Tuesday October 23, 2018

Climate change: Positive impact on rice, tea in Northeast

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Kolkata: A scientist claimed that climate change was going to “positively” impact rice and tea crops in the Northeast.

According to Chandan Mahanta of the IIT-Guwahati, a modelling study carried out by the institute showed in the next 15 years (till 2030), rice and tea can actually have an advantage from climate change.

“Climate change is going to positively impact rice and tea in at least coming 15 years in the northeast. We have modelled that,” Mahanta said here at the South Asia Water Dialogue, adding that scientists looked at climate data, such as temperature, humidity and precipitation in the region to study the changes on the two important crops.

Explaining the variation, he said: “Sometimes it’s not just the temperature alone but also the rate of change of temperature or the rate of change of precipitation so it is not always very simple to say.”

In addition, the difference in growing times also has an influence.

“Tea is grown at three different times. Even rice is grown at different times. Maybe one particular rice variety may be less affected, others may be more affected,” said Mahanta, a professor of the department of civil engineering.

The Dialogue was organised by Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the German Embassy.According to Chandan Mahanta of the IIT-Guwahati, a modelling study carried out by the institute showed in the next 15 years (till 2030), rice and tea can actually have an advantage from climate change.

“Climate change is going to positively impact rice and tea in at least coming 15 years in the northeast. We have modelled that,” Mahanta said here at the South Asia Water Dialogue, adding that scientists looked at climate data, such as temperature, humidity and precipitation in the region to study the changes on the two important crops.

Explaining the variation, he said: “Sometimes it’s not just the temperature alone but also the rate of change of temperature or the rate of change of precipitation so it is not always very simple to say.”

In addition, the difference in growing times also has an influence.

“Tea is grown at three different times. Even rice is grown at different times. Maybe one particular rice variety may be less affected, others may be more affected,” said Mahanta, a professor of the department of civil engineering.

The Dialogue was organised by Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the German Embassy. (IANS) 

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A Warmer Winter For The United States Due To El-Nino And Climate Change

While El Nino is the biggest factor in the forecast, long-term warming from human-caused climate change is a factor.

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winter
A large cloud gathers over the skyline of San Francisco, California, Dec. 12, 2014. While the Pacific Northwest is expected to have a mild winter, California's forecast is unsure. VOA

Winter looks wet and especially mild for much of the country, thanks to a weak El Nino brewing, U.S. meteorologists said.

The National Weather Service on Thursday predicted a warmer than normal winter for the northern and western three-quarters of the nation. The greatest chance for warmer than normal winter weather is in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Montana, northern Wyoming and western North Dakota.

No place in the United States is expected to be colder than normal, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the government’s Climate Prediction Center.

The Southeast, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic can go any which way on temperature, Halpert said.

Winter
Overall the winter looks a lot like the last few, Wamrer. Wikimedia Commons

Overall the winter looks a lot like the last few, Halpert said.

“The country as a whole has been quite mild since 2014-2015,” Halpert said.

Winter weather expert Judah Cohen, of the private company Atmospheric and Environmental Research, uses different indicators to predict winter for the National Science Foundation. He also forecasted a warm winter, heavily based on weak snowfall in Siberia.

Precipitation

Halpert said the southern one-third of the United States and much of the East Coast could be hunkering down for a wetter than normal December through January. The chances are highest in southeastern Georgia and much of northern and central Florida.

Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, parts of Idaho, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio are forecast to be drier than normal, with the biggest likelihood in Hawaii, Montana and Michigan.

The middle belt of the nation and some of the north from California to New York can go any which way on precipitation.

Hurricane Florence, winter
A member of the North Carolina Task Force urban search and rescue team wades through a flooded neighborhood looking for residents who stayed behind as Florence continues to dump heavy rain in Fayetteville, N.C. VOA

The weather service’s forecast doesn’t look at snow likelihood.

El Nino

Halpert said the biggest factor in the forecast is a likely El Nino , the natural warming of parts of the central Pacific Ocean that influences weather worldwide.

The El Nino hasn’t quite formed yet, but it’s almost warm enough. Meteorologists predict there’s a 75 percent chance it’ll be around this winter. But it will be weak, not strong like the El Nino that helped lead to the record warm 2015-2016 winter, Halpert said.

Background warming

While El Nino is the biggest factor in the forecast, long-term warming from human-caused climate change is a factor, too, Halpert said.

Climate change, Australia
The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation’s top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, Georgia. VOA

“All things being equal, the slight kick we get out of the climate signal does tilt things toward the warm side,” Halpert said.

Also Read: Balloon Mission By NASA May Lead To Improved Weather Forecasting

But it’s not enough to outweigh other factors if they push toward cold.

“Even on a warming planet,” he said, “it doesn’t mean winter goes away and it’s never cold again.” (VOA)