Monday, August 31, 2009
Scientists Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the weather by a powerful computer model of one of three international teams was more than one century. In meteorology, the battle more difficult question 1: If you are about to drive such a small format change the key of how the solar energy from the sun the whole world depends on 11 only 0.1 percent a year. Weather patterns on earth?
What two in the two regions, the effects of the sun is nothing new. Seems irrelevant. Response at maximum light, the substance of the Pacific sea surface temperature and stratospheric chemistry. Sunday, some air movement is a way to amplify the effects of the sun. This can be in the clouds cover the entire area and sea surface temperature changes in the very wind and rain. For best results the whole world and some hot and subtropical climate.
“Sun is in North America, such as the winter rain, and sea connections to work as the stratosphere,” NCAR scientists Gerald Meehl said the lead author. As to increase the players understanding of the solar cycle “can provide insight into the role. Science in weather patterns are expected to match the next 10 years.
This research is the National Science Foundation, NCAR is sponsored and supported by the State Department. Meehl global events like the recent construction of several documents and co-workers, some of Ranina between the peak of solar activity, however, and they explore the different links. Changes in surface pressure under El Nino and La Nina pattern of large width, known as the associated vibration.
And cooling water in the equatorial Pacific Ocean is the connection between the peak of solar energy, the first of NCAR, who co-Vanharimarifana Kororadorisachiasoshieitsu emergency was discovered by the author of the new paper.
Below the top.
Meehl vibration of the sun to generate changes in how his body is supported by his colleagues to establish a mechanism for one or two. You can work to expand the response of the tropical Pacific climate in the world together.
The first team is absorbed by ozone, the theory is a high-end products to see more sunspots solar energy. Stratosphere. Ozone stimulates the production of energy at the same time, the stratosphere, which absorbs more solar energy is most intense sun warms the air above the tropics. The most prominent non-uniform heat from warming the stratosphere, occur in low-latitude stratospheric wind. The editing is interconnected through a chain of processes, back up the healthy end of the summer rains.
At the same time, the date of solar maximum, a little heated. Surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Sunscreen, the clouds are not normal. Lead to the generation of increased evaporation of water vapor and heat some more. Rattouesuto tropical Pacific Ocean in the field of water, usually carried out in the rain to replenish and strengthen the mechanism of stratospheric open rain.
The top-down, with the strengthening influence of the stratosphere, the work of the rats, under the influence of the ocean. Balance very bright drier areas, other major enhancements in each sub-tropical low clouds to allow more sunlight to these changes. To encourage the air to generate a response of the skin and a good feedback loop.
These maximum response. Stratosphere. Sea, between the eastern equatorial Pacific cold in the sun, and also drier than normal conditions to produce a similar Ibentoraninya. But focus on the east about 1-2 more than usual cool Fahrenheit, is only about half of a strong La Nina. Showed a correlation with changes in wind patterns. Stratosphere.
Sun around the world for one year, or up to two single sunspot activity. Ranina like model is called slow change is likely to form as El Nino and solar maximum – the water instead of warm and cool tropical eastern Pacific. The answer is only about half of the strong flow of water moving here. As the warm El Nino and La Nina is a delay, as there is no consistent pattern occurs during solar cycle peak.
Building a cold sea.
Solar maximum, or real increase Ibentoraninya, the actual event, the delay of El Nino. 1989 ~ 1988 La Nina occurred near the peak year of solar maximum. Associated with significant changes in weather patterns such as unusual or strong La Nina. Air dry winter in the southwestern United States and usually mild.
Most of the regional weather patterns and sea surface temperature and precipitation in the Pacific storm in India. Driven by increased air, the world’s tropical and subtropical. Therefore, new studies are helping scientists to reduce the predicted solar cycle. To evaluate the flow and weather patterns associated with it in the region. In May, the next 10 years, or two or more different.
The answer is three views.
Elusive mechanism, in order to draw a connection to the sun and earth education team. Three one computer model is required to view the overlapping of the weather.
One is to analyze the relationship between sea surface temperature and the lower atmosphere. Cold War produced a small equatorial Pacific region during the solar maximum. Second generation model is the mechanism of ozone. Stratosphere. , However, the increase in meat production in some large tropical rain smaller format. Practice.
Version 3 of the ocean – atmosphere interaction is ozone. First time the combination of the two is found to generate a response of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Observed near the truth during the solar maximum.
“With the help of increased computer power, improved version was found in observational data. We have to clarify the details of the connection mechanism, climate change, the sun. And our air” Meehl said Ta.
Atmospheric Research with support from the National Science Foundation Kurabisuro University Corporation is the National Climate Research Center
Lack of snowfall is being attributed as another big reason that affected the flow of rivers and streams in the region and resulted in lower power generation.
86 megawatt Malana Hydro Electric Project is one the hydel projects which has been affected.
According to the General Manager of the Hydro electric project, J.K.Beri, Compared to 2008, the production level of electricity has decreased by 5,49,68,808 units.
"Last year from April 2008 to August 25, 2008, we generated 24,71,97,856 units of electricity. This year in the same period, we have managed to generate just 19,22,38,048 units of electricity. The reason is less rainfall and low temperature during the melting time of glaciers," Beri said.
The peak season to generate power starts from June and ends in September.
Beri added that as the peak season is over, they might not be able to fulfil the generation loss.
"I think we may not be able to recoup our generation loss this year as we don't expect enough rainfall in future," he said.
Himachal Pradesh plays a significant role in the supply of electricity to northern grid.
The state supplies electricity to Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
“The overall monsoon situation in the hill state is still precarious. Almost the entire state has received less than the normal average rainfall,” meteorological office director Manmohan Singh told IANS.
“The deficiency in the cumulative rainfall from June 1 to Aug 30 is still 53 percent. This means, the state saw just 292 mm average rainfall against the normal average of 625 mm.
“As the southwestern monsoon in the northern areas of the country starts receding from Sep 15, it’s now difficult to fill the gap (deficiency in rainfall).
“In August, the state generally receives 108 mm average rainfall. But this time only 44.5 mm rainfall was recorded this month,” the weather official said.
State Agriculture Director J.C. Rana said this was the lowest monsoon rainfall Himachal Pradesh has seen in the past few years.
“Of course, it’s (low rainfall) alarming as more than 80 percent of the horticulture and agricultural activities are rain-fed,” he said.
The deficient rainfall has triggered drought-like conditions across the state.
“The deficit monsoon rains have damaged both the kharif crop now and the rabi crop in winter, when the rains were more than 50 percent below normal. This is the third successive crop failure,” Rana said.
The meteorological office here said that except Una all the 12 districts have received less rains so far.
While there was 85 percent deficit rainfall in Chamba, the figure in Lahaul and Spiti is (72 percent), Sirmaur (63 percent) and Shimla (57 percent).
An initial survey by the agriculture department says cash crop production fell more than 50 percent in several districts, and in some cases, by as much as 80 percent.
