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Monday, March 14, 2011

extreme rainfall caused by climate change

Bhutan’s annual rainfall increased from 644.4mm in 2000 to 1,120mm in 2010
When the paddy fields in Punakha saw no rain two years back, the villagers prayed to the deities to end the drought.
Heavy rains resulted.
But new study says that increasing heavy rainfall is due to climate change.
A study by a team of scientists from Canada and Scotland found that heavy precipitation is at least partly due to the growing concentration of man-made greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
The team used powerful computers to analyze the causes behind the rise in storms and heavy snowfall over the past half century in the world. It was found that the likelihood of extreme precipitation on any given day rose by 7% between 1951 and 1999—the years covered by the study.
In Bhutan, the annual rainfall increased from 644.4mm in 2000 to 1,120mm in 2010. Records with the Meteorology Section of the Hydro-met Service Division, Department of Energy in Thimphu showed that the average rainfall in a day in  Thimphu was 1.6m in 2000. Last year it was 3.17mm. This shows that rainfall has been increasing over the past decade even though there was some decrease in rainfall in some particular years.
“Even though Bhutan has been experiencing erratic rainfall, the average rainfall has been increasing every year,” said the head of the Meteorology Section, Kinzang Sonam.
The temperature has also increased over the past decade. Bhutan is experiencing an average of 2 degree celsius increase in temperature every year.
Kinzang Sonam also said that due to climate change, weather forecasting has also been an issue due to the unpredictable change in climate. “When we have already forecasted the weather for the next day the weather suddenly changes making our forecast wrong,” he said.
The head of the environment monitoring division, National Environment Commission, Thinley Namgyel, said it is predicted that there will be heavy rainfall in some places around the world while there will also be drought is other places.
“There are projections that some places will become drier and some places will receive more rain. This is due to climate change, but it will depend on different places around the world,” he said. Scientist have predicted long before that extreme weather events would occur as greenhouse gas concentration increases in the atmosphere.

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