Peerumade, Kottayam, Punalur, Tiruvalla and Alappuzha are those stations in the State which have witnessed significant reduction in rainfall during the last century.

Y.E.A. Raj, Deputy Director-General, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, revealed this during a special address at the Kerala Environment Congress 2012 here.

The topic of his address was ‘Extent of climate change over India and its projected impact on Indian agriculture.’

Climate change in respect of individual stations manifests with mixed trends with positive and negative changes, he said. For instance, positive trends are available from stations such as Kochi (100.6 mm) and Kasaragode (153.5 mm) in the State.

“It must be stated here that rainfall series for individual months/seasons in some of the series may have shown a significant trend.

In some other cases, these trends would have manifested only recently.

“A more detailed analysis of time series must be performed to detect and analyse such incidence,” Raj said.

The scenario of significant climate change, especially global warming, is now well documented and the evidence incontrovertible. However, in the Indian context, there appears to be no clear signal of such change at least in crucial parameters such as rainfall and occurrence of cyclonic storms. Projected climate change based on various models suggests steady increase in temperature and, at a later stage, slight increase in rainfall.

The effect on agriculture is likely to be mixed, Raj said. The increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere initially favours agricultural production.

But increase in temperature would have exactly the reverse effect. The situation is fluid and could even be seen to be contradictory at times.

This calls for learnt and measures responses based on scientific facts free from transnational biases.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 19, 2012)
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