Chief Secretary Asha Swaroop pegged the total loss for agriculture and horticulture at Rs.850 crore (Rs.8.5 billion) and Rs.250 crore respectively.
“The government has doled out Rs.35 crore as relief to farmers and agriculture-dependent sectors,” she added.
The government has declared the entire state drought-hit.
Weak and uneven monsoon rains have ravaged India's rice crop and hit the sugarcane, soybean and groundnut crops as well as disrupting the flow of water into the main reservoirs, which are vital for hydropower generation and winter irrigation.
"We expect at least 4-5 percent improvement in the seasonal rainfall deficit for the entire season from the current level," Ajit Tyagi, director general of the India Meteorological Department, told Reuters on Friday.
India last suffered a monsoon failure in 2002, when rainfall was 19.2 percent below average through the season, and July rains were 54.2 percent below normal. India's crop output in 2002/03 fell 18 percent.
This year, June rainfall was the worst in over 80 years, while July saw a 5 percent deficit. August began with an exceptionally dry two weeks, followed by near-normal rains in the later part of the month.
From the start of June to Aug. 26, rains were 25 percent below normal, data showed on Thursday.
"In 2002, the seasonal rainfall deficit was 19 percent. The only difference is that this year's July rainfall was relatively better than 2002," Tyagi said.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Over 500 mm rainfall this season.
The revival of rainfall across the country over the past two weeks has helped a third of the country achieve the normal average level for the June-August period.
Of the 36 'monsoon divisions' into which the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has divided the country, 12 have achieved the normal average for this three-month period this year, thanks to the revival of the past fortnight.
|HOPE RETURNS |
Division-wise rainfall comparison
|Excess||6 divisions||1 division||1 division|
|Normal||26 divisions||9 divisions||12 divisions|
|Deficient||4 divisions||25 divisions||22 divisions|
|Scanty||0 division||1 division||1 division|
|Note: Excess: ( +20% or more)Normal : (+19 % to -19%) |
Deficient: (-20% to -59%) Scanty: (-60% to -99%)
Source: India Meteorological Department, Pune
However, three parts in the country - Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and western Uttar Pradesh - have an average rainfall deficiency of more than 50 per cent as of now.
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Orissa, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, along with central Maharashtra, Rayalaseema (Andhra), Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have crossed the normal average level. There are still 22 monsoon divisions, primarily in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, which have reported deficient rainfall. The deficiency levels however have come down distinctly.
Haryana remains the only division with scanty rainfall (less 64 per cent) and Saurashtra-Kachchh in Gujarat the only region reporting excess rainfall (more by 29 per cent) till August 26, the IMD reports show. The entire country has got 514.3 mm of rainfall this season, almost 25 per cent less than the average normal of 682 mm till August 26.
A top IMD official told Business Standard there were chances of few more regions achieving the normal average rainfall level by the second week of September. "The situation in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and western UP is really tough. These regions might not recover the shortfall of rains this season. Last year, over the same period, 26 divisions had received the normal average rainfall. The only positive aspect is that deficiency levels have sharply reduced across a number of monsoon divisions," the official stated.
One of India's leading meteorologists has given warning that in Central India the "days of long duration rains are almost gone".
In a study of monsoon patterns in India over the last 150 years, BN Goswami, director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, said global warming had made India's weather more unpredictable.
His comments will fuel fears that climate change will cause increasing hardship for farmers in India, where the failure of the monsoon has already reduced food output by 20 per cent. Ministers reduced the country's growth projection this year by just under two per cent as drought hit crops throughout the country.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee this week said there had been a 25 per cent decline in rainfall this monsoon in 252 districts throughout ten states, while in Maharashtra crop yields fell by more than 40 per cent.
The increasing failure of the monsoon has been attributed to a number of factors including temperatures rising by an average on 0.5 degrees Celsius over the last hundred years, receding Himalayan glaciers and rising sea levels. Intensive farming in land reclaimed from tropical forests in the south of India, and the irrigation of farmland in the dusty northern plains have also affected the monsoon, delaying its arrival from June into July.
"It is a warning to our policy-makers and a challenge for the people to adapt to new rainfall trends," Mr Goswami said.
Small changes in the energy output of the sun can have a major impact on global weather patterns, such as the intensity of the Indian monsoon, that could be predicted years in advance, a team of scientists said.
The sun swings through an 11-year cycle measured in the number of sun spots on the surface that emit bursts of energy.
The difference in energy is only about 0.1 percent between a solar maximum and minimum and determining just how that small variation affects the world's climate has been one of the great challenges facing meteorologists.
Using a century of weather observations and complex computer models, the international team of scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the United States showed that even a small increase in the sun's energy can intensify wind and rainfall patterns.
"Small changes in the sun's output over the 11-year solar cycle have long been known to have impacts on the global climate system," said Julie Arblaster, from the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, a co-author of the study published in the latest issue of the journal Science.
"Here we reconcile for the first time the mechanisms by which these small variations get amplified, resulting in cooler sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific and enhancing off-equatorial rainfall."
The researchers found that during periods of strong solar activity the air in the upper atmosphere, in a layer called the stratosphere, heats up. This occurs over the tropics, where sunlight is typically most intense.
The extra warming alters wind patterns in the upper atmosphere, which in turn increases tropical rainfall.
Increased sunlight at solar maximum also causes a slight warming of ocean surface waters across the subtropical Pacific, where clouds are normally scarce, says the study.
This extra heat leads to more evaporation, producing additional water vapour. The extra moisture is carried by trade winds to the normally rainy areas of the western tropical Pacific, driving more rain.
In the tropical eastern Pacific, sea surface temperatures cool a little, creating conditions similar to a La Nina event. La Nina is the opposite phenomenon to El Nino, producing wetter weather in the western Pacific and drier weather in parts of South America.
The Indian monsoon and many other regional climate patterns are largely driven by rising and sinking air in the tropics and subtropics. Solar-cycle predictions could help meteorologists estimate how those circulation patterns, changes in sea surface temperatures and regional weather patterns might vary.
"The sun, the stratosphere, and the oceans are connected in ways that can influence events such as winter rainfall in North America," says NCAR scientist Gerald Meehl, lead author of the study.
"Understanding the role of the solar cycle can provide added insight as scientists work toward predicting regional weather patterns for the next couple of decades."
The sun is presently in a calm period after reaching a solar minimum at the end of last year, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States.
The next solar peak is expected in May 2013. (For more details, see: www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/)
"This paper represents a useful step forward in understanding how solar activity may lead to modest but detectable climatic effects," said Brad Carter, senior lecturer in physics at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
"It is a good reminder that solar activity is not an explanation of global warming over recent decades."
