2018 sixth warmest year since 1901, says IMD

Namrata Devikar
Friday, 18 January 2019

“Weather events such as heat waves, drought, severe storms, cyclones and changing monsoon pattern are the direct impact of climate change. In the USA also, many people died due to extreme weather conditions last year,” said Lipps.

PUNE: According to a statement on ‘Climate of India in 2018’ issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), 2018 was the sixth warmest year on record since 1901. The average temperature across India during last year was significantly above normal. The statement mentioned that 11 out of 15 warmest years were during the past 15 years i.e. between 2004 to 2018. 

The IMD stated that 1,428 lives were lost due to various adverse climatic events such as avalanche, floods, heavy rainfall, thunderstorm, cold and heat waves across the country in 2018. Of these, 139 people died in Maharashtra last year due to floods and heavy rainfall between June and September. 

Speaking about extreme weather events and their impact, Jere Lipps, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA who has been writing and teaching on climate change for the past 40 years, said that an increase in these extreme weather events is a result of climate change. 

“Weather events such as heat waves, drought, severe storms, cyclones and changing monsoon pattern are the direct impact of climate change. In the USA also, many people died due to extreme weather conditions last year,” said Lipps.

RISE IN TEMPERATURE
According to the statement, 2018 annual mean land surface air temperature for the country was +0.41 degrees Celsius above the 1981 to 2010 average. Thus, 2018 became the sixth warmest year since 1901.

The past decade (2001-2018) was also the warmest decade on record. The annual mean temperature during 1901 to 2018 showed an increasing trend of 0.6 degrees Celsius per 100 years with a significant increase in trend in maximum temperature i.e. one degrees Celsius per 100 years and relatively lower increasing trend of 0.2 degrees Celsius per 100 years in minimum temperature.

N-E MONSOON SEASON
The 2018 northeast monsoon season between October and December over the country as a whole was substantially below normal with 56 per cent of Long Period Average (LPA). This was the sixth lowest since 1901.

DEATHS DUE TO ADVERSE CLIMATIC EVENTS
Out of 1,428 total casualties, floods and heavy rain-related incidents reportedly claimed over 800 lives across the country during pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons.

The statement noted that out of these, 223 deaths alone were reported from Kerala between August 8 and August 23, 158 from Uttar Pradesh, 139 from Maharashtra and 116 from West Bengal during monsoon.

Thunderstorms was another major event of the year over the northeastern parts of the country, which reportedly claimed 166 lives from Uttar Pradesh between April and May and 75 from Jharkhand between June and July. Dust storm claimed over 150 lives. From Uttar Pradesh, 92 people died between May 2 and May 6 and adjoining parts of Rajasthan witnessed 68 deaths between April and May. 92 people lost their lives due to cold wave in Uttar Pradesh.

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