State of the Climate Report 2020:IMD

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 – AmphanNisarga, 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.

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