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Climate Change

Myths & Realities

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities i Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Climate Change: Myths & Realities

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

4th November, 2008
Climate Change: Myths & Realities ii Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities iii Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Earth’s Atmosphere
Chapter 2: Ozone Depletion
Chapter 3: Solar Radiation
Chapter 4: Weather & Climate
Chapter 5: Climate Change
Chapter 6: Systematic Variations
Chapter 7: Ecological Change
Chapter 8: Global Warming
Chapter 9: Extreme Weather & Climate Events
I. Major Air Pollutants
List of Tables
1. Sky colours vs wavelengths
2. Most polluted cities by PM in 2004
3. Regression parameters vs Calendar months
4. Variation of “a” and “b” with seasons
5. Monthly Cyclonic disturbances in Arabian Sea & Bay of Bengal during
6. Estimated amplitudes and phase angles of four cycles in Fortaleza rainfall
data series
7. Estimated amplitudes and phase angles of Durban & Catuane rainfall data
8. Estimated number of Vehicles vs Population
9. Temporal variation of the irrigated area in the three sub-divisions of AP
10. Number of years under different groups of Typhoon days vs all- India
Summer Monsoon Rainfall during 1959-1991 [26-years]
11. Average rainfall amounts & C.V.s in the three meteorological sub-divisions
of AP during 1871-1994
12. Extreme events of rainfall & dates of onset in AP during 1871-1994
13. Percent average rainfall in the three sub-divisions of AP during 1987-1990
14. Monthly and daily highest rainfall of Cochin
Climate Change: Myths & Realities iv Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

List of Figures
1a. Atmosphere layers
1b. Atmospheric layers vs Temperature pattern
1c. Latitudinal distribution of Tropopause level

2a. Solar Radiation Spectrum

2b. Sources of stratospheric chlorine
2c. Time series of the lowest values in ozone hole as measured by TOMS
2d. Image of the largest Antarctic ozone hole (September 2006)
2e. Annual march of Antarctic total ozone in Summer & Spring
2f. Annual March of Arctic total ozone in Summer & Winter
2g. Seasonal variation of Antarctic ozone
2h. Annual march of total ozone variations with latitudes

3a. Variation of Solar radiation with latitude & seasons on the top of the atmosphere
3b. Generalized Earth’s radiation budget
3c. Variation ϕij with Calendar months (j = January to December in Northern
Hemisphere, respectively refer to July to June of Southern Hemisphere & i =
1 to 3 respectively for inland, coastal & hill stations]
3d. Rt distribution over India for four representative months
3e. Rn distribution over India for four representative months
3f. Rt distribution over northeast Brazil for the twelve months

4a. Climates of the World — Koppen’s classification

4b. Primary storm tracks
4c. Climates of India — Koppen’s classification
4d. Monsoon onset pattern in India
4e. Rainfall regimes in India
4f. Temperature regimes in India
4g. Drought Prone areas in India
4h. Planting hazard zones in India

5a. Average annual change in climate in response to doubled carbon dioxide

(expected by 2030 to 2050)
5b. Sensitivity of land suitable for cereal production to climate change

6a. 400 Years of Sunspot Observations

6b. Smoothed mean excess Annual Rainfall in the three Northern Hemisphere
Zones compared with the corresponding Normalized Annual Sunspot Numbers
Climate Change: Myths & Realities v Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