An ocean ride within the Chennai port limits is all set to be launched for the first time in the city in September. The ride, which will be on a 30-seater steel boat, is being organised by the Indian Institute of Logistics (IIL).At a press meet on Thursday, IIL founder-director Capt VJ Pushpa Kumar said this initiative was being planned for his love for the sea as a mariner. "We plan for the ride to span an hour costing Rs 300 per seat. The boat will come with trained professionals, apart from navigation equipment, weather forecast material and adequate safety measures. The ride is planned to end near the light house, though the exact tour details are yet to be finalised," he explained. A Goa-based Naval architect has been roped into the ocean ride project, to check stability of the boat to enhance its safety levels in sea. "We have already acquired permission from the Madras Mercantile Marine Department for this project and I hope this initiative not only helps to develop coastal tourism but also instills love for the sea among youngsters," Capt Kumar added. "This plan is only a precursor for our dreams to take coastal tourism to a bigger level in the east coast, which still hasn't been exploited as a tourism opportunity," henoted. The Indian Institute of Logistics, which has completed two years, has over 400 students in all, including its Chennai, Vijaywada and Kochi units. The institute offers diplomas, postgraduate diplomas and MBAs in various Logistic-related courses.
Australian scientists, using a climate model, have suggested that human-generated aerosols from the northern hemisphere may have contributed to increased rainfall in north-western and central Australia, and decreased rainfall in parts of southern Australia.
According to lead researcher, Dr Leon Rotstayn, Principal Research Scientist at the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, "Perhaps surprisingly, inclusion of northern hemisphere aerosols may be important for accurate modelling of Australian climate change."Aerosols come from many different sources.
Sulphur is released when we burn coal and oil. More dust, also an aerosol, circulates in the atmosphere when land is cleared, burned or overgrazed.
Some aerosols occur naturally like sea spray and volcanic emissions, but NASA estimates ten percent of the total aerosols in the atmosphere are caused by people.
Most of this ten percent is in the northern hemisphere.
European researchers, attending the international 'Water in a changing climate' science conference in Melbourne from August 24-28, will discuss a new forecasting service that will identify in unprecedented detail where these aerosols are coming from and where they are going.
The new service, part of Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, will give global information on how pollutants move around the world across oceans and continents, and will refine estimates of their sources and sinks.
According to Dr Adrian Simmons from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, which is coordinating the multi-institution initiative, "The service will give much more detailed forecast information on air quality over Europe and provide the basis for better health advice across Europe and beyond".
The service has clear implications for environmental policy and legislation.
Latest GFS predicts more activity over southern Bay and even predicting heavy showers for Chennai on 31-Aug-2009 and 1-Sep-2009.
Follow our tweets for regular updates on this prediction .. http://twitter.com/weatherofindia
Friday, August 28, 2009
>India monsoon 5 pct below normal in Aug 26 week
>India raises farm subsidy to boost winter crops
>India finmin-economy showing some positive signals
>Indian monsoon f'cast to dip again, soybean healthy
>Water in India reservoirs well below normal
>India plans to expand winter crop by 7 mln hectares
>India sees early, higher winter crop sowing-govt
> India's sugar stocks seen at 2.7 mln T on Oct 1
> India sugar stocks dip, enough for 2 months-report
> India imposes limits on sugar stocks for big buyers
> India plans loans, pesticide aid for cane growers
> India mills contract 4 mln T raw sufar-trade
> India gov't, sugar mills seek higher cane sowing
>Poor India monsoon may prolong loose money policy
>Forget the monsoon, India gold imports set to bounce
>India's food-price surge to prompt more govt action
>Poor monsoon stalks India despite economic strides
>What can India do to manage a bad monsoon?
>How monsoon rains impact South Asia crops
>Impact of monsoon on Indian crops
>Possible impact of monsoons on India's crops
>India measures to tide over sugar shortage
> India oilseed area drops; cotton, corn up
> India's cumulative weekly monsoon rainfall data
TAKE A LOOK
>El Nino churns up threat to commodities
>Sugar prices hovering at 28-year high [ID:nN10481485]
>Dry spell should bring change to India:Christopher Swann
Model forecasts continue to indicate the westward movement of the `low' over central and adjoining north peninsular India over the next few days and heavy to very heavy rainfall.
Some international models showed west-northwest movement for the system, which could take it to east Rajasthan. But the wave of heavy rains would also sweep the south Gujarat-Mumbai-Konkan belt progressively.
Consensus predictions from the UK Met Office (UKMO), Global Forecasting System (GFS) and Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC) models showed both westward and west-north westward tracks.
The forecast period (August 23-29) will see the circulation taking advantage of the patch of high sea-surface temperatures available off the Orissa coast to deepen as a `low' and heading west over land.
It may take a west-northwest course from over Vidarbha towards north Madhya Pradesh and east Rajasthan. An ensemble model prediction from CMC and GFS showed two distinct branches of the system taking off westward and west-north westward.
An India Met Department (IMD) update on Wednesday said that fairly widespread rains with isolated heavy to very heavy falls is likely over Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha and north Andhra Pradesh during the two days.
The rains are likely to scaleup over Madhya Pradesh from Wednesday onwards and over Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat from Thursday marked by isolated heavy to very heavy falls.
Isolated extremely heavy rainfall exceeding 25 cm has been forecast over north Konkan and south Gujarat around Friday, an IMD warning said.
The Climate Prediction Centre (CPC) of the US National Weather Services says that the week ending Aug 31 holds an increased chance for above average rains over central India and the Bay of Bengal.
This would brought to bear by a northward propagating belt of active weather worked up by the periodical and westerly Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) wave of enhanced convection as it passes the equatorial Indian Ocean.
The CPC expects the belt of rains to move further north and interact with a western disturbance passing through the north of the country. This may bring rains to parts of even west Uttar Pradesh and east Rajasthan.
A western disturbance was located over Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, an update from the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting.
The bulk of the MJO-fired activity will then get concentrated to the north of India even as south India and east Bay of Bengal slip under below normal-rain regime as a suppressed MJO convection phase entrenches itself.
But forecasts by the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction say that the peninsula will continue to get showers, mostly under an easterly wave activity.
Satellite pictures on Wednesday showed convective clouds over north and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal and parts of southeast Arabian Sea, central and south peninsular India.
South Madhya Pradesh, madhya Maharashtra, Marathawada, Vidarbha, Konkan, Goa and coastal Karnataka are expected to witness fairly widespread rains with heavy to very heavy falls during the next two days.
The rains may lift from over central and east India from the weekend. But widespread rainfall with heavy to very heavy or extremely heavy falls likely over north Konkan and south Gujarat.
An update from the Chennai Met Centre said that overnight rainfall was reported from most places over Lakshadweep, Telangana and coastal Karnataka; at many places over Kerala, coastal Andhra Pradesh and interior Karnataka and at a few places over Rayalaseema.
Forecast for the next two days said that rain or thundershowers are likely at most places over coastal Karnataka, Telangana and coastal Andhra Pradesh; at many places over Kerala, Lakshadweep and interior Karnataka and at a few places over Rayalaseema.
