Climate Trends

Know what climate change has done to heatwave in India: An explainer (May 2022)

March 2022 was the hottest in 122 years from 1901-2022, while April 2022 was fourth hottest. Climate change is not only raising temperatures and making India’s heatwaves hotter, but is also changing weather patterns that further drive dangerous heat extremes. Among the effects are that the cooling Western Disturbance is being disrupted, making anticyclones more dominant, Arctic heatwave and weird persistence of ENSO phases.

Heatwave grips India early in Summer, many more to come in March (March 2022)

The summer season kicked off quite early this season. Parts of Central and Northwest India witnessed the first round of heat wave conditions as early as in the second week of March. This was followed by more rounds of intense heat in March 2022, making it hottest in last 122 years.

IPCC Report Highlights Physical Climate Risks for Indian Insurers

IPCC’s WG II report, released on Feb 27, 2022, highlights India’s growing vulnerability to climate change. Major floods and landslides killed over 700 people and caused USD 11 billion worth of damage in India over the course of 2018 and 2019. The city of Mumbai is the second most exposed megacity to coastal flooding as a result of sea level rise. Without climate mitigation, the city could suffer economic damages of USD 49-50 billion by 2050 (cumulatively) from coastal flooding alone. India has the world’s second highest exposure to flooding rivers, which could amount to an annual average loss of USD 6 billion. This briefing document highlights how these climate vulnerabilities threaten Indian insurers business models and what they can do to minimise climate risks.  

Climate Change to enhance La Niña impact, expect less snowfall, intense cold waves and rise in extreme events in India (December 2021)

Climate change is expected to further amplify the cold (La Niña) and warm (El Niño) phases of ENSO, respectively. Temperatures in India are expected to fall to as low as 3 degrees Celsius (37 Fahrenheit) in some northern areas in January and February before recovering as La Niña is likely to peak during that time.

Chilly winters courtesy of La Nina, peak stubble burning to worsen air quality in North India (November 2021)

La Nina is all set to bring intense winters over North India, with record breaking temperatures during December and January. This winter chill is likely to aggravate air pollution across Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP). Further adding to this, is the delayed peak of stubble burning season on account of extended stay of Monsoon 2021.

La Nina, IOD, MJO join hands to give torrential rains in Chennai, TN & Andhra Pradesh; Climate change to amplify weather events’ (November 2021)

Tamil Nadu along with coastal Andhra Pradesh recorded extremely heavy rains on account of vigorous Northeast Monsoon conditions. Though direct linkage with climate change cannot be seen but it has definitely let to change in weather patterns causing extreme weather. In the times of rising global temperatures, sea level rise and warmer than average sea surface temperatures, the weather systems react differently than earlier.

Weather conditions to turn hostile, to intensify winter air pollution in West Bengal (November 2021)

After Delhi, air pollution menace is now slowly engulfing West Bengal too. According to a recent report by IQAir, a Switzerland-based climate group, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai are among the top ten most polluted cities of the world. Delhi topped the list with AQI at 556, Kolkata and Mumbai recorded an AQI of 177 and 169, respectively, at 4th and 6th position. A mix of several factors like vehicular and industrial emissions, dust and weather patterns make it worse for these cities.

Climate Change: Flash flood fury in Uttarakhand, a classic example of changing Monsoon patterns (October 2021)

Untimely rains in Uttarakhand have led to either overflowing rivers and lakes or flowing close to danger mark. While experts have already admitted substantial rise in extreme weather events, the current incident has shown the effect of extended stay of Monsoon. Meteorologists believe that we would not have witnessed such torrential rains if the Monsoon would have retreated on time. The presence of Monsoon current continued to drive the moist winds and weather systems over the plains.

Monsoon 2021, a series of extreme weather events (September 2021)

The Monsoon season in 2021 has been a roller coaster ride. Weather models went haywire, making it the most pulsating season so far. While both the onset and withdrawal months made thumping beginning and end respectively, core monsoon months of July and August, failed miserably.

Monsoon rains to be impacted in places with highest levels of air pollution (August 2021)

As air pollution peaks in the coming years, scientists claim that Monsoon rains may reduce by at least 10 per cent or even more. While there has been a consensus across the scientific community that the rising air pollution levels would decrease the Monsoon rains substantially in the coming years, it might also result in unstable Monsoon patterns.

Raini Village, home of Chipko Aandolan needs to shift for its survival (July 2021)

A Himalayan case study of climate change, fragile ecosystem, unplanned development, and combined consequences. Raini Village, home to India’s most famous forest conservation movement ‘Chipko Aandolan’ is now a site too dangerous for its residents to live in.

Lightning, an increasing threat due to climate change (July 2021)

Damage due to natural hazards has been showing a rising trend in recent years and climate change is likely to make such events even more dangerous. What is of more concern is that both the severity and frequency of thunderstorm/dust storms/ lightning are expected to shoot up due to rise in global temperature.