6c. Difference between the actual and normal annual rainfalls at two Latitudes in
Australia in Southern Hemisphere
6d. Smoothed Annual Rainfall Totals at Fortaleza in Southern Hemisphere and
Annual Sunspot Numbers
6e. Smoothed Annual Rainfall Totals at three places in South Africa in Southern
Hemisphere and Annual Sunspot Numbers
6f. Ten-Year smoothed means of the Annual Rainfall quartile for Adelaide in Australia
and Normalized Sunspot Numbers
6g. Smoothed means of the July central-England temperatures compared with
the conventional double Sunspot Cycle
6h. Five-year means of the Annual lighting incidence Index compared with Sunspot
6i. Smoothed variations in Magnetic Intensity at Eskdalemuir and Stonyhurst in
Great Britain with central-England winter Temperatures and Annual Rainfall
for England and Wales
6j. Magnetic Intensity and information about the Temperature obtained from a
single deep-sea core
6k. Reconstructed Past Temperature Time Series
6l. Standardized time series of rainfall anomalies for the twentieth century (top)
and a century period of the GFDL model simulation containing the most
prominent dry episodes (bottom)
6m. Annual march of dates of onset of Southwest Monsoon over Kerala Coast in
India along with 10-year moving average
6n. Observed and predicted seasonal trend in annual rainfall data of Fortaleza in
6o. Observed and predicted seasonal trend in annual rainfall data of Mahalapye in
Botswana, Southern Africa
6p. Annual march of observed & predicted annual rainfall of Catuane in Mozambique,
southern Africa
6q. Seasonal pattern of annual rainfall at few selected locations in Ethiopia, northern
Africa: (a) Gore, (b) Jijiga, (c) Asmara, and (d) Mayole
6r. Observed and predicted seasonal trend in annual rainfall of Durban/Louis Botha
in South Africa
6s. Annual march of observed and predicted Southwest Monsoon season rainfall
of India
6t. Annual march of observed and predicted Southwest & Northeast Monsoon
rainfall of three meteorological sub-divisions of Andhra Pradesh in India

7a. Urban land use change for Chicago-Milwaukee during 1955-1995

7b. Urban change in the Williamette Valley region over 115 years (1880-1995)
Climate Change: Myths & Realities vi Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

7c. Urban growth in and around Washington, D.C. over 200 years (1880 – 1990)
with a projection for 2025
7d. Changes in urban, agriculture, and forested lands in the Patuxent River
Watershed over 140 years (1850 – 1992)
7e. A City makes its own Weather – Vertical section
7f. Summer, in the city – downtown Sacramento
7g. Hot time in Sacramento in 1998
7h. Islands of urban warmth – urban to rural section
7i. Rate of heat island growth in 11 cities in USA
7j. Impact of orography changes on Rainfall of Santacruz in Mumbai
7k. Impact of cool-island on rainfall in the three meteorological Sub-divisions of
AP during SWM & NEM

8a. Projections of Global Warming under different model forms

8b. Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide increase in the past 200 years
8c. Monthly mean carbon dioxide concentrations
8d. Total global level fossil fuel consumption
8e. Number of stations measuring GHGs elements
8f. Global & Hemispherical Average Temperature Patterns during 1850-2006
8g. Global Average Temperature series as measured by Satellites & upper air

9a. Hydrological Cycle

9b. Five-year Running mean of Atlantic Basin Hurricanes during 1851- 2006
9c. Cyclones per year during 1945-2000 (May to November) in Bay of Bengal
Region as presented by Joint Typhoon Warning Centre
9d. Global Five-year and Annual Average Temperature Patterns
Climate Change: Myths & Realities vii Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

The “Science of Climate Change” has turned into a political satire of “Global
Warming & Carbon Credits”. In tune with this the “Science of Climate Change”
moved from a scientific body, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), into
an elected political body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
and as a result the scientific community and the media along with political
communities started thinking locally and acting globally. In this process the major
casualty is the health of life forms on the Earth, more particularly in developing
countries, most of which are located in “warm” tropics.
The literature is flooded with statements such as: Eleven of the world’s most
respected national science academies, including the U.S. National Academy of
Sciences, issued a joint statement in anticipation of the 2005 G8 Summit: “Climate
Change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as
complex as the world’s climate. However, there is now strong evidence that significant
Global Warming is occurring”. The statement called on world leaders to acknowledge,
“The threat of Climate Change is clear and increasing”, and urged all nations “to
take prompt action to reduce the causes of Climate Change”.
The new study Commissioned by the UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs and the non-governmental organization CARE International
identified India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia as being among Global
Warming “hotspots” or countries particularly vulnerable to increases in extreme
drought, flooding and cyclones anticipated in coming 20 to 30 years. (Humanitarian
Implications of Climate Change, August 2008). Al Gore has been actively
campaigning to stir action at various levels to combat the impending climate crisis.
An Inconvenient Truth, a movie on climate change produced by him presents what
he thought, “the scientific evidence on the human driven climate change”, which
fetched him the Noble Prize with huge world-wide Public Relation (PR) campaign,
that includes a large contingent from India too.
The unscientific nature of all these statements is seen from IPCC observation,
the fact that “These basic conclusions have been endorsed by at least thirty
Scientific Societies and Academies of Science. While the individual scientists
have voiced disagreement with some findings of the IPCC, the overwhelming majority
of scientists working on climate change agree with IPCC on the main conclusion”.
In this, the basic question to be answered from such pronouncements is: “Should
the science be based on what many accepted/endorsed or should it be based on
what is scientifically valid? Or should it be based on PR campaign” and yet IPCC
received the Noble Prize. This has become the deathbed to the “Science of Climate
The fact is that both the ozone “creation & destruction” and “cooling &
warming” of global temperatures are in built in nature. There is an absolute one-to-
one relation in ozone depletion theory and thus, though in the initial stages there
was a stiff opposition from industry, it became easy to replace ozone depleting
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substances by non-ozone depleting substances. The reversing trend in ozone

