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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.”


National

JNU sedition: Court questions chargesheet without sanction

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New Delhi: A court here questioned Delhi Police on Saturday for filing a chargesheet against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 JNU sedition case without procuring the requisite sanctions.

The police told Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat they would procure the required sanctions within 10 days.

“Why did you file (the chargesheet) without approval? You don’t have a legal department,” the court said.

 

The court is likely to resume hearing on the matter soon.

Delhi Police had on January 14 filed the chargesheet at a city court against Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the university campus during an event in February 2016.

Police also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya with allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during the event held on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru. PTI

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Volcano waiting to erupt in Cong-JD(S) alliance : Yeddyurappa

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Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa has said some Congress MLAs skipping the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting and the deep differences between the ruling coalition partners are an indication that a volcano may erupt in the coming days.

His remarks came after four dissident Congress MLAs skipped the CLP meeting here that was called as a show of strength against an alleged bid by the BJP to dislodge the HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government.

“The absence of Congress MLAs from the CLP meeting and deep differences between the coalition partners are an indication that this is likely to erupt as a volcano in the coming days,” Yeddyurappa said on Friday evening here.

 

Their absence also showed intense and widespread anger and resentment among Congress MLAs, he said.

The BJP chief said the tone of CLP leader Siddaramaiah’s warning to the party MLAs showed his frustration and fear.

“ Siddaramaiah, the tone, tenor and content of the meeting notice given by you to the MLAs shows your frustration and proves that you are gripped by fear. If your relationship with the MLAs was strong and cordial, why did you mention in the notice that action would be taken as per the anti-defection law?” Yeddyurappa asked.

The Congress would issue notices to absentee MLAs–Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli, Siddaramaiah had told reporters after Friday’s meeting.

Yeddyurappa also attacked Congress general secretary KC Venugopal over his remarks that ‘Operation Lotus’ commenced in Karnataka in 2008.

The BJP chief said it was the Congress which started the “aaya ram, gaya ram” culture, referring to the practice of MLAs defecting to other parties, he said.

“In 1967, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi had said that ‘gaya ram has now become aaya ram’ when an MLA of her United Front government had joined and quit the Congress three times in a gap of 15 days,” he said.

The former chief minister said it would be better if Siddaramaiah and Venugopal studied political history to know what happened in Haryana where the Congress had formed the government with Bhajan Lal with the help of 36 Janata Party MLAs.

The Congress is continuing this culture, Yeddyurappa said.

It looked like that Siddaramaiah had forgotten that he too joined the Congress with the same culture, he added.

Yeddyurappa said the BJP was not lusting for power.

With 104 seats, the BJP is functioning as a vigilant and constructive opposition party and the Congress and the JD(S) with 80 and 37 seats, respectively, had formed an unholy alliance to form the government, he said.

Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah should realise that this is first time in the history of legislature that a party with more than 100 seats is sitting in the opposition.

Yeddyurappa said the BJP’s MLAs assembled at a Gurugram hotel to discuss the strategy to win the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“If 104 MLAs of our party meet at one place and discuss the strategy to win the Lok Sabha, what is your problem? It is your responsibility to keep your party MLAs under control. If you scream the way you have been doing, it only shows your helplessness,” he said.

Taking a dig at Venugopal’s remarks that “glorious days” of the grand old party must return, Yeddyurappa asked if he was referring to the return of “multi-crore scams of the Congress-led UPA regime”.

He accused the Congress and the JD(S) of fooling people and said while the two parties were friends in Karnataka, they were enemies in Kolkata.

“As usual the JD(S) has been playing a double-game. The JD(S) needs the Congress on the one hand, and on the other, the JD(S) wants ‘mahagathbandhan’, which the Congress does not want,” Yeddyurappa claimed.

The double standards of these parties showed that there is no alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.

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India does not belong to any particular religion, caste or language:Gadkari

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Nagpur: Union minister Nitin Gadkari said this country does not belong to any particular religion, caste, or language.

Addressing a gathering during the distribution of ownership pattas to slum dwellers he said the party had never done politics based on caste or religion and theirs was a politics of service and development.

He said India was of every person who loved it, be it a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Christians or others.

 

“We have never done politics based on caste or religion… We never did politics on caste, religion and language. But, we did politics of service and development of poor,” he said.

“Because a poor man is poor, be it a Muslim, Jain, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Dalit or a tribal,” he said.

He further said that there cannot be partiality in the work of development.

“We know that those who cannot compete with us on the development front, try to scare people with poison of casteism and communalism,” he said.

He said it was said that if Gadkari gets elected then “you will be sent to Pakistan” and questioned, “What did I do, whom did I scare and whom was I unjust to”.

He said the party will work for people whether or not they vote for it.

“This country does not belong to any particular religion, caste, or language. This country is of every person who loves it, be it a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Christian and others,” said Gadkari.

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