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Climate change may have aggravated the floods in Northern India
Spring Runoff Conference
  • Changrae Cho
  • Shih-Yu Wang
  • Jin-Ho Yoon
  • Robert R. Gillies
Eccles Conference Center
Event Website
Start Date
4-2-2014 1:30 PM
End Date
4-2-2014 1:45 PM
From June 13 to June 17, 2013, heavy rainfall occurred in Northern India (i.e. Uttarakhand and adjoining areas); this led to heavy floods and landslides resulting in 5,748 presumed deaths and a huge loss of property. In this study, we explored the meteorological and climatic conditions leading up to this rainfall event and traced similar precipitation cases. Climate diagnosis revealed that (a) Northern India has received increasingly heavier rainfall in June since the 1980s, leading to more heavy rainfall events in recent years that culminated in the severe flood in 2013; and (b) these heavy rainfall events seem to be associated with a synoptic short wave that is in line with both the climate change trend and the 2013 event. The 2013 rainfall event was further studied using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. WRF simulations were carried out using two forcing datasets: (a) the original NCEP2 reanalysis data, and (b) the detrended NCEP2 data from which the post 1979 changes in all boundary data are linearly removed. The data analyses revealed that the detrended NCEP2 data led to significantly reduced precipitation in the WRF predictions in comparison to the simulation forced with the original NCEP2 data. These results suggest that climate change may have significantly aggravated the floods in Northern India.
Citation Information
Changrae Cho, Shih-Yu Wang, Jin-Ho Yoon and Robert R. Gillies. "Climate change may have aggravated the floods in Northern India" (2014)
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