depletion is already evident. Unfortunately, there is no such one-to-one relation in
global warming theory, as there are several process involved. The issue is not
moving in the right direction, as political interests are inter-woven in the issue of
global warming, that is leading no where. Therefore, there is an urgent need to
take a re-look into the “Science of Climate Change” and scientists at individual
level and organization level must go back to the studies made in the field of
climate change prior to 1980s. It is more important in the developing countries
wherein a majority of people depends on agriculture in which climate is the
backbone of agriculture. The present book looks in this angle of climate change
perspective. Though this may need both physical & mental action unlike in the
modeling activity, it is a worthwhile exercise.
It is not the objective of the book to say “control of greenhouse gases is not
an important issue in relation to global temperature rise which has political
ramifications” but on the contrary it’s objective is to “highlight the importance of
controlling the greenhouse gases/pollution in relation to their direct impacts on
the life forms which have human ramifications at local level” – think globally but
act locally. Therefore, the main objective of this book is to bring to the notice of
rulers of the day, the importance of systematic changes in climate that are beyond
human control & other changes in climate due to human interference that have
significant effect on agriculture and life forms on the Earth. One of the main
components of human interference is ecological change such as land use/land
cover changes. Ecological changes not only influence the radiation balance but
also the greenhouse gases balance in the atmosphere. These will automatically
contribute to global control processes, either directly or indirectly.
It is difficult to change the western-mind set of people, unless they come out
from that web and try to understand the others point of view that really benefit
the developing nations like India. Hypocrisy thy name!!! They are more interested
in public relation propaganda to fetch awards-rewards to western vested masters,
who are the agents of multinational companies. These PR propaganda groups talk
against thermal power industry & Hydroelectricity through big dams but failed to
talk of industries that are involved in green revolution technology; & biotechnology,
which are in the hands of multinational companies, or industries that manufacture
the drugs to treat the new diseases created by the green revolution technology,
which in turn create more new diseases; as well the biotechnology that causes the
destruction of plant species in developing countries.
The author used some of the text & figures from Internet & other sources of
several scientists. I herewith acknowledge all those scientists with great respect.

Hyderabad Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

4th November 2008
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 1 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Chapter 1
Earth’s Atmosphere
1.1 Natural Composition of Atmosphere
The Earth’s Atmosphere is a layer of gases and retained by gravity. It contains
around 78.0842% of nitrogen, 20.9463% of oxygen, 0.9342% of organ, 0.0381%
of carbon dioxide, 0.002% of other gases and around 1 to 4% of water vapour.
This mixture of gases is commonly known as air. This regulates the Sun’s energy
reaching the Earth’s surface. There is no definite boundary between the atmosphere
and outer space. It slowly becomes thinner and fades into space. Three quarters of
the atmosphere’s mass is within around 11 km from the Earth’s surface. However,
the composition of the atmosphere varies, depending up on the location, the
weather, and many other factors. There may be more water in the air after a
rainstorm, or near the Ocean. Volcanoes can put large amounts of dust particles
high into the atmosphere. Pollution can add different gases or dust and soot.
1.2 Atmospheric Layers
The temperature presents a peculiar behaviour as we go up from the Earth’s
surface into space. Based on the system of variations in temperature with altitude,
the Earth’s Atmosphere is divided into five layers [Figure 1a]. It is thickest near the
surface and thins out with the height until it eventually merges with the space.
1.2.1 Troposphere
Troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere. It begins at the Earth’s
surface and extends to around 17 km at the poles and 21 km at the equator — if
one goes through the internet literature, different articles & figures present different
heights —, with some variations due to weather factors. The troposphere has a
great deal of vertical mixing due to solar heating at the surface. This heating
warms air masses, which makes them less dense so they rise. When an air mass
raises, the pressure upon it decreases so it expands, doing work against the opposing
pressure of the surrounding air. To do work is to expend energy, so the temperature
of the air mass decreases (Figure 1b]. As the temperature decreases, water vapor in
the air mass may condense or solidify, releasing latent heat that further uplifts the
air mass. This process determines the maximum rate of decline of temperature
with height, called the adiabatic lapse rate.
Troposphere contains roughly 80% of the total mass of the atmosphere.
Weather occurs only in this layer because it is this layer that contains most of the
water vapour. Weather is the way water changes in the air, and so without water
there would be no clouds, rain, snow or other weather features. The troposphere is
an unstable layer where the air is constantly moving. As a result, aircraft flying
through the troposphere may have a very bumpy ride – what we know as turbulence.
Because of this turbulence, most jet airlines fly above troposphere, where the air is
more still and clear as they can fly above the Clouds.
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Climate Change: Myths & Realities 3 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 4 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Tropopause: It is a boundary in the atmosphere between the troposphere and the

