Climate change in the Arctic-Antarctic-Himalaya is going to affect the monsoons in India

By: Staff Reporter

New Delhi, September 30 (G’nY News Service): The circulation that originates in the North Atlantic and southern Arctic is a major force that drives not only the oceanic circulation but also regulates the global climate. Senior scientists claim that the abnormal heavy rainfall spell during March 2015 over the northern parts of India could be linked to the Arctic sea ice melting and associated changes in mid-latitude circulation. Further analysis of Arctic circulation anomalies has revealed that the Arctic Oscillation and the Indian Monsoon are inter-linked. About 25 per cent of Indian monsoon variability is explained by the Arctic Oscillation during the recent decades. In a recent study an interesting twist in the relationship between the Arctic and Indian monsoon has been observed which shows that abnormal convection over the northwest India could influence Arctic sea ice melting through mid-latitude circulation anomalies and wave-guide.

This and more startling facts came to light in the International Conference on Science and Geopolitics of Arctic, Antarctic (SaGAA) and Himalaya that was held between 29 and 30 September at India International Centre, New Delhi.  The two-day conference brought senior scientists, policy makers and researchers together to build up perspectives on tele-connections in climate change.


First day saw technical sessions on geo-politics and climate change in the polar regions. Large number of India’s top most scientists who have made a perceptible mark in polar science was present at the conference. SaGAA III also added the Himalayan Region in the discourse as it has the largest number of glaciers outside the Polar region which is deemed as the third pole. Dr. Rasik Ravindra, Chairman of the organizing committee in his address pointed out that “Probably time is ripe now to debate on the concept of formation of Himalayan Council on the line of Arctic Council in collaboration with Himalayan States and Neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China to perform the activities and meetings on the issues of Climate Change and ecological stability of the Region”. Dr. P S Goel, Fmr Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, in the inaugural session, pointed towards India’s role in- case resource exploitation in the Antarctic became a reality.

In the geopolitics section H E Thorir Ibsen, Ambassador of Iceland, talked about the effectiveness of United Nations Council on Laws of Sea (UNCLOS). Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi, a professor of political science in Punjab University, focused on the transformation from classical geo-politics to neo geopolitics in the present epoch. “Antarctica is a place or space? How should we see the continent as a place of tourism or an international contested space?” he said. Dr. Uttam Sinha, senior fellow, IDSA spoke about the increasing role of voice of people in policy making. The triangular relationship between  science, geopolitics and voice of people was elaborated by him in a succinct and interesting manner. Climate change in the Himalayan region, the resources potential of the polar regions, marine protected areas and tourism in polar regions were also discussed. Dr. Anil V Kulkarni, Senior Professor,Divecha Center for Climate Change, Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, focused his talk on the volume of glacial water stored in the Himalaya and the extent of ice melt. Dr. Bhutiyani, Director, DTRL, DRDO, highlighted the spatial variation in glacier behaviour and the underlying reason for it. Dr. Milap Sharma, Professor, JNU stressed on the point that glacier retreat is a natural historical process; it cannot be human induced or due to last decade’s climate change. Dr. C N Ravishankar, Director, CIFT, elaborated on the need to develop indigenous technologies, to harvest and preserve the marine resources.

There were many other prominent members, who gave invigorating talks during the conference, prominent amongst them included HE Grahame Morton, High Commissioner  of New Zealand; Dr Nafees Meah, Director, RCUK; Dr M Sudhakar, Director, CMLRE; Dr S Rajan, Fmr Director, NCOAR;  Dr. B. Meenakumari, Principal Scientist,  Indian Council of Agricultural Research; Dr. Ajit Tyagi, Former DG, Indian Meteorological Department.

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