28/11/2019 : The Hindu Newspaper Self Analysis
Global warming alters rainfall rhythm, finds study
A study by a team of Indian and U.S. researchers has found that Global warming has altered a key weather system and that may be whetting cyclones in the Bay of Bengal, decreasing winter rain in north India and altering global rainfall patterns.
- The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO), as it’s called, is a moving band of rain clouds that travels around the globe spanning 12,000–20,000 km across the tropical oceans.
- In its journey, it interacts with surface waters of the Indo-Pacific ocean, the largest pool of warm water in the globe, and due to this, it is said that the lifecycle of the MJO gets affected.
- The MJO clouds on average are spending only 15 days, instead of 19, over the Indian Ocean.
- Over the west Pacific, it increased by five days (from an average of 16 days to 23 days).
- It is this change in the residence time of MJO clouds that has altered the weather patterns across the globe, according to the research paper.
- When the MJO appears in the Indian Ocean during the monsoon months of June-September, it can increase rains over India. This year, India was poised to receive below-normal monsoon rainfall in April but ended up with excessive rain partly due to the MJO.
- The changes in MJO behaviour have increased the rainfall over northern Australia, west Pacific, Amazon basin, southwest Africa and southeast Asia (Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea).
- At the same time, these changes have brought a decline in rainfall over the central Pacific, along the west and east coast of the U.S. (e.g., California), north India, east Africa and the Yangtze basin in China. The frequent California fires, droughts in Africa and East Asian floods and cyclones in the Bay of Bengal may be linked to these changes in global weather, the study noted.
The MJOs haven’t been as extensively studied as say, the El Nino. This study shows that there is a need for better observation of the Indian Ocean and improved forecasts that can warn about a cyclone.
Gujarat to enforce new anti-terror law from Dec. 1
- Gujarat’s controversial anti-terror law is set to be enforced. The act has several draconian provisions like intercepted telephonic talk as legitimate evidence, and statement before a police official of SP rank being admissible evidence in the court.
- President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Act, which had thrice failed to get the nod from three previous Presidents since 2004 owing to draconian provisions and apparently sweeping powers given to the police.
- It is believed that the provisions of the Act will prove crucial in dealing with terrorism and organised crimes, such as contract killing, ponzi schemes, narcotics trade and extortion rackets, since Gujarat is a border State and has been a victim of terrorism. It needs such strong laws to deal with terrorism and organised crime.
A joint effort to conserve water in Rajasthan
- Villagers and elected representatives of Panchayati Raj bodies in Rajasthan will assist the State government in its efforts for water conservation and rainwater harvesting, which are expected to increase the groundwater level in the geographically difficult areas.
- The projects have been formulated to meet the local needs with regular monitoring.
- The Rajiv Gandhi Jal Sanchay Yojana (RGJSY), launched in all the 33 districts of the State, has identified as many as 1.80 lakh works to be executed in its first phase for creating a robust water harvesting infrastructure in over 3,900 villages.
- It is believed that the RGJSY’s long-term projects would permanently resolve the issue of paucity of water caused by scanty and erratic rainfall in the State. The completion of works through convergence with the departments concerned will ensure the availability of sufficient water for drinking and irrigation.
- The RGJSY has incorporated the works identified in the Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan.
Mannequins with cameras to scan Bengaluru traffic
- The understaffed and overworked Traffic Police have come up with yet another novel initiative to persuade motorists to follow traffic rules and observe lane discipline. The department has installed as many as 200 life-size mannequins at trouble-prone junctions in Bengaluru.
- The mannequins, dressed as traffic police, will deter repeat offenders, according to the plan.
- The police are planning to install CCTV cameras on them to record violations.
- Motorists and pedestrians commuting to work were bemused at the sight of the mannequins, and remained cautiously optimistic. Many expressed hope that it would stop people from using their mobile phones while driving and jumping signals.