next layer, known as stratosphere [Figure 1c]. Here the air ceases to cool at around
–50 °C (-58 °F), and the air becomes almost completely dry. It is at its highest
level over the equator and the lowest over the geographical North Pole and South
Pole. On account of this, the coolest layer in the atmosphere lies at about 21 km
over the equator and around 17 km at poles. Due to the variation in starting
height, the tropopause extremes are referred to as the equatorial tropopause and
the polar tropopause.
Measuring the lapse rate through the troposphere and the stratosphere
identifies the location of the tropopause. In the troposphere, the lapse rate is, on
an average 6.5 °C per km. That is to say, for every km in height, the temperature
decreases by 6.5 °C. The region of the atmosphere where the lapse rate changes
from positive (in the troposphere) to negative (in the stratosphere), i.e., where the
temperature no longer decreases with altitude but rather increases, is defined as
the tropopause. This occurs at the equilibrium level, a value important in atmospheric
The literature presents several ways of defining tropopause. They are for example:
• The definition used by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is:
the lowest level at which the lapse rate decreases to 2 °C/km or less, provided
that the average lapse rate between this level and all higher levels within 2
km does not exceed 2 °C/km.
• A dynamic definition of the tropopause is used with potential vorticity
instead of vertical temperature gradient as the defining variable. There is no
universally used threshold: the most common ones are: the tropopause lies
at the 2 PVU or 1.5 PVU surface. PVU stands for potential vorticity unit.
This threshold will be taken as a positive or negative value (e.g. 2 and -2
PVU), giving surfaces located in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere
respectively. To define a global tropopause in this way, the two surfaces
arising from the positive and negative thresholds need to be joined near the
equator using another type of surface such as a constant potential
temperature surface.
• It is also possible to define the tropopause in terms of chemical composition.
For example, the lower stratosphere has much higher ozone concentrations
than the upper troposphere, but much lower water vapour concentrations;
so appropriate cutoffs can be used.
The tropopause is not a “hard” boundary. Vigorous thunderstorms, for example,
particularly those of tropical origin, will overshoot into the lower stratosphere and
undergo a brief (hour-order) low-frequency vertical oscillation. Such oscillation
sets up a low-frequency atmospheric gravity wave capable of affecting both the
Atmospheric and the Oceanic currents in the region. Most commercial aircraft are
flown in the tropopause.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 5 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Thermal Inversions: In meteorology, in the normal situation, the temperature

