The Extinction Chronicles

By Katrina Nilsson-Kerr & Pallavi AnandMarch 18, 2019
The past may be a surprisingly useful guide for predicting responses to future climate change. This is especially important for places where extreme weather has been the norm for a long time, such as the Indian subcontinent. Being able to reliably predict summer monsoon rainfall is critical to plan for the devastating impact it can have on the 1.7 billion people who live in the region.

The onset of India’s summer monsoon is linked to heat differences between the warmer land and cooler ocean, which causes a shift in prevailing wind direction. Winds blow over the Indian Ocean, picking up moisture, which falls as rain over the subcontinent from June to September.

The monsoon season can bring drought and food shortages or severe flooding, depending on how much rain falls and in what duration. Understanding how the monsoon responded to an abrupt…

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