• Volume 102, Issue 1

      March 1993,   pages  1-281

    • A debt of gratitude

      Vinod K Gaur

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    • Editorial

      P K Das

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    • The increased greenhouse effect-A general review

      A Wiin-nielsen

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      A distinction is made between the greenhouse effect and the increased or enhanced greenhouse effect. The radiation budget of the atmosphere is reviewed, and a simple balanced model is designed permitting the calculation of a mean surface and a mean atmospheric temperature. The increased greenhouse effect is simulated by the model. Various calculations illustrate the sensitivity of the model to changes in the planetary albedo and in the absorption coefficients.

      The climate system is reviewed followed by a description of the simulations of the increased greenhouse effect with climate models. The observed climatic record is described with emphasis on whether or not the increased greenhouse effect can be detected in the data.

      Some proposals for future research are made. The social and economic issues connected with the enhanced greenhouse effect are discussed. The paper contains finally, the main conclusions.

    • Climate and global change in relation to sustainable development: The challenge to science

      G O P Obasi

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      In the light of the current worldwide concern on climate and global change and the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992, the paper relates climate and global change to sustainable development. It emphasizes the importance of scientific research in the advancement of knowledge in the related areas. The role of science to socio-economic development is discussed in the context of the symbiotic relationship between science and society. In this connection, the four areas identified by the Rio Conference are discussed.

    • Changing predictability of Indian monsoon rainfall anomalies?

      Stefan Hastenrath Lawrence Greischar

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      The predictability of Indian summer monsoon rainfall from pre-season circulation indices is explored from observations during 1939–91. The predictand is the all-India average of June–September precipitation NIR, and the precursors examined are the latitude position of the 500 mb ridge along 75°E in April (L), the pressure tendency April minus January at Darwin (DPT), March-April-May temperature at six stations in west central India (T6), the sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly in the northeastern Arabian Sea in May (ASM), SST anomaly in the Arabian Sea in January (ANJ), northern hemisphere temperature anomaly in January–February (NHT), and Eurasian snow cover in January (SNOW). Monsoon rainfall tends to be enhanced with a more northerly ridge position, small Darwin pressure tendency, warmer pre-season conditions, and reduced winter snow cover. However, relationships have varied considerably over the past half-century, with the strongest associations during 1950–80, and a drastic weakening in the 1980s.

      Four prediction models were constructed based on stepwise multiple regression, using as predictors combinations of L, DPT, T6, ASM, and NHT, with 1939–68 as “dependent” dataset, or training period, and 1969–91 as “independent” dataset or verification period. For the 1969–80 portion of the verification period calculated and observed NIR values agreed closely, with the models explaining 74–79% of the variance. By contrast, after 1980 predictions deteriorated drastically, with the explained variance for the 1969–89 time span dropping to 25–31%. The monsoon rainfall of 1990 and 1991 turned out to be again highly predictable from models based on stepwise multiple regression and linear discriminant analysis and using as input L + DPT or L + DPT + NHT, and with this encouragement an experimental real-time forecast was issued of the 1992 monsoon rainfall.

      These results underline the need for investigations into decadal-scale changes in the general circulation setting and raise concern for the continued success of seasonal forecasting.

    • Mechanisms of variability and predictability of the tropical coupled ocean-atmosphere system

      B N Goswami Sudha Selvarajan V Krishnamurthy

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      A conceptual model is proposed to explain the observed aperiodicity in the short term climate fluctuations of the tropical coupled ocean-atmosphere system. This is based on the evidence presented here that the tropical coupled ocean-atmosphere system sustains a low frequency inter-annual mode and a host of higher frequency intra-seasonal unstable modes. At long wavelengths, the low frequency mode is dominant while at short wavelengths, the high frequency modes are dominant resulting in the co-existence of a long wave low frequency mode with some short wave intra-seasonal modes in the tropical coupled system. It is argued that due to its long wavelength, the low frequency mode would behave like a linear oscillator while the higher frequency short wave modes would be nonlinear. The conceptual model envisages that an interaction between the low frequency linear oscillator and the high frequency nonlinear oscillations results in the observed aperiodicity of the tropical coupled system. This is illustrated by representing the higher frequency intra-seasonal oscillations by a nonlinear low order model which is then coupled to a linear oscillator with a periodicity of four years. The physical mechanism resulting in the aperiodicity in the low frequency oscillations and implications of these results on the predictability of the coupled system are discussed.

