Warming of Tropical Indian Ocean

Jitendra Singh, MoS Ministry of Earth Sciences, has told Rajya Sabha that a rapid increase in ocean warming has been experienced by the tropical Indian Ocean. It has been observed that there was around a 1-degree Celsius (°C) average rise in sea surface temperature over the period of 1951 to 2015, which is equivalent to 0.15°C per decade.

Overview:

  • Due to constant climate change, the marine environment will bear the brunt of the effects.
  • In 2021 six marine heatwaves have been witnessed by the Indian Ocean over a 52 days period.
  • Out of the six weather-related events the Bay of Bengal faced four.
  • In the North Bay of Bengal region, it was observed that there was a rise of 0.5 events per decade rise in heatwave events.
  • In the region of the Western Indian Ocean, 1.5 events per decade rise in marine heatwave events was observed.

The study by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) conducted a study that highlighted the dire situation. It showed that 66 Marine Heat Wave events occurred in the western Indian Ocean region and there were 94 events in the Bay of Bengal region between 1982 to 2018.

UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report

A report that was released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had issued warnings for India. The report stated that by the end of the century 12 Indian coastal cities that include Chennai, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, and Kochi could be submerged. 

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