decreases as you go up in altitude in the troposphere. An inversion is a deviation
from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always
refers to a temperature inversion, known as thermal inversion, i.e., an increase in
temperature with height, or to the layer within which such an increase occurs.
There are several reasons why an inversion might develop. One situation in which a
low level, or surface inversion, might take place is on a clear night, when the
earth’s surface radiates heat away rapidly. If the air is clear, the ground, and the
air directly above it, can be cooler than the air at higher altitudes. This type of
situation may occur on winter nights in California, and can be a problem for citrus
growers, because if enough heat radiates away, the temperature at the ground
surface can drop below the freezing level. Another type of inversion, called an
advectional inversion, involves a horizontal inflow of cold air. This might be air
blowing in from cold water to a coastal area. Along the California coast, winds
frequently blow onshore, passing over the cold ocean waters before reaching land.
When this occurs, the air at ground level may be colder than the air above it, and
the air is stable. A third type of surface inversion takes place at night in valleys,
when cold, dense air flows down slope under the influence of gravity, draining off
the slopes and uplands, and into the valleys. The air in the valley bottoms is
colder than the air above.
Other types of inversions may also develop under various conditions. In
California, upper air inversions develop because much of California is on the eastern
edge of the subtropical high-pressure cell in the Pacific Ocean. This high-pressure
cell develops in response to global patterns of atmospheric pressure and circulation,
rather than local conditions. The presence of high pressure means that the air in
the region is subsiding from high altitudes in the atmosphere. The increasing
pressure of the surrounding air compresses the subsiding air as it descends, so the
air warms up as it subsides. So not only is there cool air at ground level (from
onshore flow of cool air), there is also a general subsidence of warm air aloft. The
inversion layer acts as a lid to prevent air at ground level from rising and dispersing.
If there are mountains inland, the mountains can also help trap the air. This
means that any pollutants emitted accumulate in the trapped air. The bottom line
is that conditions in California frequently favor the development of temperature
inversions. The pollutants will continue to become more concentrated until a
change in the weather leads to the breakup of the inversion layer.
The normal decrease in temperature with altitude has lots of implications
for weather. In the context of air pollution, it means that the decrease in temperature
helps to mix the air, and disperse pollutants. If a parcel of air is warmer than the
surrounding air, it is less dense, more buoyant, and it has a tendency to rise up
until it finds air that is about the same temperature and density as it is. This helps
disperse pollutants at the surface. On the other hand, air, which is cold and dense,
is likely to be stable, and stay put. A very stable situation would occur when cold
air is near the ground, and there is a layer of warmer air above it. This cold air is
denser than the warm air above it. It resists rising, and is described as stable
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air. Above the inversion layer, the air will again cool off with increasing altitude. In
urban areas, in winter, the inversions occur more frequently than in its’ neighbouring
rural areas. Here heat is released by vehicles and buildings.
An inversion can lead to pollution such as smog being trapped close to the
ground, with possible adverse effects on health. An inversion can also suppress
convection by acting as a “cap”. If this cap is broken for any of several reasons,
convection of any moisture present can then erupt into violent thunderstorm.
Photochemical smog is brown smog, the gray-brown haze that fills the air in
many cities. It is especially a problem in warm, sunny regions where there are lots
of cars burning gasoline. Researchers in the 1940’s and 1950’s in Los Angeles
noticed that the kinds of pollutants in the air varied over the course of the day.
Some pollutants increased in the morning, as people started driving their cars.
Other pollutants, including the visible, brown smoggy haze, were most common in
the middle of the day. The mix of pollutants changed again in the late afternoon
and evening. It became apparent that the chemical reactions among the various
pollutants were related to sunlight. Smog is worse in Los Angeles—and everywhere—
in the summer, because the light energy from the Sun moves some of the reactions
along. To form photochemical smog, three main ingredients are needed: nitrogen
oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons, and energy from the Sun in the form of ultraviolet
light (UV). The first thing that starts the chain of events is that people start
driving in the morning. As gasoline is burned, nitrogen (N2) in the atmosphere is
also burned, or oxidized, forming nitric oxide (NO): N2 + O2 = 2NO. Hydrocarbons
and carbon monoxide (CO) will also be emitted by cars. Hydrocarbons are volatile
organic compounds that may include acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, ethylene, and
many other compounds. In the air, nitric oxide combines with molecular oxygen to
form nitrogen dioxide within a few hours as: 2NO + O2 --->2NO 2. Nitrogen
dioxide absorbs light energy and splits to form nitric oxide and atomic oxygen:
NO2--->NO + O. Then, in sunlight, the atomic oxygen combines with oxygen gas
to form ozone (O3): O+ O2--->O3. If no other factors are involved, ozone and
nitric oxide then react to form nitrogen dioxide and oxygen gas as:
O3 + NO<------>NO2 + O2. This last reaction can go in either direction, depending
on temperature and the amount of sunlight. If there is a lot of sunlight, the
equation moves to the left, and more ozone is produced. If nothing else gets in
the way, equilibrium is reached, and the ozone level stabilizes. However, there is
something else involved. Remember that the cars are also emitting hydrocarbons
as well as oxides of nitrogen. Hydrocarbons are the other main ingredient in
photochemical smog. When hydrocarbons are present, nitric oxide reacts with
them instead of the ozone. This reaction produces a variety of toxic products,
such as a volatile compound known as PAN (peroxyacetyl nitrate):
NO + hydrocarbons ----->PAN and various other compounds. Also,
NO2 +hydrocarbons ----->PAN and various other compounds
So, there are two results (at least) from the reaction of nitrogen oxides with
hydrocarbons. One is that a lot of volatile, reactive organic compounds are generated
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directly. The other is that when the nitric oxide (NO) is busy reacting with
hydrocarbons, it is not reacting with ozone to break it back down to molecular
oxygen. So the amount of ozone in the air increases. With nitric oxide reacting
with hydrocarbons, ozone may accumulate to damaging levels. (Ozone may also be
released into the air naturally by forest fires. But in a natural situation, ozone
would react with nitric oxide and be broken down to oxygen, as noted above). The
result, then, is an accumulation of ozone and volatile organic compounds such as
PAN. These are referred to as secondary pollutants, because they are formed by
the reaction of primary pollutants, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, emitted by
burning fossil fuels. The energy from the sun moves the reactions along. This
forms photochemical smog, the brown gunk we see in the sky, especially on hot
sunny days. Photochemical smog can cause eye irritation and poor visibility. Strong
oxidants such as ozone can damage the lungs. The oxidants irritate the linings of
lungs. Damage to the lungs may stress the heart. Health damage is worse for
people with existing lung and heart conditions. Other health implications may
include loss of immune system function, increased susceptibility to infections,
and fatigue. The damage can be caused by exposure to large amounts of the
pollutant over a short time span, and also by chronic exposure to small amounts
over long periods of time. Oxidants can kill plant cells, causing leaves to develop
brown spots or drop off the plant, reduce plant growth, and make plants more
susceptible to damage from other causes. Oxidants such as ozone can also corrode
and destroy many materials such as rubber, nylon, fabric, and paint. This is a
simplified discussion of photochemical smog formation. There are more reactions
involved, and a number of loops and sub-loops in the sequence of reactions.
1.2.2 Stratosphere
The stratosphere is the second layer of air above the Earth’s surface and
extends to a height of 50 km from the tropopause (Figure 1c). The temperature
increases with the height (Figure 1b). The stratosphere contains the ozone layer,
which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone. It is mainly located in the
lower stratosphere, though the thickness varies seasonally and latitudinally. The
ozone layer absorbs much of the Sun’s harmful radiation that would otherwise be
dangerous to plant and animal life. It is a stable layer and because of this jet
aircrafts generally fly in the stratosphere.
1.2.3 Mesosphere
Beyond the stratosphere the air is very thin and cold. This area is known as
the mesosphere, and is found between 50 km and 80-85 km above the Earth’s
surface, wherein the temperature decreases with the height (Figure 1b). This is the
layer in which meteors burn up when entering the atmosphere.
1.2.4 Thermosphere
The thermosphere is the last layer in the atmosphere. It is located above 80-
85 km wherein the temperature increases with height (Figure 1b). Space shuttles
fly in this area and it is also where the aurora lights are found. Auroras are wispy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 8 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