Isolated rain or thundershowers are likely over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
A warning valid for the next two days said that isolated heavy rain is likely over Kerala, coastal Karnataka, the Ghat areas of south interior Karnataka, Telangana and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Excess rain over central, southern and northeastern regions the past week narrowed the deficit in the week ended Aug. 26 to 5 percent, said S. Kaur, director at the India Meteorological Department. Showers since June 1 were 25 percent below the long- period average, compared with 26 percent a week ago, she said.
“Rainfall was excess in most parts of the country, barring the northwestern region,” said Kaur.
The monsoon season, which brings about three-quarters of the nation’s annual rainfall, may be the driest in seven years, with 252 of the 626 districts declaring drought. India’s summer crop harvest will decline by a fifth, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today. The country may import food items such as edible oils and lentils to meet any deficit, he said last week.
Falls in the drought-struck northwest states, the nation’s food bowl, were 74 percent less than average in the week ended Aug. 26. The seasonal shortfall widened to 40 percent from 37 percent a week earlier, Kaur said. The region includes Uttar Pradesh, India’s top sugar cane grower, Punjab and Haryana, the top rice and wheat growers.
Inadequate rainfall in July 2008 cut cane yields, lowered production by half and turned India into a net importer for the first time in three years. Production may drop to 14.8 million tons in the year to Sept. 30, from 26.4 million tons.
Sugar reached a 28-year high of 23.33 cents a pound in New York on Aug. 12.
India’s monsoon-sown rice output will drop 10 million tons from last year’s record, the government has said. Rice was sown to 27.3 million hectares, compared with 34.14 million hectares a year earlier, the farm ministry said Aug. 25.
Rainfall totaled 514.3 millimeters in the June 1-Aug. 26 period, less than the long-period average of 682 millimeters, the weather bureau’s Kaur said. Showers were 52 millimeters in the week ended Aug. 26, less than the average 54.6 millimeters between 1941 and 1990.
The deficit in the northeast states narrowed to 25 percent from 27 percent on Aug. 19. The shortfall in the central states, including Madhya Pradesh, the biggest soybean producer, narrowed to 20 percent from 22 percent, and a revival in the monsoon over peninsular India narrowed the deficit to 14 percent from 20 percent a week earlier, Kaur said.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The study of more than 30 years of monsoon data from India, led by Professor Dev Niyogi, showed tropical storms endure when ground moisture is high, but lose power over dry land.
Once a storm comes overland, it was unclear whether it would stall, accelerate or fizzle out, said Niyogi, who also serves as Indiana's state climatologist. We found that whether a storm becomes more intense or causes heavy rains could depend on the land conditions -- something we'd not considered. Thus far we've looked at these storms based mainly on ocean conditions or upper atmosphere.
Niyogi said tropical storms gain their strength from warm ocean water evaporation.
The same phenomenon -- the evaporation from the ocean that sustains the storms -- could be the same phenomenon that sustains that storm over land with moisture in the soil, he said. The storm will have more moisture and energy available over wet soil than dry.
Niyogi's team's findings appear in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Source: United Press International
First up is Michael Levi, who provides a very sobering look at how hard it will be for this year’s Copenhagen conference (the successor to Kyoto) to produce meaningful results.
Hopes are higher than ever for a breakthrough climate deal. For the past eight years, many argued that developing nations reluctant to commit to a new global climate-change deal — particularly China and India — were simply hiding behind the United States, whose enthusiastic engagement was all that was needed for a breakthrough. Now the long-awaited shift in U.S. policy has arrived.
But George Bush’s America wasn’t the only problem:
The odds of signing a comprehensive treaty in December are vanishingly small. And even reaching such a deal the following year would be an extraordinary challenge…
Many U.S. lawmakers want absolute near-term emissions caps from China and India, but those countries will not sign up for anything of the sort for at least another decade. And before they consider a deal of any kind, Chinese and Indian negotiators are demanding that developed countries commit to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by over 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, but none of the world’s wealthiest countries will even come close to meeting this goal.
And what if, miraculously, Copenhagen does result in a breakthrough treaty?
Even a blockbuster deal in which every country signed up to binding emissions caps would come nowhere close to guaranteeing success, since the world has few useful options for enforcing commitments to slash emissions short of punitive trade sanctions or similarly unpalatable penalties.
Levi returns often to the challenge of negotiating a deal that can satisfy both the West as well as India and China.
Americans accustomed to thinking about climate diplomacy within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol may assume that the obvious next step is to translate reduction goals into emissions caps, put them in a treaty, and establish a system for global carbon trading. But this would be problematic for three reasons.
First, negotiators from developing countries would insist on much less stringent caps than whatever they thought they could meet…
Second, even if a developing country met its agreed emissions cap, other nations would, in the near term, have little way of verifying this, since most developing countries, including China and India, lack the capacity to robustly monitor their entire economies’ emissions…
And finally, even if the problems of excessively high caps and poor verification could be solved, simple caps would have little value on their own. Canada is a case in point. Ottawa will soon exceed its Kyoto limit by about 30 percent, yet it will face no penalty for doing so because the Kyoto parties never agreed on any meaningful punishments. The United States and others have essentially no way to hold countries such as China and India to emissions caps short of using punitive trade sanctions or other blunt instruments that would make a mess of broader U.S. foreign policy. Obsessing narrowly in Copenhagen over legally binding near-term caps for developing countries is therefore a waste of time.
Seriously? The Canadians? Are there no good countries left in global politics?
Anyhow, Levi argues that the best hope for Copenhagen is a partnership that helps China and other developing countries clean up their act at home:
Shifting China onto a cleaner path will require Beijing to identify specific ways in which it can make deep emissions-intensity cuts. That could include better enforcement of building codes, mandating the use of efficient technology in factories, new subsidies for renewable energy, or a provisional commitment to use carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology on new coal plants by 2020. The United States and other wealthy countries should then offer to help China in whatever ways they usefully can. When it comes to building codes, Washington could help develop Beijing’s monitoring and enforcement capacity…wind power could be expanded by encouraging China to improve its protection of intellectual property, which would attract investment from international firms; and to help slash emissions from coal, the U.S. and Chinese governments could fund private demonstrations of CCS technology and share the resulting intellectual property.
Those are certainly interesting ideas, but one has to wonder about the political plausibility of an approach that rests on China welcoming foreign involvement in its domestic affairs and becoming a leader in the defense of intellectual property rights.
It will certainly be interesting to see whether the US government approaches Copenhagen in the same modest spirit as Mr. Levi.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
weather s cool
perfect settin 2 spend ma hols...
Hurricane Bill moved quickly northward through the Western Atlantic in the third week of August 2009, staying well away from the U.S. East Coast, but pounding the seaboard with large surf. This pair of images from August 22 shows a natural-color (photo-like) view of Hurricane Bill captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite (top) combined with a view of the vertical structure of the clouds measured by the radar on the Cloudsat satellite (bottom).
