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Conference on Climate Change: Shifting Science and Changing Policy


14 October 2011

Phirozeshah Mehta Building , Mumbai University ,

Vidyanagari, Kalina, Mumbai

Session 3: Monsoon and its impact
  • Dr. Ramesh H. Kriplani: Summer Monsoon Variability over India: Coupled Climate Model Simulations and Projections (Read Abstract)
  • Dr Willie Soon: A closer look into the computer-projections of Indian Monsoonal Rainfalls in the 21st Century (Read Abstract)
  • Dr. Rajesh Agnihotri: Total Solar Irradiance and SW Indian monsoon (Read Abstract)
  • Prof. B. K. Bala: Modelling of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture (Read Abstract


Abstracts of papers to be presented in session on Monsoon and its impact.

Summer Monsoon Variability over India:Coupled Climate Model Simulations and Projections


By : Dr. R.H. Kripalani


The Indian summer monsoon precipitation and its variability are examined from the outputs of the coupled climate models assessed as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Out of the 23 models examined only 7 models are able to generate a realistic 20th century monsoon climate over India. The diverse nature of model simulations could introduce uncertainty in future projections. Hence these 7 models only are selected to examine future projections under the doubling CO2 and other SRES scenarios A1B (medium CO2 forcing), A2 (high forcing) and B1 (low forcing).


Projections reveal a significant increase in mean monsoon precipitation of 8% and a possible extension of the monsoon period based on the multi-model ensemble technique. Extreme excess and deficient monsoons are projected to intensify. The projected increase in precipitation could be attributed to the projected intensification of the heat low over northwest India, the trough of low pressure over the Indo-Gangetic plains, and the land-ocean pressure gradient during the establishment phase of the monsoon. The intensification of these pressure systems could be attributed to the projected decline in winter/spring snowfall. Furthermore, a decrease of winter snowfall over western Eurasia is also projected along with an increase of winter snowfall over Siberia / eastern Eurasia. This projected dipole snow configuration during winter could imply changes in northern hemisphere mid-latitude circulation conducive to subsequent summer monsoon precipitation activity.


An increase in precipitable water of 12-16% is projected over major parts of India. A maximum increase of about 20-24% is found over the Arabian Peninsula, adjoining regions of Pakistan, northwest India and Nepal. Although the projected summer monsoon circulation appears to weaken, the projected anomalous flow over the Bay of Bengal (Arabian Sea) could support oceanic moisture convergence towards the southern parts of India and Sri Lanka (northwest India and adjoining regions).


A closer Look into the computer-projections of Indian monsoonal rainfalls in the 21st Century.

By : Dr. Willie Soon

The phenomenon of Indian Summer Monsoon must surely be among the most complex and somewhat illusive dynamical operations of the weather and climate involving a relatively long list of initial and boundary conditions.

It is indeed a scientific puzzle that computer climate models offerred projection of Indian monsoon rainfalls covering the full 21st century with apparent ease and convenient. In this talk, I hope to highlight some unscientific aspects of those projections including the discussions in IPCC AR4 (2007) report. I wish to challenge the false perception of computer climate model being a good-enough tool for such assessment of future rainfalls, even if one narrowly considering only the single aspect of rising atmospheric CO2.

How Total solar irradiance forcing manifests itself in the inter-decadal variability of Indian Monsoon: Evidences from the recent past


By: Dr. Rajesh Agnihotri


Numerous paleo-studies have shown that global climate varies either in unison or with delays with contemporaneous solar variability on decadal to centennial scale, even though the mechanism of change in the terrestrial climate through small change in the Sun’s energy output still remain illusive. While majority of such studies have come from northern hemisphere especially in the monsoonal domain of South Asia, recently there are several reports from equatorial Africa and South America, demonstrating influence of solar cycles on regional climate manifestations such as lake levels, integrated stream flows/ precipitation patterns. Most of these studies have used sunspot numbers or group sunspot numbers as a metric or proxy for solar intrinsic variability to correlate it with regional climatic manifestations, whereas it is the Total solar irradiance (TSI) which contributes to the net radiative forcing of Earth climate system. Sunspot numbers have thus appear to be a good index of solar variability for qualitative Sun-climate studies, but for any quantitative effort it fails due to lack of knowledge of forcing component when Sunspot numbers reach zero or near zero values during their cyclic variability. In our recent study, therefore, we introduced a new physical parameter namely temporal derivative of TSI and shown that the Indian summer monsoon rainfall correlates well with the temporal derivative of TSI on multi-decadal timescales. This linkage was further tested and corroborated both for the instrumental period (1871-2006) and for the last ~300 years using a speleothem d18O record representing rainfall in southwestern India. Our analyses also indicated anomalous dry periods of the Indian monsoon are mostly coincident with negative TSI derivative. Our study thus hitherto demonstrates the potential of ‘TSI derivative’ as an important indicator of natural monsoon variability on inter-decadal timescale.


Modelling of ClimateChange Impacts on Agriculture

By: B. K. Bala
Climate changes affect food security. Present state of art of the modeling of crop growth and climate change impacts on crop production are critically examined. Crop growth model InfoCrop was used to predict the climate change impacts on the yields of rice, wheat and maize in Bangladesh. The growth rate of the crop in InfoCrop is computed as a function of radiation use efficiency, photosynthetically active radiation, total leaf area index and crop extinction coefficient. Sensitivity analysis shows that the crop model is sensitive to temperature change and CO2 levels. Temperature increase has a negative impact on yield which becomes more pronounced if the temperature increase is 4ºC and CO2 has a positive impact on yield. The climate change impacts on crop production such as rice, wheat and maize for different regions of Bangladesh for two climate change scenarios of historical trend and IPCC climate change scenario are assessed. Historical climate change scenario has little or no negative impacts on rice and wheat yields in Mymensingh and Dinajpur but IPCC climate change scenario has higher negative impacts. There is almost no change in the yields of rice and maize for the historical climate change scenario in the Hill Tracts of Chittagong, but there is small decrease in the yields of rice and maize for IPCC climate change scenario. Finally some adaptation options to climate change impacts are also discussed.

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