Home/ Science / News/  With climate dangers rising, Indian Ocean hit by 6 heatwaves. Read here

Union minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh, in a written reply to Rajya Sabha on Thursday, informed that the Indian Ocean had witnessed six marine heatwaves in 2021 over a period of 52 days. This information comes as effects of climate change become inevitable. 

Indian Ocean's temperature rose by 0.15 degrees Celsius per decade, Singh informed. The information can be cited as reason for the sea, Bay of Bengal, facing six weather-related events.

"These heatwaves did not break all previous records but were above normal. The western Indian Ocean heatwaves in 2021 were in the top four years in terms of the number of events," Singh said in his reply.

The minister informed that the western Indian Ocean region experienced a four-fold rise in marine heatwave events (increasing at a rate of 1.5 events per decade) and the North Bay of Bengal experienced a two-to-three-fold rise (at a rate of 0.5 events per decade).

"In recent decades, the tropical Indian Ocean has experienced a rapid increase in ocean warming with an average rise in Sea Surface Temperature (SST) of about 1-degree Celsius over the period of 1951-2015 at a rate of 0.15 degrees Celsius per decade," The Ministry of Science and Technology said.

A recent study by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) also highlighted the situation. The study showed that the western Indian Ocean had a total of 66 Marine Heat Wave (MHW) events while the Bay of Bengal had 94 events.

"The monsoon forecast models used by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) incorporate the ocean surface temperatures as input data. These forecasts can be used for advance planning and disaster management," the written reply read.

Impact of rise in sea level

A report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had dire warnings for India stating that 12 coastal cities in the country could be submerged by the end of the century. 

The cities could be nearly three feet underwater by the century's end, the climate change report has warned. The cities include Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, and Visakhapatnam, among others.

Researchers have predicted that because of rising temperatures, extreme sea events along coastlines will become 100 times more frequent by the end of the century. 

Globally, areas likely to be affected most include the Southern Hemisphere, locations along the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Peninsula, the southern half of North America’s Pacific coast, and areas including Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

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Updated: 24 Mar 2022, 08:12 PM IST
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