    • Characteristics of certain surface meteorological parameters in relation to the interannual variability of Indian summer monsoon

      U C Mohanty K J Ramesh

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      With an objective to understand the influence of surface marine meteorological parameters in relation to the extreme monsoon activity over the Indian sub-continent leading to flood/drought, a detailed analysis of the sea level pressure over the Southern Hemisphere and various surface meteorological parameters over the Indian seas is carried out. The present study using the long term data sets (Southern Hemispheric Sea Level Pressure Analysis; Comprehensive Ocean Atmospheric Data Set over the Indian Seas; Surface Station Climatology Data) clearly indicates that the sea surface temperature changes over the south eastern Pacific (El Ninõ/La Niña) have only a moderate impact (not exceeding 50% reliability) on the Indian summer monsoon activity. On the other hand, the sea level pressure anomaly (SOI) over Australia and the south Pacific has a reasonably high degree of significance (more than 70%) with the monsoon activity over India. However, these two parameters (SLP and SST) do not show any significant variability over the Indian seas in relation to the summer monsoon activity.

      Over the Indian seas, the parameters which are mainly associated with the convective activity such as cloud cover, relative humidity and the surface wind were found to have a strong association with the extreme monsoon activity (flood/drought) and thus the net oceanic heat loss over the Indian seas provides a strong positive feed-back for the monsoon activity over India.

    • Variation in the relationship of the Indian summer monsoon with global factors

      D A Mooley A A Munot

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      Utilizing data for the long period 1871–1990, variation in the relationships between Indian monsoon rainfall (IMR) and tendencies of the global factors. Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and the sea surface temperature (SST) over eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean has been explored. The periods for which relationships exist have been identified. Tendencies from the season SON (Sept-Oct-Nov) to season DJF (Dec-Jan-Feb) and from DJF to MAM (Mar-Apr-May) before the Indian summer monsoon are indicated respectively by SOIT-2/SSTT-2 and SOIT-l/SSTT-1, current tendency from JJA (June-July-Aug) to SON, by SOIT0/SSTT0, tendencies from SON to DJF and DJF to MAM following monsoon, by SOIT1/SSTT1 and SOIT2/SSTT2 respectively.

      It is observed that while the relationships of IMR with SSTT-1, SSTT0 and SSTT2 exist almost throughout the whole period, that with SOIT-1 exists for 1942–1990, with SOIT0 for 1871–1921 and 1957–1990 and with SOIT2, for 1871–1921 only. The relationships that exist with SOIT-1, SOIT2, SSTT-1, SSTT2 and with SSTT0 (for period 1931–1990) are found to be very good and those that exist with SOIT0 for periods 1871–1921 and 1957–90 and for SSTT0 for the period 1871–1930 are good. It is thus seen that the relationships of SOIT-1, SOIT0 and SOIT2 with IMR do not correspond well with those of SSTT-1, SSTT0 and SSTT2 with IMR respectively, even though SOI and SST are closely related to each other for all the seasons. SOIT-1 and SSTT-1 can continue to be used as predictors for IMRDuring the whole period, IMR is found to play a passive, i.e. of being influenced or anticipated by SSTT-1 as well as an active role, i.e. of influencing or anticipating SSTT2. This implies a complex and perhaps non-linear interaction between IMR and SST tendency from DJF to MAM. Possibly, this is a part of the larger interaction between Asian monsoon rainfall and the tropical Pacific. A possible physical mechanism for the interaction is indicated.

    • A note on the performance of climatic forecasts for Asia based on the periodic portion of the data: 1986–1987

      Reid A Bryson Edward J Hopkins

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      Between 1973 and 1986 a group at the University of Wisconsin worked on the use of the periodic portion of climatic time series with the aim of exploring the potential for year-or-more in advance forecasting. This paper reports on the real time verification of the last sets of forecasts made by the group.

