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Sunday, May 19, 2024, 5:07 am

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Global warming: India must work with the Indian Ocean nations for data.

Global warming
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Even though India is experiencing extreme heatwaves, there may be some psychological respite due to the India Meteorological Department’s prediction of a moderate monsoon. However, there are a lot of issues to be concerned about in the long run. Based on anticipated worldwide carbon emission trends, experts at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, and other international universities conducted a recent study that projected the potential impact on the Indian Ocean. According to them, the Indian Ocean warmed by 1.2°C, and between 2020 and 2100, it is expected to rise by 1.7°C to 3.8°C. Although heatwaves are a common occurrence, the study alerts readers to the possibility of a tenfold increase in “marine heatwaves,” which are their counterparts in the sea and are associated with the swift creation of cyclones. Currently, there are 20 days on average per year on average; by 2022–2025 days per year, this number is expected to rise. This will increase coral bleaching, damage the fisheries industry, and send the tropical Indian Ocean into a “near-permanent heatwave state.” The ocean would become hotter overall rather than just being connected to the surface. The thermal capacity of this ocean is expected to rise at a pace of 16–22 zetta-joules per decade in the future when measured from the surface to 2,000 metres deep. Currently, it is rising at a rate of 4.5 zetta-joules per decade.

One zetta joule is equal to a billion-trillion joules (10^21), where joules are the unit of energy.
The effects of a warming Indian Ocean reach well into the Indian subcontinent, increasing the frequency of powerful storms and making the monsoon more unpredictable and unequal, with extended periods of drought interspersed with torrential rains and consequent flooding. These are associated with global warming, with human-caused factors like the burning of fossil fuels contributing significantly to the planet’s approach to apocalyptic tipping points.

The oceans’ capacity is expected to remain unaffected by current global agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because, in contrast to land, the seas react more slowly to changes in external inputs. Thus, fine-tuning our knowledge of the Indian Ocean’s local influence is a practical path forward. To support the development and preservation of people and infrastructure, India should establish cooperative associations with nations that border the Indian Ocean in order to invest in data collection (which is currently far less than that of the Pacific, for example).

ABHISHEK VERMA

 


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