Climate change warming Asian waters, altering monsoon

NEW DELHI: 1 MAY 2017:  Each year as temperatures rise across India, farmers look to the sky and pray for rain. The all-important monsoon forecast becomes a national priority, with more than 70% of India’s 1.25 billion citizens engaged in agriculture and relying on weather predictions to decide when they will sow their seeds and harvest their crops. But getting the forecast right remains a challenge, thanks to the complex – and still poorly understood – ways in which South Asia’s monsoon rains are influenced by everything from atmospheric and ocean temperatures to air quality and global climate trends. And it’s only getting harder to figure out, scientists say, as the monsoon becomes increasingly erratic. A new study released on Friday in the journal Science Advances helps clear up a bit of the mystery, by showing that man-made climate change is responsible for most of the change seen in ocean surface temperatures near the equator across Asia, which in turn affect regional rainfall patterns including the Indian monsoon. By showing that link, the study indicates future ocean warming in the region, which could in turn increase the amount of rainfall during monsoons, strengthen cyclones and increase precipitation over East Asia.

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