Cyclone Biparjoy, which hit the Gujarat coast last fortnight, served as a grim reminder that in times of climate change we must brace ourselves for more stormy weather and rough seas.

Hotter sea surface temperatures (SST) have been linked by experts to heightened cyclonic episodes worldwide. A research study last year by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology-Pune revealed that higher SSTs hold out the threat of more cyclones and deep depressions in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

Mandvi: Damaged temporary structures at a beach, in the aftermath of Cyclone Biparjoy, in Mandvi, Saturday, June 17, 2023. (PTI Photo)(PTI06_17_2023_000015B)

Mandvi: Damaged temporary structures at a beach, in the aftermath of Cyclone Biparjoy, in Mandvi, Saturday, June 17, 2023. (PTI Photo)(PTI06_17_2023_000015B) | Photo Credit: -

On an average, four cyclones have affected India each year between 2010-2019. That is more than the three every year in the earlier decades since 1980.

According to a National Disaster Management Authority study, climate change and its resultant sea-level rise are bound to increase the vulnerability of our coastal population. Approximately 40 per cent of the population lives within 100 km of the India’s 5,700 km coastline.

A report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that over the last decade global average sea level has risen at a rate of about 4 millimetres per year. This is attributed to global warming and will result in weather changes and increased cyclonic events.

Since the 1950s, the fastest sea surface warming has occurred in the Indian Ocean, of which the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal are a part. Hence, the need to arrest global warming and climate change is urgent.

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