Jul 1, 2016

Climate Change Warming Asian Waters, Altering Monsoon

India
by
Katy Daigle
,
Associated Press
 In this May 25, 2015 file photo, drops of rain hang from the tip of a rice stalk before harvest in Burha Mayong village, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) east of Gauhati, India. Photo: Anupam Nath, AP
In this May 25, 2015 file photo, drops of rain hang from the tip of a rice stalk before harvest in Burha Mayong village, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) east of Gauhati, India. Photo: Anupam Nath, AP

[G]etting the [monsoon] 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. Even the amount of ice in Antarctica is suspected to have an impact.

And it's only getting harder to figure out, scientists say, as the monsoon becomes increasingly erratic.

A new study released 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.[1]

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