      From spectra of temperature and cube-rooted precipitation the dominant frequencies were chosen. These were usually related to tidal frequencies. A Fourier series of these dominant terms was then fitted to the dependent data set and future values calculated. These were analyzed for forecast skill, and the skillful Fourier series retained. Real time forecasts were then made. Verification shows a low probability that the forecast skills were obtained by chance. It is suggested that the periodic term might be a useful addition to more standard approaches to long range forecasting.

    • The climate attractor

      Kaustubha Bhattacharya

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      Time series of proxy data representing long-term variation of the terrestrial climate presumably show aperiodic changes, which has given rise to the hypothesis that the dynamics of the earth’s climate is governed by a strange attractor. Here a study of such attractors is presented, with emphasis on determination of its dimension and the reported results. Finally, a one dimensional delayed albedo feedback climate model is discussed with the related strange attractor and its dimension.

    • Homogeneous Indian Monsoon rainfall: Variability and prediction

      B Parthasarathy K Rupa Kumar A A Munot

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      The Indian summer monsoon rainfall is known to have considerable spatial variability, which imposes some limitations on the all-India mean widely used at present. To prepare a spatially coherent monsoon rainfall series for the largest possible area, fourteen subdivisions covering the northwestern and central parts of India (about 55% of the total area of the country), having similar rainfall characteristics and associations with regional/global circulation parameters are merged and their area-weighted means computed, to form monthly and seasonal Homogeneous Indian Monsoon (HIM) rainfall series for the period 1871–1990. This paper includes a listing of monthly and seasonal rainfall of HIM region. HIM rainfall series has been statistically analysed to understand its characteristics, variability and teleconnections for long-range prediction.

      HIM rainfall series isfound to be homogeneous, Gaussian distributed and free from persistence. The mean (R) rainfall is 757 mm (87% of annual) and standard deviation (S) 119 mm, with a Coefficient of Variation (CV) of 16%. There were 21 dry (K, -<R S) and 19 wet (Ri R + S) years during 1871–1990. There were clusters of frequent negative departures during 1899–1920 and 1965–1987 and positive departures during 1942–1961. The recent three decades show very high rainfall variability with 10 dry and 6 wet years. The decadal averages were alternatively positive and negative for three consecutive decades, viz., 1871–1900 (positive); 1901–1930 (negative); 1931–1960 (positive) and 1961–1990 (negative) respectively. Significant QBO and autocorrelation at 14th lag have been found in HIM rainfall series.

      To delineate the changes in the climatic regime of the Indian summer monsoon, sliding correlation coefficients (CCs) between HIM rainfall series and (i) Bombay msl pressure, (ii) Darwin msl pressure and (iii) Northern Hemisphere surface air temperature over the period 1871–1990 have been examined. The 31-year sliding CCs showed the systematic turning points of positive and negative CCs around the years, 1900 and 1940. In the light of other corroborative evidences, these turning points seem to delineate ‘meridional’ monsoon regime during 1871–1900 and 1940–1990 and ‘zonal’ monsoon regime during 1901–1940. The monsoon signal is particularly dominant in many regional and global circulation parameters, during 1951–1990.

      Using the teleconnections ofHIM series with 12 regional/global circulation parameters during the recent 36-year period 1951–86 regression models have been developed for long-range prediction. In the regression equations 3 to 4 parameters were entered, explaining upto 80% of the variance, depending upon the data period. The parameters that prominently enter the multiple regression equations are (i) Bombay msl pressure, (ii) April 500 mb Ridge at 75°E, (iii) NH temperature, (iv) Nouvelle minus Agalega msl pressure and (v) South American msl pressure. Eleven circulation parameters for the period 1951–80 were subjected to Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the PC’s were used in the regression model to estimate HIM rainfall. The multiple regression with three PCs explain 72% of variance in HIM rainfall.