The photo-like view has been rotated so that North is to the right. The gray line shows the track that Cloudsat followed as it passed from south to north over the storm shortly following Aqua. The radar reflectivity measured by Cloudsat is the echo made when the pulse of energy the radar sends out bounces back from the ocean surface or from cloud particles in the atmosphere. The radar picture gives an idea of the shape and height of the clouds you would have seen if you could have sliced away the eastern half of the storm and looked in at it from the side.
As Cloudsat flew over the storm, it first encountered only patchy clouds, followed by the outermost band of clouds associated with the hurricane. As the radar scanned northward, it saw a pocket of air that was mostly cloud free; only a thin patch of high-altitude cirrus clouds capped a column of relatively clear air. Clouds in the southern eye wall reached about 15 kilometers in altitude, while those to the north were lower
Tropical Storm Hilda was about 540 miles southeast of Hawaii on the morning of August 25, 2009, heading west at about 9 miles per hour. According to the 5:00 a.m. (HST) advisory from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, wind shear in the vicinity of Hilda was predicted to decline, increasing the probability that Hilda would reach hurricane strength after 48 hours.
This view of the wind speed and direction of Tropical Storm Hilda was captured by the QuikSCAT satellite on August 24. Colors indicate wind speed (highest speeds are purple), barbed lines indicate direction. White lines indicate areas where winds were accompanied by heavy rain. Like the air flow in all Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclones, the winds spiral inward in a counterclockwise direction toward the eye—where the air pressure is lowest.
Quikscat measures wind speeds over the ocean by sending pulses of microwave energy through the atmosphere to the ocean and measuring the echo—the energy that bounces back from the wind-roughened surface. The intensity of the microwave echo changes depending on wind speed and direction, and scientists relate the radar echo to actual wind speed by correlating it with observations from ground stations and buoys.
Because the high wind speeds generated by cyclones are rare, scientists do not have corresponding ground information to know how to translate QuikSCAT data for wind speeds above 50 knots (about 93 km/hr or 58 mph). Also, the unusually heavy rain found in a cyclone distorts the microwave pulses, making a conversion to absolute wind speed difficult. Instead, QuikSCAT images provide a picture of the wind structure within the storm, which, among other things, can reveal whether a storm has developed a strong eye.
The Kingfisher Red flight took off at 5 am reportedly came back after an hour’s journey as the pilot was told that the runway in Port Blair was flooded and no landing was possible. The passengers who were disembarked from the flight were irked after they heard rumours of an Air India flight taking off to Port Blair. “Some of the passengers heard that an Air India flight had gone to the same destination and that is why they were irritated about their cancellations.
They are however flying on Tuesday morning on a special flight,” an airport official told Express.
The Port Blair airport go under such contingencies very often during the monsoon, say experts. “Rains flood the runway during monsoons and many such last minute cancellations occur,” says an airport official not willing to be identified.
Apart from this the Port Blair runway is also smaller in its length and no landing is generally possible there after 11am as the wind speed can affect the landing. “The runway is smaller so it leads to displaced threshold whereby a pilot can’t make a long landing” according to an operations expert.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that Kingfisher has not posted a qualified dispatcher in Chennai, a gross violation of the Civil Aviation requirement set by the DGCA. Pilots get their briefings and flight information through a Bangalore dispatch office or an Operations staff who has no clue of the role he plays.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The West Nile virus has been found in B.C. for the first time, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Mosquitoes collected in a trap in B.C's south Okanagan have tested positive for the virus, officials said. The centre is also investigating possible cases of the virus in two Kelowna residents who had traveled in the south Okanagan region.
"These cases are unusual. We have had 40 people in B.C. so far who have tested positive for the West Nile virus, but all of them had traveled outside the province, so this is the first time that we have confirmed activity actually in B.C." said Dr. Bonnie Henry.
The people undergoing testing are members of the same family and both are in their 40s. Officials expect final test results early next week.
The people did not require hospitalization and are both recovering.
Officials say they have been anticipating the arrival of West Nile virus in B.C. for several years and have good surveillance system to monitor the spread of the virus.
The public is asked to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to clean up any pools of standing water, which can act as breeding grounds for the insects.
India may ban corn exports for a second season to boost local supplies as the crop wilts under the driest monsoon in seven years, the U.S. Grains Council said.
"A ban is a real possibility if prices rise further," Amit Sachdev, India representative of the U.S. Grains Council, said in a telephone interview from Gurgaon, near New Delhi.
A halt in corn shipments from the South Asian country may boost sales for U.S. and Latin American suppliers, supporting prices that have fallen 45 percent in the past year. A drought in 40 percent of India's 626 districts may lower output in the world's second-biggest producer of rice, sugar and wheat.
"The crop has been hit by lack of rains and it's bound to affect productivity," Sachdev said. "It's a bit too early to say how much the output will decline."
India sells corn mostly to animal feed makers in countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Shipments have totaled 1 million tons since the four-month ban on exports was lifted on Oct. 15.
Overseas sales were banned in July last year after prices surged. Curbs ended after output reached a record 19.3 million metric tons, including a summer crop of 13.9 million tons.
"It's quite possible the government becomes cautious about the overall supplies and bans corn exports," said Vijay Iyengar, managing director at Agrocorp International Pte. from Singapore. "We have reasonable stockpiles of rice and wheat, but not for many other commodities."
The government has purchased a record 30 million tons of rice and 25.1 million tons of wheat from farmers this year.
Farmers planted corn to 6.75 million hectares as of Aug. 12 compared with 6.59 million hectares a year earlier, according to the farm ministry. Prices have jumped 20 percent on the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd. in Mumbai in the past six months on speculation below average rains will reduce production.
In Chicago, corn for December delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $3.3125 a bushel at 10:23 a.m. Mumbai time. In India, futures for September delivery declined as much as 1 percent to 982.50 rupees ($20) per 100 kilograms on the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government halted exports of rice under so-called government-to-government accords last month to meet shortages caused by inadequate rains. Last week, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the country may import food items such as edible oils and lentils to meet any deficit.
To be sure, rains have returned, narrowing the deficit to 2 percent in the week ended Aug. 19 compared with 56 percent in the previous week, the weather office said Aug. 20.
"Rains in the past few days have considerably improved moisture levels, and the winter crop should be fairly good," Atul Chaturvedi, president at Adani Enterprises Ltd., India's biggest trader of farm goods, said by telephone from Ahmedabad. "I don't see any reason for the government to panic."
Trade Secretary Rahul Khullar wasn't immediately available for comment. The government isn't considering a ban on exports of corn and soybean meal, NDTV Profit television reported Aug. 18, citing Khullar
India will import lentils, edible oil and other staples to cope with any shortfalls caused by a widespread drought that has badly hurt crops, the finance minister said Friday.
The statement by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee came as the country of nearly 1.2 billion people faces its weakest monsoon in at least seven years.
"We shall go for imports" of "whichever commodity will be in short supply," Mukherjee told a state farm ministers' meeting in the Indian capital.
He noted supplies of pulses and edible oil were already running short. India is the world's largest consumer and importer of pulses.
