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Commuters carry their motorbikes through a waterlogged street in Chennai

AP

Update: Chennai floods and climate change


“Studies show that with rising global temperatures, the intensity of rain spells is increasing, both in the southwest and northeast monsoons,” says M Rajeevan, director, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. While no single weather event can said to be directly affected by global warming, the probability of heavy rain increases in the climate change scenario.

What is sinking Chennai?
Down to Earth special feature
Even as countries attempt to reach a climate deal that can avert the devastating impacts of climate change, unusually heavy rains pound Chennai, causing dangerous waterlogging in many parts of the city

Chennai floods: Climate change footprints in freak weather
The Times of India
“Studies show that with rising global temperatures, the intensity of rain spells is increasing. This has been seen both in the southwest and northeast monsoons,” says M Rajeevan, director, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. So, while no single weather event can said to be directly affected by global warming, the probability of heavy rain increases in the climate change scenario.

Chennai floods due to global warming: Expert
DNA
“We’re facing a deadly combinations of temperature rise, reduced rainfall and erratic monsoons in certain areas, with a threat of drought,” said Dholakia. This will mostly occur in central and north eastern parts of the country. Other areas, such as the coasts, will see “extreme precipitation events”, giving rise to floods. “The current state of Chennai, the floods in Uttarakhand, Kashmir, the heat waves in Telangana, are all such events caused by these changes,” explained Dholakia.

Chennai floods are not a natural disaster – they’ve been created by unrestrained construction
Nityanand Jayaraman, Scroll.in
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s response to the floods in Tamil Nadu is frightening. A report in NDTV quotes her as saying, “Losses are unavoidable when there’s very heavy rain. Swift rescue and relief alone are indicators of a good government.” These words are intended to normalise a human-made disaster, and gloss over the pathology of urban development under successive administrations.

Ripples in Paris after devastating floods in Chennai
The Indian Express
Delegates at the climate change summit in Paris used the flooding in Chennai to remind negotiators Thursday of the urgency of the climate problem and urged them to speed up discussions. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is presiding over the conference, issued a statement expressing his country’s solidarity with the affected people of Chennai. “The unprecedented magnitude of the flooding confirms yet again that we no longer have time. We must take concrete and urgent action against climate disruption,” Fabius said.

Maneka contradicts Modi, says Chennai flood is because ‘India is destroying climate’
Firstpost
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the ‘not our fault’ high ground when the world’s top three carbon culprits met in Paris but back home his own party’s top minister is taking a different line. Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, well known for her commitment to the green cause, said today in an interview to NDTV that India is a major culprit whose actions on climate have led to the Chennai floods. “It is a question of putting the blame always…the west did it. They may have done it 100 years ago. India is one of the main players in destroying the climate,” Maneka Gandhi told NDTV. (Also read: U-turn: Paris talks force Modi govt to admit climate change cause behind Chennai floods)

MAP: Crowd-sourced map of Chennai floods
A crowdsourced effort to map inundated roads in Chennai. All the data is open.

PHOTO FEATURE: Chennai Floods 
Wall Street Journal

El Niño, explained: A guide to the biggest weather story of 2015
Brad Plumer, Vox.com
The El Niño currently brewing in the Pacific is shaping up to be one of the strongest ever recorded. This phenomenon is expected to peak between October and January, with far-reaching impacts all winter and spring… This El Niño is also playing out in the context of record warm ocean temperatures, so it could have unpredictable impacts. “Our scientific understanding of El Niño has increased greatly in recent years. However, this event is playing out in uncharted territory,” said Jarraud. “This naturally occurring El Niño event and human induced climate change may interact and modify each other in ways which we have never before experienced.”

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