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IIT-Mandi Predicts Indian Monsoon Rainfall Density for 2100

IIT-Mandi predict a weakening of monsoon by 2100

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monsoon in india
100 years of data of the Indian monsoon rainfall reveals that downfall of monsoon is near. Pixabay

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Mandi (IIT-Mandi) have developed an algorithm to process 100 years of data of the Indian monsoon rainfall and have predicted a weakening strength of the phenomenon by 2100.

The algorithm will also factor in information about global climate phenomena such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation, and can access periodicity of switching between strong and weak monsoon years.

The research was undertaken by Sarita Azad, Assistant Professor, School of Basic Sciences, along with her research scholars Pravat Jena, Sourabh Garg and Nikhil Ragha.

They studied the changes in the periodicity of monsoon rainfall and used the data to predict periodicity in future.

Their work has recently been published in the reputed American Geophysical Union peer-review international journal Earth and Space Science.

The Indian summer monsoon, the annual cycle of winds coupled with a strong cycle of rains, is undoubtedly India’s lifeline.

While the monsoon itself is a stable phenomenon, arriving almost like clockwork every year, the short-term fluctuations in annual rainfall are unpredictable and pose a great challenge.

Azad and her team developed algorithms that can accurately detect intense rainfall events, taking into consideration the triennial oscillation period and other factors such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation.

For this purpose, Jena has developed an algorithm to analyse the changes in periodicity of the monsoon. It predicts a decreasing intensity of rainfall in most parts of the country.

The team examined the spatial distribution of the triennial oscillations using rainfall data of 1,260 months between 1901 and 2005.

They analysed the power spectrum of the observed data and showed that the 2.85-year periodicity was present at 95 per cent confidence level over more than half of the 354 grids across India.

Indian monsoon downfall
Research reveals that changes in the periodicity of monsoon rainfall can result in the downfall of Indian monsoon by 2100. Pixabay

“We found that Indian summer monsoon rainfall has a periodicity of 2.85 years during which the monsoon tends to switch between strong and weak years. This 2.85 year period is called triennial oscillation,” Azad said.

In addition to the triennial oscillation, the quantum of rains that occurs during the monsoon is also connected to global climate phenomena such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation that recurs in a three to five-year period.

Understanding the relationship between triennial oscillation, its spatial distribution, and how it is likely to change in future is important for reliable monsoon prediction.

monsoon
Even after complex interactions both in temporal and spatial scales, monsoon showed a stable pattern till now. Pexel

Explaining the phenomenon, Jena said: “The monsoon involves complex interactions both in temporal and spatial scales. Despite complexity, the monsoon rainfall seems to show a well-defined pattern.”

The research team has projected the data into a collaborative framework-based simulation called the Coupled Model Inter Comparison Project to ascertain the future pattern of the 2.85-year period oscillation.

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The projections showed a weakening of this oscillation by the year 2100.

Azad added: “The triennial oscillation of the monsoon depends on global phenomena such as El Nino Southern Oscillation and the current triennial periodicity of 2.85 years may not hold good in future years, depending on the occurrence and periodicity of El Nino.”

Studies have shown that the periodicity of the El Nino Southern Oscillation itself is reducing, most likely linked to global warming, and this would have a direct impact on the strong-weak periodicity of the monsoon.

“A weakened triennial monsoon cycle will have a severe impact on agriculture and water resource management, particularly over the southwest coastal, northern, northeast, and central parts of India,” said Jena on the significance of their findings. (IANS)

Next Story

IIT Mandi Researchers Developing Thermoelectric Materials to Efficiently Convert Heat into Electricity

Generating power from heat, for example, is attractive as there is a lot of energy that is generated through human activity in industries like power plants

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IIT, Thermoelectric, Electricity
While solar power has received a lot of attention, other alternative sources, even if less known, are equally promising. Pixabay

 Indian Institute of Technology Mandi researchers in Himachal Pradesh are developing thermoelectric materials that can efficiently convert heat into electricity.

While solar power has received a lot of attention, other alternative sources, even if less known, are equally promising.

Generating power from heat, for example, is attractive as there is a lot of energy that is generated through human activity in industries like power plants, home appliances and automobiles, where most of this heat is lost.

A research team led by Ajay Soni, Associate Professor (Physics) with the School of Basic Sciences, IIT-Mandi, is studying materials that can convert heat into electricity.

IIT, Thermoelectric, Electricity
Indian Institute of Technology Mandi researchers in Himachal Pradesh are developing thermoelectric materials that can efficiently convert heat into electricity. Pixabay

The team has been engaged in research on thermoelectric materials and many of its papers have been published in reputed peer-review international journals, including Applied Physics Letters, Physical Review B and Journal of Alloys and Compounds.

“Thermoelectric materials work on the principle of Seebeck effect, in which electricity is generated due to temperature differences across the junction of two materials,” Soni said.

A typical thermoelectric material must have the trifecta properties of high thermoelectric power and electrical conductivity, and low thermal conductivity with a capability of maintaining a temperature gradient.

This combination of properties, Soni said, is hard to come by and a few semiconducting materials must be tweaked further for good thermoelectric efficiency.

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In the Western world, many automobile companies, including Volkswagen, Volvo, Ford and BMW, are developing thermoelectric waste heat recovery systems that promise three to five per cent improvement in fuel economy.

Other potential applications of thermoelectric energy harvesting include powering consumer devices and electronics, aviation, as well as space applications.

About 70 per cent of energy globally is wasted as heat and this heat is released into the environment, becoming one of the key drivers of global warming.

The trapping and conversion of waste heat into electricity can serve the dual purpose of energy self-sufficiency and environmental preservation. (IANS)