Central, north India, western Himalayas prone to extreme rainfall due to climate change, says Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi: Central, north India and western Himalayas have become more prone to extreme rainfall due to changing climate, Union minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday.

Vardhan also said the government had not estimated the monsoon to be below average during the current year.

"Studies show, in the changing climate scenario, central and northern India and western Himalayas have become more prone to extreme rainfall events," the earth sciences minister said in a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

 Central, north India, western Himalayas prone to extreme rainfall due to climate change, says Harsh Vardhan

File image of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. PTI

"Even though it cannot be termed as a direct cause, events like heavy rainfall in various parts of the country have a possible linkage with global warming, since climate model simulations brings out intensification of extreme precipitation in various parts of the world due to global warming," Vardhan said.

"Also, several scientific studies bring out the possible linkage of climate change with the sudden occurrence of rainfall extreme," the minister added.

In a reply to another question, Vardhan said both the first-stage long range forecast issued on 15 April and the second stage forecast issued on 31 May suggest that the monsoon seasonal rainfall for the country as whole was likely to be near normal.

Quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96 percent of the long period average with a model error of plus or minus 5 percent, Vardhan said, adding that LPA (long period average) of the seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole for the period was likely to be 89 centimetres.

"Deficiency of rain has not been predicted for southwest monsoon season 2019 by (the) IMD. However, delay in monsoon onset over Kerala and its progress further has caused deficiency of rainfall in the month of June," he said.

Updated Date: Jul 09, 2019 23:11:31 IST