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As Earth warms up, expect intense, extreme rain leading to more flash floods

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New Delhi:Intense bursts of rain and continuous downpours have increased across towns and cities over the past few decades, with Bangalore receiving 35% of its annual average rainfall this year even before the onset of the monsoon. Last year, Ahmedabad (180mm in 24 hours) in 2017 and in 2005, Mumbai Metropolitan Region got flooded when it didn’t stop pouring (994 mm in a 24 hours).
“The number of days with heavy rainfall is increasing and the number of days with light rainfall is decreasing,” M Mohapatra, senior official at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), said. “The same amount rainfall is happening over a few days.”
The monsoon season is a dangerous and unsettling time in India, with most deaths reported from heavy rains and flooding in the four months of rain from June to September.
“Increasing trends in daily extreme precipitation in India have been observed during the recent 46 decades,” a recent paper said. “Moreover, urban areas in India have witnessed 47 eccentric precipitation extremes in the past, which have affected human lives and infrastructure.”
Between 1950 and 2017, India has reported 285 floods that have impacted 850 million people, left 19 million homeless and killed about 71,000. In the past decade, flood damage has led to losses of US $ 3 billion every year, according to the International Disaster Database.
But it is the short bursts of extreme precipitation that has scientists worried. Such events may boost the total amount of rainfall but they do not necessarily reduce water stress or significantly recharge the water table. On the contrary, much of the rain discharge is difficult to manage and often causes flash floods, which is detrimental to infrastructure.
Incidences of extreme rainfall, that precipitates flooding, are projected to increase as the planet warms. India is not just highly prone to weather-related disasters, its high population density and poor infrastructure also puts its people at higher risk. In the last two years alone, 25 million people have suffered impacts from heavy rains and floods and at least 2,000 people have died in these episodes.
In India, both large-scale floods from continuous heavy downpours and flash floods from sudden bursts of rain are expected to strike more often.
“A warming climate will cause more intense and more frequent extreme rain events,” Vimal Mishra, a climate scientist at IIT Gandhinagar, said. The increase in rainfall extremes is being driven by anthropogenic warming, Mishra and his colleagues said in a 2018 paper, noting that in the worst case scenario of unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, such events will increase significantly over south and central India by 2050.
“For cities, daily rainfall data is not that helpful, even 5-10 minutes of heavy rain can flood a city and pose a risk to the infrastructure,” Mishra said. Which is why the scientist is calling for improving understanding of sub-daily rainfall patterns that include rainfall spurts over less than 24 hours.”There isn’t enough focus on sub-daily rainfall events,” he said.
A paper by Mishra and his team showed that such short duration rainfall events that can trigger flash floods are even more sensitive to warming temperatures than 24-hour rainfall extremes. If there is an increase in average temperatures of 1 degree Celsius, there would be a greater increase in the events of sub-daily rainfall extremes than daily extremes.
The researchers found that the frequency of such events would increase by 20% if global temperature rises by 1.5 degrees Celsius and by 25% if they increase by 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial level.
Other researchers have reached similar conclusions about widespread extreme rains that causes flooding.
“We looked at the entire country and found a threefold increase in widespread extreme rain events over central India,” Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, said. “Barring a few pockets of the country, the country overall is likely to see an increase in such events.”


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Rahul ‘regrets’ using SC reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark over Rafale deal

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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday filed his response to a contempt petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Meenakshi Lekhi over his remark on the Rafale deal. Rahul said that he ‘regrets’ using Supreme Court’s reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark and it was ‘made in the heat of the political campaign.’

SC had last week issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi in connection to the contempt petition and sought an explanation from him.

In his response, the Congress president said that the statement was made in the “heat of political campaigning” but alleged that it has been “used and misused by political opponents.”

 

“I will not attribute any views, observations or findings to the court in political addresses to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations or findings are recorded by the Court,” Rahul Gandhi said.

“It is also clear that no court would ever do that (say Chowkidar Chor hai) and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political juxtaposition in the same breath in the heat of the political campaigning,” he added.

The Supreme Court will hear the matter .

After the apex court had dismissed preliminary objection raised by the Centre seeking review of the earlier judgment in the Rafale case, the Congress president remarked: “Supreme Court has said chowkidar chor hai in the verdict.”

While making the observations last week, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: “We make it clear that views, observations, findings attributed to this court in the alleged speeches, remarks made by Gandhi to media/public have been incorrectly attributed to this court. We also make it clear that this court had no occasion to make such observation in as much as it was deciding legal admissibility of certain documents which were objected by the attorney general.”

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Like father, like son: Jaya Prada reacts to Abdullah Azam Khan’s ‘Anarkali’ jibe

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New Delhi: Jaya Prada on Monday lashed out at Abdullah Azam Khan for his remarks from a day earlier in which he described her as ‘Anarkali.’

Abdullah, son of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, had – without actually taking Jaya Prada’s name – had suggested that Rampur Lok Sabha constituency will accept both Bajrangbali and Ali but will reject Anarkali. It is believed to be a clear reference to Jaya Prada who is contesting the Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket from here. (Full report here)

Reacting to the remark, Jaya Prada said that Abdullah has taken the habit of making cheap remarks from his father. “I cannot decide whether to laugh or to cry after listening to his remark. Like father, like son. But I had not expected this from Abdullah. He is an educated man,” she told news agency ANI. “His father says I am Amrapali. He says I am Anarkali. Is that how they see women?”

 

The verbal duel between Jaya Prada on one side and Abdullah and Azam Khan on the other has been bitter, often bordering on derogatory.

Azam Khan, in particular, has had to face massive backlash for reportedly making numerous crass remarks against his former SP colleague who has since joined BJP. The two are direct rivals in the Rampur Lok Sabha constituency which votes in the third phase this Tuesday.

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‘Absolutely a right decision’: Amit Shah defends fielding Sadhvi Pragya

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Kolkata: While addressing a press conference in Kolkata, BJP president Amit Shah said, “The refugees who have come from Bangladesh, be it Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, or Christians, BJP has clearly signalled in its ‘sankalp patra’ that we will give them citizenship.”

“Citizenship Amendment Bill will come first, all refugees will be given citizenship, after that NRC will be made. Refugees shouldn’t worry, only infiltrators should. First the CAB will come then NRC, NRC will not be for just Bengal but for the whole country,” Shah said.

Shah assured that Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be passed after picture in Rajya Sabha changes by 2020.

 

He said, for India, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is about taking it to new heights and establishing democracy.

“Democracy has ceased to exist in Bengal, law and order has also failed,” he added.

Speaking on the recent controversial leader Sadhvi Pragya, the BJP president said that she has been given a clean chit after a false case was filed against her.

Sadhvi Pragya, who is out on bail in the Malegaon blast case of 2008, has been fielded by the BJP from Bhopal constituency. “It is absolutely a right decision. The allegations against her are baseless. Nothing against her or Swami Aseemanad have been proved,” Shah said while addressing a media conference here.

On being asked if Prime Minister Modi will also contest from West Bengal, Shah said that as of now there is no such plan.

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