curtains of light caused when the Sun strikes gases in the atmosphere above the
Poles. Thermosphere consists of Ionosphere and exosphere [Figure 1a].
Ionosphere is a part of the atmosphere that is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an
important role in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the
magnetosphere. It has practical importance because, among other functions, it
influences radio propagation to distant places on the Earth.
Exosphere is the upper limit of our atmosphere. It starts from a height of about
500 km and extends around 1000 km. The atmosphere merges into space in the
extremely thin exosphere. Satellites are stationed in this area.
1.3 Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure is a direct result of the total weight of the air above
the point at which the pressure is measured. This means that air pressure varies
with the location and the time, because the amount (and weight) of air above the
Earth varies with the location and the time. The average atmospheric pressure at
sea level is about 1013.2 mb and the total atmospheric mass is 5.1361 x 1018 kg.
Atmospheric pressure decreases with height, dropping by 50% at around an
altitude of about 5.6 km (18,000 ft). Equivalently, about 50% of the total
atmospheric mass is within the lowest 5.6 km. This pressure drop is approximately
exponential, so that pressure decreases by approximately half every 5.6 km. The
temperature changes throughout the atmospheric column as well as the force of
gravity begin to decrease at great altitudes.
50% of the atmosphere by mass is below around an altitude of 5.6 km;
90% of the atmosphere by mass is below around an altitude of 16 km;
99.99997% of the atmosphere by mass is below around 100 km.
Therefore, most of the atmosphere (99.9997%) is below 100 km, although
in the rarefied region above this there are auroras and other atmospheric effects.
1.4 The Sky Looks Blue!!!
Visible light is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that our eyes can
see. Light from the Sun or a light bulb may look white, but it is actually a combination
of many colors. We can see the different colors of the spectrum by splitting the
light with a prism. The spectrum is also visible when you see a rainbow in the sky.
The colors blend continuously into one another. At one end of the spectrum are
the reds and oranges. These gradually shade into yellow, green, blue, indigo and
violet. The colors have different wavelengths, frequencies, and energies.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 9 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Table 1: Sky Colours vs wavelengths

