainfall in response to changes in the global mean temperature in the coming decades, but there is no reason to expect those changes to be abrupt,” Boos said.
The earlier modelling exercises had predicted that the monsoon, under the influence of global warming and air pollution, would experience a “tipping point” that would lead to a sharp drop in rainfall over India.
Boos and his colleague Trude Storelvmo have now shown that the theory and models that were used to predict such “tipping points” had omitted a key term in climate behaviour, ignoring the fact that air cools as it rises in the atmosphere.
A decade ago, a study by Potsdam Institute researchers suggested that increasing air pollution and forest loss could lead to a sharp reduction in rainfall within a span of decades. And three years ago, another study from the Potsdam Institute predicted a 40 to 70 per cent reduction in rainfall.
The scientists described their results this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a US research journal.
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