Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heavy snowfall over Himalayas makes drought over India more likely

Date:
April 23, 2010
Source:
University of Reading
Summary:
Scientists have helped to explain why heavy snowfall over the Himalayas in winter and spring can lead to drought over India, especially in the early part of the summer monsoon.

Scientists from the Walker Institute at the University of Reading have helped to explain why heavy snowfall over the Himalayas in winter and spring can lead to drought over India, especially in the early part of the summer monsoon. This work forms part of the Climate Programme of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS).

As far back as the 1880s scientists have known that increased snow over the Himalayas can be linked with weaker summer monsoon rains over India. However, the mechanisms explaining this link have never been properly understood.

The new research, published this week in Climate Dynamics, studies the mechanisms using the Met Office/Hadley Centre climate model. It shows that greater snowfall reflects more sunlight and produces a cooling over the Himalayas. This in turn means a weakening of the monsoon winds that bring rain to India. The relationship is strongest in the absence of warm (El Nino) or cold (La Nina) conditions in the tropical Pacific, because these are normally the dominant control over Indian rains.

Dr Andy Turner, lead author of the research, says "Our work shows how, in the absence of a strong influence from the tropical Pacific, snow conditions over the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau could be used to help forecast seasonal monsoon rainfall for India, particularly over northern India during the onset month of June. The onset timing of the monsoon is very important for agriculture; a lack of rainfall early in the growing season can have a devastating impact on crops."

Previous studies have also found links between snowfall over a much larger area of northern Eurasia, but this study suggests that the Himalayan region has a stronger influence on Indian rainfall.

The monsoon rains over India and the rest of South and East Asia are relied on by more than a third of the world's population.

This research is based on a large number of experiments with the Met Office/Hadley Centre climate model which have been used to show robust relationships between the monsoon and winter/spring snow. This study shows in detail the mechanisms linking heavy snowfall over the Himalayas and Tibet in winter and spring with summer monsoon drought, particularly in the early part of the season (June).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Reading. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. G. Turner, J. M. Slingo. Using idealized snow forcing to test teleconnections with the Indian summer monsoon in the Hadley Centre GCM. Climate Dynamics, 2010; DOI: 10.1007/s00382-010-0805-3

Cite This Page:

University of Reading. "Heavy snowfall over Himalayas makes drought over India more likely." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422085227.htm>.
University of Reading. (2010, April 23). Heavy snowfall over Himalayas makes drought over India more likely. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422085227.htm
University of Reading. "Heavy snowfall over Himalayas makes drought over India more likely." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422085227.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) — A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins