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Sunday, February 7, 2010

2009 was India’s hottest yr ever

Average Temp Almost A Degree Above Normal

Neha Lalchandani | TNN 

New Delhi: You might have been feeling the heat for a while but it's official now—2009 was the hottest year ever recorded in India and almost a degree warmer than usual. The annual mean temperature for 2009 was 25.55°Celsius, 0.913° higher than the long-term annual average of 24.64°C. 
    Interestingly,of the 12 hottest years in the 108 years since 1901, when the Met department started maintaining temperature records, 8 have been in the past decade. This is in keeping with the global trend of the last decade being the warmest on record. 
    Data available with the Indian 
Meteorological Department (IMD) also indicates that the most abnormal temperatures—hotter than normal in this case—were recorded in winter and monsoon in 2009. In fact, they were the warmest ever. "Abnormally warm conditions prevailed over major parts of the country during winter. Temperature over (the) hilly regions of the westernHimalayas was 3-5°C above normal in the second fortnight of January, while in February the mean temperature over almost the entire country was above normal. However, there were cold wave conditions on a few occasions in UP in January,'' said an IMD report. 
    IMD director-general Ajit Tyagi said the mean maximum and minimum temperatures of September were the highest in the past five years, while January and August recorded the highest mean temperatures since 1901. "If one analyses the trend, it is evident that global warming is taking place, the rise in temperature becoming apparent since about 1990. In India, 2009 was specially warm due to several factors, the main being the fact that there was a deficiency in rainfall in both monsoon and winter,'' he said. 
India saw 0.5° mercury rise in 100 years 
New Delhi: 2009 has been declared the hottest year ever recorded in India. 
    The data, if not just IMD's claim, is verified by senior government officials, who say that in the past 20 years, there has not been a single year in which the average temperature has been below normal. "We are seeing a global trend being reflected in India. In the global arena, of the 12 hottest years in the century, 11 have been in the past two decades. In the past 100 years, there has been a rise of 0.74° globally though India has seen a rise of 0.5°,'' said an official. 
    S K Dash, professor at IIT-Delhi, who co-authored a paper in journal Current Science in 2007 along with Lord Hunt, agrees that warming is an evident phenomenon though there is a huge amount of uncertainty about whether this is a trend or only a periodic fluctuation and what the reasons for it are. "We analysed the temperature trend according to regions and found an increase 
of between 0.2° and 1° in maximum temperatures across the country. The coastal regions probably recorded the most increase. However, it is difficult to differentiate between natural warming and human contribution,'' he said. 
    The changes in weather have not been common across the country, the IMD's report points out. It says that "a significant positive trend in temperatures was observed over most parts of the country except over some parts of Rajasthan,Gujarat and Bihar''. 
    Officials also say that this decrease in mean temperature over some regions is why India's increase in average temperature has been less than the rise in global averages. 
    "The fall in temperature in areas like Rajasthan and Gujarat is because of a huge amount of dust in the atmosphere which reflects the sun's radiation. In Bihar, where only a small area has seen a fall in temperature, it could be because of a lot of greenery. However, the variation in weather phenomena over the country is also reflected in the monsoon. In 2009, while the overall monsoon for the country was 78% of the average, several ar
eas in central and northwest India experienced drought-like conditions. While rainfall has not decreased, the number of rainy days has gone down, indicating heavy rain on some days. This spells trouble for our agriculture,'' said a government official.


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