    • The “susceptibility factor” in the atmospheric response to periodic forcing

      William H Campbell Reid A Bryson

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      Evidence is presented of a periodic component in the inter-annual variability of precipitation and pressure data for India during June, the month of the onset of the Indian southwest monsoon. Two frequencies that explain a statistically significant percent of the variance in these data sets are the same as the two that explain most of the variance of the average monthly lunar tidal potential for June. Not only are the frequencies the same but they are also in phase which strongly suggests that lunar tides in the atmosphere do, in fact, produce an element of climatic variability. The amplitude of the atmospheric response to this periodic forcing was not constant in time but was found to be related to the long term change in northern hemispheric surface temperature. This susceptibility of the atmosphere to an external forcing results in a nonlinear relationship between forcing and response. As a result, nonlinear regression had to be used in order to adequately define the magnitude of the response at a given frequency. The ramifications of this nonlinear response are discussed. The nonlinear interaction of the northern hemisphere temperature and the 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle results in a modulation of the frequency which appears in a linear spectral analysis near 22 years. Thus, the 22-year cycle often found in meteorological data sets may instead be the result of the modulated nodal cycle.

    • Trends and the pole tide in Indian tidegauge records

      P K Das M Radhakrishna

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      This paper studies tidegauge records of stations on the Indian coastline. An analysis of trends did not reveal a monotonie trend. Trends were seen for limited periods at only five of the eight stations on the Indian coast. A spectral analysis of annual records produced evidence of long period cycles with shorter cycles riding on them. The shorter cycles had a period of 5.0 years. The spectra of monthly records revealed evidence of a pole tide and an annual cycle. The amplitude of the pole tide was estimated to be around 7.5 mm. This was larger than the equilibrium tide. A spectral analysis of monthly rainfall at Bombay, a station on the Indian west coast, also showed a 13.9 month cycle and a (3,1,0) autoregressive model. But the coherence between monthly rainfall and relative sealevel fluctuations was low.

    • Mean monthly wind driven climatological circulation model of the Bay of Bengal

      S K Dube Indu Jain A D Rao P C Sinha

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      A special feature of the Bay of Bengal circulation is its seasonal variation in response to the monsoonal winds. In the case of the Bay of Bengal, observationally very little is known about the large scale circulation. Theoretically, the problem of driving the circulation in the Bay of Bengal is more complex than that in other basins because of the presence of large quantities of fresh water discharge from Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna river systems, and also because the atmospheric driving forces even within a season are highly variable with frequent occurrences of tropical disturbances. Exploring the nature of the circulation in the Bay of Bengal is a problem of great importance in itself as well as for the critical role this region plays in the genesis of tropical disturbances which are the main source of large scale rainfall over the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The surface circulation of the Bay of Bengal may, therefore, help in understanding the variation of rainfall over time scales ranging from the subseasonal to the interannual.

      Keeping this in view, an attempt was made towards the development of an oceanic climatological circulation model for the Bay of Bengal, which explains the seasonal variability of the currents. The model is fully non-linear and vertically integrated, with realistic basin geometry. The treatment of coastal boundaries involves a procedure leading to a realistic curvilinear representation of the western and eastern sides of the Bay of Bengal. This coastal representation has the advantage of taking into account the finer resolution in the shallow regions of the northern Bay.

      The model is forced by the monthly mean wind stress derived from 30 years (1950–79) of Comprehensive Oceanographic Atmospheric Data Sets (COADS). Special emphasis is given to the southern open boundary condition for the model. For this purpose, sensitivity experiments have been performed with six open boundary conditions and a comparative study of the results has been made. These sensitivity tests for the open boundary condition will help the development of a suitable coupled ocean-atmosphere model for this region. The model-generated main features are in general agreement with the known climatological circulation of the Bay of Bengal.

    • Dynamics of the East African climate

      L A Ogallo

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      Results of studies on regional climatic trends and the factors controlling the regional climate have been discussed in this paper. Potential impact of impending climatic change on the natural resources and socio-economic activities has also been projected.

      Well-recognised systems which control the space-time variation of rainfall and temperature over the region include the space time characteristics of (i) Intertropical convergence Zone (ITCZ), (ii) Monsoonal wind systems (iii) Subtropical anticyclones (iv) Tropical cyclones (v) Jetstreams (vi) Easterly/Westerly wave perturbations (vii) Extra-tropical weather systems (viii) Quasi-biennial oscillations and ENSO events with their telelinks.