Climate change fueling Monsoon mayhem in India, extreme weather events to rise further (July 2021)

India’s western coastal states of Maharashtra and Goa along with the Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have witnessed a spate of extreme weather events. Hundreds of people have lost their lives owing to deadly floods, cloud bursts and landslides.

Climate Change Impact: Powerful cyclones hold back onset of Southwest Monsoon (June 2021)

Exceptional warming of ocean waters triggered two very powerful cyclonic storms Tauktae and Yaas in Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, respectively. These systems had taken away much of the kinetic energy from the water bodies, which had almost ceased the weather activity in Kerala. Required wind pattern and speed too were absent and thus, delayed the onset of Southwest Monsoon 2021.

Mumbai Monsoon: Global warming and rising threat of floods to the maximum city (June 2021)

Multiple studies claim that India’s largest coastal cities, like Mumbai and Kolkata, are facing the severest threats from climate-induced flooding. Floods in Mumbai and Kolkata are attributed to the impact of climate shifts, urbanization, sea-level rise and other regional factors

India’s Monsoon Patterns are changing due to Climate Change: Experts (June 2021)

Indian Monsoon is a complex phenomenon and reportedly climate change and global warming has further accentuated the situation, with each year surpassing the earlier records.

Cyclone Yaas: Link with Cyclone Tauktae and Amphan (May 2021)

India was hit by cyclones Yaas and Tauktae in close succession, the former causing devastation in Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal, while the latter impacted the western coast. Both cyclones were preceded by very high sea surface temperatures reaching 31-32°C. Rising ocean temperatures in both the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea assisted these cyclones in their “rapid intensification” process. Otherwise, such a significant increase in the number of cyclones over the Bay of Bengal is not common, as it is in the Arabian Sea. This briefing details the science behind the cyclone’s intensity and connection to climate change.

Impact of Climate Change on Various Businesses and Industries in Maharashtra

Recognizing the importance of industry to the people and economy of the state of Maharashtra, Climate Trends commissioned a baseline survey to understand industry perception of risks, response and requirements in the state of Maharashtra to respond to climate change. The survey has been implemented by YouGov in December 2020 GDP.

COVID-19 recovery is a chance to climate-proof Indian farming (December 2020)

There is increasing evidence that climate change will impact agriculturally important areas, particularly coastal south India, central Maharashtra, the Indo-Gangetic plains and the Western Ghats. As farmers suffer more production losses, government expenditures will likely increase as private institutional funding dries up unable to withstand the risks. It is predicted that climate change impacts on agriculture will lead to a 1.5% loss in India’s GDP.

Extreme Rainfall across Western India (August 2020)

Less than two months ago, the western coast of India was bracing itself for cyclone Nisarga, and it is now dealing with a torrential downpour. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts active monsoon conditions over the west coast including Mumbai and east coast of India and likely intense rainfall over Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Experts forecast a three-fold rise in extreme rains along the west coast and central India.

Cyclone Nisarga: link with climate change (June 2020)

Less than two weeks after Cyclone Amphan made landfall, a second cyclone is expected to hit the coasts of India. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that Cyclone Nisarga is expected to intensify further into a Cyclonic Storm over East Central Arabian Sea and is likely to move nearly northwards initially till June 2nd morning and expected to re-curve north-north eastwards before making landfall near north Maharashtra and south Gujarat coasts on June 3rd morning.

India Locust Outbreak - Climate Change Briefing (May 2020)

The worst locust outbreak seen in a ​quarter of a century​ is currently ravaging West India and is an escalating danger to food security, threatening to spread further east. Several locusts waves are expected from now until early July, due to ​spring breeding​ in southern Iran and southwest Pakistan. The UN warned that the locusts swarm pose a “​severe risk​” to India’s agriculture this year. The locusts are currently active in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Rajasthan is currently the most affected state, ​according to​ the Union Environment ministry.

Cyclone Amphan: link with climate change (May 2020)

A record-breaking storm, Cyclone Amphan, is forecast to land in India and Bangladesh on Wednesday 20 May in the late afternoon local time (see track forecast below and live tracking ​here​). Amphan is now the strongest storm on record in the Bay of Bengal, with sustained wind speeds of 270kmh, making it stronger than a 1999 super cyclone, and the joint-strongest on record in the North Indian Ocean.

Cyclone Vayu (June 2019)

Briefing paper as an explainer for media journalists to establish the link of climate change and air pollution with cyclone Vayu in June 2019.

Cyclone Maha (June 2019)

Briefing paper as an explainer for media journalists to establish the link of climate change and air pollution with cyclone Fani in June 2019.

Cyclone Fani (May 2019)

Briefing paper as an explainer for media journalists to establish the link of climate change with cyclone Fani in May 2019.