But Mukherjee said India has enough grain stocks to tide it through for the moment.
"We are starting the drought year with good buffer stocks," Mukherjee said.
"The government has the experience to deal with such situations and we need not lose confidence in ourselves," he added.
The government would not announce the timing of any imports so as to avoid market prices being automatically jacked up, he said.
Consumers are already experiencing soaring food prices due to the weak rains.
Of India's 626 districts, 246 have been declared drought-hit with the annual monsoon running at 26 percent below average since the start of the rains in June, according to the latest meteorological report.
Mukherjee warned the poor rains would have "a cascading effect," hurting crop planting, hydro-electric generation, groundwater levels and recharging of reservoirs.
He appealed to farmers to start sowing their winter wheat crops as early as possible in order to ensure a good harvest and make up for losses suffered in the summer-growing season.
The winter wheat crop is normally sown in November and harvested in March while rice and sugar are key summer crops.
The rains during the June-September monsoon are expected to be 87 percent of the 50-year average, the weather office has forecast.
With only 40 percent of arable land under irrigation, India's 235 million farmers rely on the rains to grow their crops.
India is one of the world's leading producers of rice, wheat and sugar
Monday, August 24, 2009
Low rainfall expected this year, but if all months get less rain than normal, it would be a first since 1972.Even as finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Friday described the monsoon situation as "grim", data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows that low rainfall had been pretty much on the cards this year, judging from the monsoon's behaviour in the past decade.
Rainfall in the decade between 1999 and 2009 was the lowest in the last eight decades. Summer monsoon months between June 2000 and 21 August 2009 registered only 8,124mm of rainfall, 5.5% short of the decadal normal of 8,900mm. The 1960s and 1970s, each of which saw three all-India drought years, posted 8,927.5mm and 8,850.9mm of rainfall respectively, only 0.2% and 0.5% away from the normal.
Graphics: Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint
Though India is much less dependent on monsoon rainfall to shore up its economy than it was in these drought-riddled decades, deficient rainfall in over a third of its districts is threatening to shrink rural consumption, lower foodgrain production and dent the government's target of achieving 6%-plus growth this year. In a world still recovering from the financial crisis, agricultural growth was key to bolstering India's economy.
The past decade has been different by another yardstick. Typically, scientists say, even drought-riddled decades have at least one compensatory year, in which rainfall is excess, defined as 10% more than the yearly monsoon normal of 89cm.
"Not a single year posted excess rainfall this decade. And that's very unusual...perhaps a first in the last nine decades," said Madhavan Rajeevan, a meteorologist with the Indian Space Research Organisation, and formerly a top forecaster with IMD.
Meteorologists add that monsoon rainfall this century broadly followed a 30-year cycle. The 1900s to 1930 saw severe droughts and rainfall years were usually below normal. The 1930s to the 1960's saw good rainfall and few drought years; the 1960's to the 1990s, again saw more droughts and depressed rainfall.
"Therefore, the 1990s to 2020 should have been characterized by good rainfall. The 90s were promising-there were no droughts," said Rajeevan. "But this decade has completely overturned that trend. The last time we had excess rainfall was 1994."
Why these 10 years saw exceptionally low rainfall is still a matter of research and debate, unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.
Some scientists blame a resurgent El Nino, a weather anomaly characterized by a 0.5-1 degree Celsius temperature increase on specific regions of the Pacific Ocean that, in a domino-effect of sorts, blows away rain-bearing monsoon clouds.
"If you just look at the numbers, slightly less than half of All-India drought years correspond to El Nino years. In the 1980s and 1990's people thought El Ninos no longer had a bearing on India monsoons, because there were strong El Nino years and normal rainfalls. 2002 and 2004 changed all that," said D.S. Pai, one of the key officials involved with preparing the country's monsoon forecasts.
The year 2002 was India's last drought year, with monsoon rainfall at only 81% of the normal and 29% of the country affected. As per IMD's official definition, 2004, in spite of seeing rainfall deficient by 13% of the normal, wasn't a drought year. That's because only 18.5% of the country's area had deficient rainfall, a whisker short of the qualifying 20%.
Its failure to predict deficient rainfall forced the weather agency to abandon its workhorse forecasting models and adopt new weather models.
Other scientists say clues to the depressed rainfall this decade may lie closer home, in the Indian Ocean.
"Temperatures in the Indian Ocean have increased nearly 0.4 C over the last 30 years. Therefore, they may be drawing out moisture from the monsoon trough (a hulk of rain-bearing clouds that hover over the country between June and September)," said K. Krishnakumar, senior scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), who studies the effect of changes in global climate on the monsoon.
Other veteran meteorologists, such as D.R. Sikka, a former director of IITM who's chaired several IMD committees, theorize that the haze of black carbon particles, and other aerosols has the effect of absorbing moisture from clouds that contribute to the monsoon.
Sikka has worked with Veerabhadran Ramanathan of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Ramanathan was among the first scientists to link the effects of black carbon particles and global warming in the 1970s.
But all of the meteorologists concede that their theories are still, at best, just that-theories. "There are several basic things not understood. For instance, the monsoon has a strange, unexplained way of compensating for itself. One bad monsoon month is usually followed by one month of excess rainfall," said Sikka. "That hasn't happened this year. In fact, if all monsoon months this year post rain below their monthly normals, it will be a first since the drought year of 1972. Extremely unique."
The IT sector looks leaner and fitter after dealing with crisis situation for almost two years.
Further, the sector would be among the first to take advantage of a recovery in the global economy as and when it happens (many experts are of the opinion that it may not be too long before the global economy sees an uptick).
It may be worthwhile for investors to add the top IT firms in their portfolio even as monsoon plays foul in the domestic economy.
So, its time for investors to look at IT Sector as the next frontier as bad monsoon makes investments in other sectors less attractive.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Reason one: Mayan calendar
The first to predict 2012 as the end of the world were the Mayans, a bloodthirsty race that were good at two things -- building highly accurate astrological equipment out of stone and sacrificing virgins.
Thousands of years ago they managed to calculate the length of the lunar moon as 329.53020 days, only 34 seconds out. The Mayan calendar predicts that the earth will end on December 21, 2012. Given that they were pretty close to the mark with the lunar cycle, it’s likely they’ve got the end of the world right as well.
Reason two: Sun storms
Solar experts from around the world monitoring the sun have made a startling discovery. Our sun is in a bit of strife. The energy output of the sun is, like most things in nature, cyclic and it’s supposed to be in the middle of a period of relative stability. However, recent solar storms have been bombarding the earth with lot of radiation energy. It’s been knocking out power grids and destroying satellites. This activity is predicted to get worse and calculations suggest it’ll reach its deadly peak sometime in 2012.