      No statistically significant trends have been observed in the inter-annual characteristics of rainfall at most of the locations. Apart from urbanization signals from the large urban centres, no statistically significant trends have been observed in the temporal temperature patterns over the region. Inter-annual variation of temperature is seen to be inversely associated with rainfall which in turn is also associated with ENSO signals. However, data of mountain glaciers has shown depletion of glaciers but, the river flow data has not shown any decreasing trend so far. The lake levels also reflect only the inter-annual variations attributable to wet and dry conditions.

    • Interannual variability of monsoons in Malaysia and its relationship with ENSO

      Boon-khean Cheang

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      Interannual variations of the monsoons have been studied utilising homogeneous rainfall records of 41 years (1951–1991) from Malaysia and upper air data of stations in Asia, Australia and Western Pacific. Sources of upper air data are U.S. Department of Commerce and Kuala Lumpur Northern Winter Monsoon Activity Centre. Extreme wet and dry years have been identified and the influence of ENSO on Malaysian annual rainfall has been discussed. Influence of ENSO on the performance of northern summer and winter monsoons has also been studied from Malaysian rainfall data. Further, regional circulation patterns associated with El Nino and La Nina years have also been identified. No linear trend has been found in the annual rainfall of 16 stations in Malaysia. Most El Nino years are associated with below median and La Nina years with above median rainfall at most stations in Malaysia. ENSO has greater influence over East Malaysia than peninsular Malaysia. Interannual variability of rainfall with reference to ENSO conditions has been discussed in details. Also, circulation features have been identified to foresee El Nino/La Nina events.

    • Evolution of India’s monsoon climate through geological times

      Kshudiram Saha

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      Using the theory of plate tectonics and a concept of climate analogs, the paper speculates that a monsoon type of climate with warm and wet summer and cold and dry winter might have first appeared over the northern part of India when during its northward drift across the Tethys Ocean (now the Indian Ocean) it was located over the subtropical belt of the southern hemisphere some 60 million years before present (BP). The monsoon climate gradually evolved and extended to other parts of India as the Indian plate after crossing the equator about SO million years BP moved further northward and collided against the north Asian plate giving rise to the Himalayas along the northern boundary of India some 40 million years BP. Recent studies suggest that despite short and long period fluctuations, no major secular change or trend has taken place in the monsoon climate of India since then.

    • Multiple time scales in rainfall variability

      Subramaniam Moten

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      Monthly rainfall data averaged over a selected number of stations in peninsular Malaysia with a long record was subjected to singular spectrum analysis to determine the different modes of fluctuations in the rainfall. The analysis highlights the presence of fluctuations in the QBO time scale to a very long term time scale of 18–5 years which is possibly linked to lunar tidal forcing. There is also evidence of the Malaysian rainfall responding to El-Nino Southern Oscillation. An oscillation with a 7 to 10 year cycle is also evident. The annual cycle as a regular periodic oscillation is well established by the SSA.

    • A new method for estimating rate constants for trace gas reactions within stratospheric sulphuric acid aerosol droplets

      S Ghosh

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      Uptake of trace gases by (stratospheric aerosol can be significant particularly after large injections of volcanic sulphur. A theoretical scheme is presented to quantify the rate at which trace gases diffuse into these aerosol droplets. Rate constants for 19 trace gases are calculated and it is found that the rates vary from a value of 2.85 × 10-7s-1 for CC14 to 8.08 × 10-7s-1 for NO. The calculations are characterised by their ease of application and can be incorporated into stratospheric chemical models.

    • Applications of satellite data in the study of monsoon variability

      R R Kelkar

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      This paper discusses the use of satellite data for studying climate change, with particular emphasis on the inter-annual variability of the Indian southwest monsoon. Precipitation estimates made from INSAT-1B radiance data are shown to bring out the variations that occurred in the monsoon rainfall of 1987 and 1988. Outgoing Longwave Radiation derived from INSAT-1B shows good correspondence with precipitation patterns.

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