A new study led by Indian scientists has reported that the rapid warming of the Indo-Pacific Ocean may be responsible for changing rainfall patterns in many parts of the globe.
The study found that warming pools of the Indo-Pacific Ocean are expanding and this, in turn, is altering a major weather phenomenon known as the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO). The changes in the behaviour of MJO impacts rainfall patterns globally and the Indo-Pacific Ocean is warming due to man-made emissions.
These changes in MJO behaviour have increased the rainfall over northern Australia, the west Pacific, the Amazon basin, southwest Africa and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea). On the other hand, these very changes are causing a decline in the rainfall over the central Pacific, along with the west and east coast of United States, northern India, east Africa, and the Yangtze basin in China, according to research findings reported in the international scientific journal Nature.
Specifically, over northern India, the impact is being seen in the form of a reduction in rainfall during the winter-spring season (November to April).
“Climate model simulations indicate that continued warming of the Indo-Pacific Ocean is highly likely, which may further intensify these changes in global rainfall patterns in the future,” Roxy Mathew Koll of the Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) who led the study told India Science Wire.
Koll said “we need to enhance our ocean observational arrays to monitor these changes accurately, and update our climate models to skilfully to predict the challenges presented by a warming world.”
Meanwhile, Vimal Mishra, Climate Scientist at the Indian Institute of Technology, in western Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, who was not associated with the study, said the expansion of the warm pool due to anthropogenic warming has implications for the climate and weather in many regions of the world, including India.