Reason three: The atom smasher
Scientists in Europe have been building the world’s largest particle accelerator. Basically, its a 27 km tunnel designed to smash atoms together to find out what makes the universe tick. However, the mega-gadget has caused serious concern, with some scientists suggesting that it’s properly even a bad idea to turn it on in the first place. They’re predicting all manner of deadly results, including mini black holes. So when this machine is fired up for its first serious experiment in 2012, the world could be crushed into a super-dense blob the size of a basketball.
Reason four: The Bible says it
If having scientists warning us about the end of the world isn’t bad enough, religious folks are getting in on the act as well. Interpretations of the Christian Bible reveal that the date for Armageddon, the final battle between good an evil, has been set for 2012. The I Ching, also known as the Chinese Book of Changes, says the same thing, as do various sections of the Hindu teachings.
Reason five: Super volcano
Yellowstone National Park in United States is famous for its thermal springs and old faithful geyser. The reason for this is simple -- it’s sitting on top of the world’s biggest volcano and geological experts are beginning to get nervous sweats. The Yellowstone volcano has a pattern of erupting every 650,000 years or so, and we’re many years overdue for an explosion that will fill the atmosphere with ash, blocking the sun and plunging the earth into a frozen winter that could last up to 15,000 years. The pressure under the Yellowstone is building steadily, and geologists have set 2012 as a likely date for the big bang.
Reason six: The physicists
This one’s case of bog -- simple maths mathematics. Physicists at Berkely University have been crunching the numbers.
They’ve determined that the earth is well overdue for a major catastrophic event. Even worse, they’re claiming that their calculations prove that we’re all going to die, very soon. They are also saying that their prediction comes with a certainty of 99 per cent; and 2012 just happens to be the best guess as to when it occurs.
Reason seven: Earth’s magnetic field
We all know the Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that shields us from most of the sun’s radiation. What you might not know is that the magnetic poles we call North and South have a nasty habit of swapping places every 750,000 years or so -- and right now we’re about 30,000 years overdue. Scientists have noted that the poles are drifting apart roughly 20-30 kms each year, much faster than ever before, which points to a pole-shift being right around the corner. While the pole shift is under way, the magnetic field is disrupted and will eventually disappear, sometimes for up to 100 years. The result is enough UV outdoors to crisp your skin in seconds, killing everything it touches.
According to NOAA sunspot counts, the longest stretch of spotless suns during the current solar minimum was 52 days in July, August and Sept. of 2008. The current spate of blank suns is putting that record in jeopardy. The sun is entering its 43rd consecutive day with no sunspots, and there are none in the offing. Deep solar minimum continues.
Sunspots are made of magnetism. The “firmament” of a sunspot is not matter but rather a strong magnetic field that appears dark because it blocks the upflow of heat from the sun’s fiery depths. Without magnetism, there would be no sunspots. According to Bill Livingston and Matt Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, sunspot magnetic fields are waning. The two respected solar astronomers have been measuring solar magnetism since 1992. Their technique is based on Zeeman splitting of infrared spectral lines emitted by iron atoms in the vicinity of sunspots. Extrapolating their data into the future suggests that sunspots could completely disappear within decades.
Don’t count out sunspots just yet, however. While the data of Livingston and Penn are widely thought to be correct, far-reaching extrapolations may be premature. This type of measurement is relatively new, and the data reaches back less than 17 years. “Whether this is an omen of long-term sunspot decline, analogous to the Maunder Minimum, remains to be seen,” they caution in a recent EOS article
An unidentified civil aviation ministry representative told the Indo-Asian News Service that Friday night's collapse of a roof section at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi will be investigated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
"The government has taken a serious note of the terminal flooding. We have sought a full report from the developers on flooding and the damage caused to a brand new terminal," the aviation official said.
"This is not the first time it has happened. We propose to summon the top officials for an explanation soon. Action may also be taken accordingly."
No injuries were reported, but the incident prompted 10 incoming flights to be diverted.
Delhi International Airport Ltd., which operates the Delhi airport, told news service the roof collapse also prompted 20 outgoing flights to be rescheduled
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The rain deficit in India has narrowed to 26 from 29 percent earlier after a 'significant improvement' in monsoon activity in the past week, the Met Department said Friday.
'There has been a significant improvement in monsoon activity during the Aug 13-19 period compared to the previous week,' a statement from Indian Meterological Department - said.
The cumulative seasonal rainfall from June 1 to Aug 19 for the country was 26 percent below the average, while till Aug 12 it was 29 percent.
The met department has predicted 'fairly widespread rainfall' till Aug 23 along the west coast and a subdued rainfall activity over north India, including Delhi and neighbouring state.
The southwest monsoon rainfall is likely to improve over Orissa, south Chhattisgarh and north Andhra Pradesh from Aug 24.
North Karnataka, Maharashtra and adjoining Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat region will receive heavy rains from Aug 26 onwards, the weather office saidf.
September, October and November may witness largely "climatological" conditions over India - which means the least possibility of deviation from historically observed weather pattern.
The usual pattern is for monsoon to start retreating from extreme west Rajasthan from September 1. It will progressively retreat from more areas to exit the landmass entirely by the end of September.
Withdrawal would technically mean the end of rains, but the north-west region has been known to receive stray showers from passing western disturbances even during September.
Occasionally, the withdrawal process has even been forced to call a halt due to intervening rains over northwest and even central India.
Given this, the process needs to be watched for any late-season rains that would add to crucial soil moisture for the rabi crop.
The International Research Institute for Climate Prediction at Columbia University sees an enhanced possibility of a reasonably good north-east monsoon, especially from November. But the gains may mostly accrue for the south peninsula.
According to the Busan, South Korea-based Asia-Pacific Climate Centre (APCC), the west coast, south peninsula and the east coast may see below- or near-normal rainfall till October, along with above-normal temperatures.
During October, probability of near-normal rains is indicated for north, northwest and east India. The south peninsula and the southeast coast will sit out of this regime.
But there is a chance that the rainfall signals over India may be near-normal in November, the APCC added.
Collectively, early signals suggest normal winter precipitation regime varyingly for northwest and east India. This is strikingly in contrast with winter of the previous year when rains failed the region for the most part.
Meanwhile, in a monsoon status update on Friday, the Indian Met Department (IMD) said there has been significant improvement in monsoon activity over the south peninsula, northwest and northeast India during the week ending August 19 (Wednesday).
The Gangetic plains, foothills of the Himalayas, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and the south peninsula excluding the west coast received excess rainfall from a partial revival of the monsoon. But the rains were subdued over central India while being scanty over Maharashtra, Gujarat and west Rajasthan.
The monsoon trough may remain close to the foothills of the Himalayas till Sunday and return to its normal position thereafter to signal further recovery in rainfall.
Fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls is likely along the foothills of the Himalayas and the Northeastern Sates till Sunday and decrease thereafter.
A cyclonic circulation is likely to develop over northwest Bay of Bengal around Monday and may move westward across Orissa and Chhattisgarh to signal the revival of monsoon rains over these regions.
