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Q)What is monsoon?What are the different hypotheses for the origin of monsoon?


Although precise definition of monsoon is lacking but it can be used to connote a wind
which blows with consistency & regularity during a part of the year & is absent or blows
from another direction for the rest of the year which is due to the heat received by different
parts of the Earth.
In Genetic sense,monsoon is associated with following features:-
1)A system with seasonal marked wind shifts due to differential heating of land & sea;
2)winds that are largely confined to tropics between 20(degrees)N-20(degrees)S;
3)Summer monsoon may be thought of a South-East trade winds of southern hemisphere
which on crossing the equator are deflected to the right by the Earth's rotation & approach
the land from south-west.
In the recent years hypotheses for the development of monsoon is changing very
rapidly.More investigations have been made to study the monsoon system in detail in the
recent years.Many information data has been collected to throw light on the genesis of
monsoon.However,the mechanism of monsoon in a world till today spears to be complex
in nature & yet to be fully explained.
The diferent hypothesis on monsoon are as follows:-
1)Convectional system:-According tothis hypothesis monsoon is of thermal origin formed
due to extensive heating of land & sea surface,& monsoon wind is a convectional system
of giant scale.Pressuer gradient between landmass & sea is the driving force.In this
situation pressuer & potential temperature surfaces do'nt coincide & available potential
energy is converted into kinetic energy ,therefore,intensity of monsoon depends on rhe
eficiency of conversion clouds modulate the radiational balance between land &
sea.Potential energy formed due to diferential heating is converted into kinetic energy of
monsoon winds.
2)Jefferey's Model:-It is one of the earliest mathematical treatment of monsoon
circualtion.He indicated a reversal in wind direction at an altitude of 2.1 Km. tis
computation coincides with the absence of monsoon circulation.The wins of lower levels
are westerly winds while above 6 Km.they become easterly.However,the theorie's
shortcommings are:-
a)To try & get over the difficulties arising out of the lock of Geostrophic balance at low
b)It's necessary to learn more about diferential heating.
3)Radon technique:-In 1960's this technique was employed,to locate the origin of
monsoon.The output of radon is more to be observed over the land than over the
seas/oceans.& viceversa.An experiment in 1960 by te soviet research vessel indicated that
monsoon wind is entirely of land origin,since experts have found low radon content in
S.E.Trade winds,a ew degrees south of the equator .Over the Arabian sea the radon
concentration is often 10 times larger.
If the monsoon air is entirely of land origin ,with high radon content,then it
wo'nt have suficient time to pick up an adequate moisture amount during it's travel
accross the Arabian sea.The vertical moisture coloumn is only 1 Km. at 65 degrees East
while it is 6 Km. at 75 degrees East,when it strikes the Malabar coast.This is'nt possible by
high radon content airmass of land origin.
3)Heat engine/Thermal engine concept:-It was proposrd by P.Koteswaram.He suggested
that easterly jet stream results from the thermal effect of the elevated Tibetan plateau.Re-
radiation from this plateau warm uo the mid-troposphere & setting up a strong solenoidal
field in upper troposphere for driving a clockwise circulation.During it's rise ,the air
spreads out southwards & gradually sinks over the Equatorial region of Indian ocean.The
sinking air is deflectd to the right by the easterly rotation & moves towards India as return
current from south westerly direction.The theory is confronted with 2 questions:-
a)Is indian monsoon thermally driven by heat source over the Tibetan plateau?
b)Whether there is descending moto of air over the Equatorial regions of Indian ocean.
4)Diabetic source & sinks hypotheses:-In 1960's an attempt to infer monsoon;s origin by
infering the diabetic heating rates from the mean vertical motion over Indian region.The
processing of diferent data revealed an interesting fact & was found to maintain a semi-
monsoon over India:-
a)Warming at thr rate of 3.2 degree celcius per day over N.E.India;
b)Diabetic cooling over N.W.India at the rate of 2.4 degre celcius per day.

The table indicates ascending air over north-east india & descending air over north-
west india.The energy is provided by the moisture laden air supplying latent heat on a
macro-scale.It is observed that the winter & summer monsoons were associated wit
diabetic heat sources & sinks oriented from east-south-east to west-north-west
direction.The source-sink pattern tended to move north-westwards in the progression
from the winter to summer monsoon & it was linked with sun's declination we have learnt
about diabetic soures & sinks as a consequence of MONEX.
5)Wave energetics hypothesis:-Here origin of monsoon is believed to be due to wave
energetics.Several computations have appeared on recent years.The main flow of energy
is from ultra-long waves to zonal motios in upper troposphere.The smaller waves receive
energy from zonal motion & larger quasi-stationery waves.The peak occurs in transfer
process around wave number-8 which occurs mostly in upper troposphere.
The substantial amount of conversion of available potential energy to kinetic
energy derived through east-west overturnings.Upper tropospheric anticyclone which
anchor over the monsoon regime is representative of wave number-1 & 2 & is in an area
where major conversions of potential energy to kinetic energy has occured.
This is accomplished by the easterly Jet stream over India with it's core around
150mb. & it's location varying with different phases of monsoon (summer).It's understood
that diabetic heat sources & sinks display south-east to north-west orientation.Cellular
motions like Walker's cell & Hadley's cell also help in conversion of energy.A seventh
potential energy is converted into kinetic energy in a Walker cell.These has been observed
bu Krishnamurthy et al.
7)Upper tropospheric vorticity budget hypothesis:-Krishnamurthy has computed mean
velocity potential & stream function for the upper troposphere.seasonal mean vorticity
was minimum when divergence was maximum over Tibet because observations revealed
mean vorticity & divergence fields were found to be out of phase by half
circle.Discrepencies has ocured over the coputed & observed divergences.
If large scale divergence has strong fluctuations with time then divergence & vorticity
fluctuations could possibly provide required dampening.Upper air conergence will result
in surface divergence while upper tropospheric divergence will bring surface air
convergence .Hence,on-shore/off-shore winds is individually controlled by mechanism.