Photo:AP
Photo:AP

2018 sixth warmest year on record, says IMD

According to IMD, the anomaly in winter temperatures (+0.59C) and those of the pre-monsoon (+0.55C) season contributed to this warming

New Delhi: Floods triggered by heavy rains took more than 800 lives across states in 2018, which was the sixth warmest year on record, raising concerns over the increasing human cost of climate change.

In its latest report, on ‘climate of India’, the government’s weather department, India Meteorological Department (IMD), stated that the annual mean land-surface air temperature for the country was +0.41°C above the 1981-2010 average, showing an increasing warming trend.

The year 2016 has so far been the warmest year for the country, when the mean annual surface temperature was +0.7°C above the 1981-2010 average. The five warmest years on record in order are 2016 (+0.7 °C), 2009 (+0.56°C), 2017 (+0.5°C), 2010 (+0.54°C) and 2015 (+0.42°C) ever since the nation-wide records commenced in 1901.

According to IMD, out of the 800 deaths in floods triggered by unprecedented rains last year, 223 deaths were reported from Kerala, which witnessed the worst floods in a century in August. As many as 158 deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh, 139 in Maharashtra and 116 in West Bengal during the monsoon season from June to September.

Uttar Pradesh was the most affected by extreme-weather events, reporting 600 deaths due to cold waves, thunderstorms, dust storms, lightning and floods. Thunderstorms and dust storms together claimed 258 lives in Uttar Pradesh, 75 in Jharkhand and 68 in Rajasthan.

The coastal regions bore the brunt of as many as seven cyclonic storms that formed over the north Indian Ocean last year. However, three of the systems that formed over the Arabian Sea did not have landfall over the Indian region.

As many as 110 lives were lost in cyclones Titli and Cyclone Gaja, which ravaged the coasts of Odisha and Tamil Nadu in October and November, respectively.

According to IMD, the anomaly in winter temperatures (+0.59°C) and those of the pre-monsoon (+0.55°C) season contributed to this warming.

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