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State of the Climate Report 2020: IMD

  • 05 Jan 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s State of the Climate Report, the year 2020 was the eighth warmest since India started keeping records in 1901.

  • The State of the Climate Report looks at temperature and rainfall trends annually.

Key Points

  • Eighth Warmest Year 2020:
    • Average Temperature:
      • During the year, the annual average temperature in the country was 0.29 degree Celsius (°C) above normal (29-year average from 1981-2010).
      • However, it was much lower than 2016 (+0.71 degrees Celsius), which remains the warmest ever year the country has recorded since 1901.
      • Such temperature trends were reported despite the cooling effect of La Nina, a global weather pattern that prevailed in 2020 and is linked to substantially below normal temperatures in winter.
        • La Nina typically has a cooling effect on global temperatures, but this is now offset by global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions.
        • As a result, La Nina years now are warmer than years with El Niño events of the past.
        • El Nino and La Nina are the extreme phases of the El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.
        • ENSO is a periodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature and the air pressure of the overlying atmosphere across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It has a major influence on weather and climate patterns such as heavy rains, floods and drought.
        • El Niño has a warming influence on global temperatures, whilst La Nina has the opposite effect.
    • Comparison to Global Average Temperature:
  • Warmest Years over India:
    • The eight warmest years on record in order were: 2016 (+ 0.71 degree C) > 2009 (+0.55 degree C) > 2017 (+0.541 degree C)> 2010 (+0.539 degrees C) > 2015 (+0.42 degree C)> 2018 (+0.41 degree C)> 2019 (+0.36 degree C)> 2020 (+0.29 degree C).
    • The past decade (2011-2020) was the warmest on record.
  • Extreme Weather Events:
  • Data on Tropical Storms:
    • Globally, the Atlantic Ocean experienced one of the most active years, with over 30 tropical storms originating here.
    • The Indian Ocean region - the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, together reported five cyclones - Amphan, Nisarga, Gati, Nivar and Burevi.
      • Of these, Nisarga & Gati formed over Arabian Sea, while the remaining 3 cyclones formed over the Bay of Bengal.
  • Data on Rainfall:
    • The annual rainfall over the country in 2020 was 109% of the Long Period Average (LPA) calculated for the period of 1961-2010.

India Meteorological Department

  • IMD was established in 1875.
  • It is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.
  • It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.

Source: IE

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