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El Niño’s Impact on Indian Monsoon and Agriculture



  Dec 20, 2023

El Niño’s Impact on Indian Monsoon and Agriculture



1. What is El Niño?

El Niño is a climate phenomenon characterized by the unusual warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. It significantly influences global weather patterns, including extreme weather events.

2. How does El Niño affect the Indian monsoon?

El Niño typically weakens the eastward winds across the Pacific, affecting the Indian monsoon circulation. This often results in reduced rainfall and erratic weather patterns over the Indian subcontinent, sometimes leading to drought conditions.

3. What are the consequences of El Niño on Indian agriculture?

Reduced rainfall during the monsoon can have severe implications for Indian agriculture, which heavily relies on these rains. Drought conditions can lead to crop failures, water scarcity, and a significant impact on the livelihoods of farmers.

4. Was the delayed monsoon in June 2023 related to El Niño?

Yes, the weak and delayed monsoon in June 2023 in India is linked to the development of El Niño earlier in the year. Such conditions can disrupt the normal progression of the monsoon.

5. Can El Niño lead to cyclones in India?

El Niño can create conditions conducive to cyclone formation, as seen with cyclone Biparjoy. Such cyclones can draw moisture away from the monsoon winds, further reducing rainfall over India.

6. How did El Niño contribute to the 2015 Chennai floods?

The 2015 Chennai floods, attributed to an extreme El Niño event, resulted in unprecedented rainfall, causing significant economic and human loss. It highlights the destructive potential of such events.

7. Will El Niño events become more severe in the future?

Climate models project that fluctuations in rainfall due to El Niño events will intensify in the coming decades, attributed to global warming and increased atmospheric moisture.

8. What adaptation strategies can Indian agriculture adopt in response to El Niño?

Adaptation strategies include adopting climate-resilient crops, diverse cropping systems, efficient irrigation, water and soil moisture conservation, agroforestry, and integrating traditional knowledge with scientific advancements.

9. How important are early warning systems in this context?

Early warning systems are crucial for alerting farmers about extreme weather conditions. Timely information can help farmers take appropriate measures to mitigate the impact of such events.

10. What role does the India Meteorological Department play in helping farmers?

The India Meteorological Department provides Agrometeorological Advisory Services, offering weather forecasts to farmers via TV, radio, and SMS. Expanding these services is vital for ensuring all farmers have access to critical weather information.


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