The IMD too has since joined the watch for monsoon to improve over Orissa, south Chhattisgarh and north Andhra Pradesh from August 24 (Monday) and north Karnataka, Maharashtra and adjoining Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat two days hence, with fairly widespread rainfall and isolated heavy to very heavy falls.
Gradual strengthening of lower-level westerlies is likely over the south and central Arabian Sea along with likely development of an offshore trough along the west coast.
Considering the large-scale features, the Madden-Julian Oscillation index is likely to be favourable from the second half of the week for enhanced rainfall activity, especially in central and peninsular India, the IMD update added.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Well away from land, Typhoon Vamco moved north over the Pacific Ocean on August 20, 2009, gradually building steam. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image at 00:05 UTC, the storm had sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (120 miles per hour or 105 knots), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Forecasters expected the typhoon to continue to strengthen into a Category 4 Super Typhoon by August 21. The storm was not expected to hit land.
In this photo-like image, Vamco is clearly well-formed. It has a small, distinctive eye defined by a wall of clouds. The bands of clouds that spiral out from the eye form a tight, symmetric circle, another sign of a powerful storm.
The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS' full spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.
Monsoon season floods in Asia can cause widespread devastation of rice crops. Some strains of rice have adapted to this environmental stress by developing the ability to undergo rapid stem elongation. Normally this type of rice grows to about a metre high, but when flooding occurs, the stem undergoes rapid and dramatic internode elongation and can grow to several metres, according to the water level. Hattori et al. have identified the genes that trigger internode elongation in deepwater rice, called SNORKEL1 and SNORKEL2. They code for transcription factors that regulate signalling of the gaseous phytohormone, ethylene. The introduction of these genes into high yield cultivars could boost rice production in flood prone areas.
Authors: Making the paper: Motoyuki Ashikari
Flood-survival genes surface after years of fieldwork in rice paddies.
A late revival in monsoon rains in India has fueled hopes that it will help limit damage to the country's summer crops and prevent further increases in food prices. But it may be too late to lower prices substantially.
Weather's impact on commodities is big in most countries, but nowhere bigger than in India. Following scanty rains in the first half of the June-to-September monsoon season, prices of staple food items such as sugar, edible oils and vegetables have risen by an average 30%. That has stoked fears of a return of inflation that could hinder an economic rebound in Asia's third-largest economy.
A farmer puts pesticides on his rice near Amritsar, India, last month. The U.S. this month sharply cut its forecast for Indian rice production.
There has been some respite after monsoon rains returned late last week. The revival of rains "may limit damage to the sugarcane crop [and] improve the sucrose content in cane," said C.B. Patodia, president of the Uttar Pradesh Sugar Mills Association. Late rains also will help reduce pest attacks on sugar cane.
Heavy rains in the last four to five days over the grain bowl states of Punjab and Haryana, and the country's second-largest sugar producer, Uttar Pradesh, have improved the outlook for rice and sugar cane, traders said.
U.S.-traded sugar-futures prices have rallied to 28-year highs in part because of the dry monsoon season, but rice prices haven't risen in kind.
Analysts say there is a good chance rice prices will climb.
September-delivery Chicago Board of Trade rice did surge in July, from $12.34 per hundred pounds (45 kilograms) at the start of the month to a high of $14.005, but has since retreated. Thursday, CBOT rice was at $13.185, up 1.1 cents on the day.
The July surge was fueled largely by U.S. Department of Agriculture data for the U.S. crop. In its August estimate, the USDA cut India's expected rice production by 15 million to 15.5 million metric tons to 84 million for the 2009-2010 marketing year because of the drought. U.S. analysts said a cut that drastic in one month could mean the problem might be worse.
Bill Nelson, an analyst with Doane Advisory Services, said the situation is bullish, but that it "hasn't hit the radar yet." People could get caught off-guard, he said. "Historically, these Indian monsoon failures have an appreciable impact on rice, and rice prices can do pretty crazy things," Mr. Nelson said.
Whether prices could see a leap depends on how Asian countries react to tightening supplies. After rice prices rallied to all-time highs last year, nations stopped exporting, which fueled a near-panic among importers, such as the Philippines, analysts said.
According to the India Meteorological Department, India's western region, a key producer of cotton and sugarcane, was likely to get more rains from Thursday. Major rice-producing states such as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana were also likely to get more rains.
Meanwhile, sugar prices in the Indian market declined by 80 rupees per 100 kilograms, or 2.6%, to 2,970 rupees on forecasts of more rain. Pigeon-pea prices have eased by 2% to 5,400 rupees per 100 kilograms in the past week.
Prices of pulses, or edible seeds, also may soften a bit on hopes of better-than-expected output, but a major decline isn't likely due to strong demand and low carryover stocks, said Chowda Reddy, an analyst with Karvy Comtrade Ltd.
In other commodity trading:
NATURAL GAS: Futures fell below $3 a million British thermal units to a fresh seven-year low as government data showed inventories continued to swell last week, though the injection into storage came in slightly below analysts' expectations. Gas for September delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled down 17.4 cents, or 5.6%, at $2.945 per million BTUs.
CRUDE OIL: Futures finished higher but remained below the peaks for the year as the economic recovery still looked too tenuous to justify any further climb. Crude for September delivery expired at its settlement of $72.54 a barrel, 12 cents, or 0.2% higher on the day.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Almost entire India is moving into a very wet MJO phase.
This wet phase starts from 25-Aug and will peak from 3-Sep to 18-Sep... This wet phase will be more severe over southern peninsula.
Hope this brings widespread RAIN all over India.
Nearly half of India's districts have been hit by drought that could affect the production of rice, the country's farm minister has said.
Sharad Pawar said 246 districts in 10 states had been declared as drought affected. India has some 600 districts.
Separately, authorities in southern Andhra Pradesh state say they are probing whether the suicides of 20 farmers are linked to the drought.
This monsoon season has brought 29% less rainfall than normal.
Rice production in the country could decline by 10 million tonnes this year because of the drought, Mr Pawar said.
India produced nearly 100 million tonnes of rice during 2008-2009, according to official figures.
"Due to the expected reduced production of rice, there could be pressure on availability and market price," he added.
With food prices rising, Mr Pawar said the government was planning to release wheat and rice from its stocks in the open market to keep prices in check.
Leading economist and member in charge of food at India's Planning Commission Abhijit Sen told a newspaper that he did not "foresee a situation where we need to import food".
Separately, the government in Andhra Pradesh has announced an investigation into the suicides of 20 farmers in a little over a month.
The opposition parties have said the farmers were taking their lives because of the drought.
Chief minister YS Rajashekhara Reddy said officials were "conducting an in-depth probe into all the suicides by farmers to establish the reason".
Monsoon rains are critical to India's farm prospects, which account for a sixth of its economic output.
Up to 70% of Indians are dependent on farm incomes, and about 60% of India's farms depend on rains. Irrigation networks are dismissed by critics as inadequate.
The summer rains are crucial to crops such as rice, soybean, sugarcane and cotton.