The Monsoon and India

All over southern Asia, from may to july, farmers wait for the monsoon o break about then as it crosses the continent, and to bring them a decent crop. So far, there is not much that weather forecasters can do to warn people of  the sort of  disastrous drought that occurred in 1987. Scientist are, however, beginning yo understand more about the links between different bits of the world's weather; and that sort of understanding is a first towards prediction.

        Some Indians called the 1987 monsoon for 100 years, especially as the states southern affected were India's biggest agricultural producers. The drought had spread east to srilanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, And Philippines.

      Monsoon failure on this scale would have meant famine 25 years ago, as in 1967. The countries of southern Asia are less vulnerable these days. Most have food stocks, roads and there fore, food distribution system are better. Availability of irrigation facilitate means that some crops are not wholly dependent on rain. But failed monsoon still means disaster for many farmers and damage to the whole economy simply because the efforts to conserve water would be foiled. Food shortages push up prices, farmers cannot pay back debt and agriculture labor has no work. the recent cases of farmers committing suicide on the account of crop failure, especially in AP Punjab.

       Whether forecaster are now fairly good at one or two days forecast. They are even managing to model five to ten days ahead reasonable and reliably. A lot of the work on E1 Nino, and irregular pacific phenomenon variables that starts around  Christmas and manifest itself in warm sea water and heavy rain. A dramatic one in 1982-83 raised sea surfaces temperature by as much as 10C, destroyed 80% of the coral reefs off panama and cut peru's GNP by 5% because it killed its anchovies.

India's climate, It is said, is becoming more extreme. India has fewer rainy; but the rain is harder  when it comes. India has more very wet monsoon and more dry ones than earlier. Floods in orissa and Bihar in 2011 monsoon were contemporaneous with drought in Karnataka and Tamil nadu. Alternating floods and droughts are as worrying to farmer as very long term decreases in rainfall that parts of Africa are suffering from.