Colour Wavelength Typical
Interval wavelength
(mm) (mm)
Violet 0.390-0.455 0.430
Dark blue 0.455-0.485 0.470
Light blue 0.485-0.505 0.495
Green 0.505-0.550 0.530
Yellow-green 0.550-0.575 0.560
Yellow 0.575-0.585 0.580
Orange 0.585-0.620 0.600
Red 0.620-0.760 0.640

Violet has the shortest wavelength in the visible spectrum. That means it
has the highest frequency and energy. Red has the longest wavelength, and lowest
frequency and energy. Light travels through space in a straight line as long as
nothing disturbs it. As light moves through the atmosphere, it continues to go
straight until it bumps into a bit of dust or a gas molecule. Then what happens to
the light depends on its wavelength and the size of the thing it hits. Dust particles
and water droplets are much larger than the wavelength of visible light. When
light hits these large particles, it gets reflected, or bounced off, in different
directions. The different colors of light are all reflected by the particle in the same
way. The reflected light appears white because it still contains all of the same
colors. Gas molecules are smaller than the wavelength of visible light. If light
bumps into them, it acts differently. When light hits a gas molecule, some of it
may get absorbed. After awhile, the molecule radiates (releases, or gives off) the
light in a different direction. The color that is radiated is the same color that was
absorbed. The different colors of light are affected differently. All of the colors
can be absorbed. But the higher frequencies (blues) are absorbed more often than
the lower frequencies (reds). This process is called Raleigh scattering — It is
named after Lord John Raleigh, an English physicist, who first described it in the
The blue color of the sky is due to Raleigh scattering. As light moves
through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through.
The air affects little of the red, orange and yellow light. However, the gas molecules
absorb much of the shorter wavelength light. The absorbed blue light is then
radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever
direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see
the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue. As you look closer to
the horizon, the sky appears much paler in color. To reach you, the scattered blue
light must pass through more air. Some of it gets scattered away again in other
directions. Less blue light reaches your eyes. The color of the sky near the horizon
appears paler or white.
On the Earth, the Sun appears yellow. If you were out in space, or on the
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 10 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Moon, the Sun would look white. In space, there is no atmosphere to scatter the
Sun’s light. On the Earth, some of the shorter wavelength light (the blues and
violets) is removed from the direct rays of the Sun by scattering. The remaining
colors together appear yellow. Also, out in space, the sky looks dark and black,
instead of blue. This is because there is no atmosphere. There is no scattered light
to reach your eyes.
As the Sun begins to set, the light must travel farther through the atmosphere
before it gets to you. More of the light is reflected and scattered. As less reaches
you directly, the Sun appears less bright. The color of the Sun itself appears to
change, first to orange and then to red. This is because even more of the short
wavelength blues and greens are now scattered. Only the longer wavelengths are
left in the direct beam that reaches your eyes.
The sky around the setting the Sun may take on many colors. The most
spectacular shows occur when the air contains many small particles of dust or
water. These particles reflect light in all directions. Then, as some of the light
heads towards you, different amounts of the shorter wavelength colors are scattered
out. You see the longer wavelengths, and the sky appears red, pink or orange.
1.5 Effect of Human Interference!!!
1.5.1 Air Pollution
Atmospheric pollution, also commonly called air pollution, is derived chiefly
from the spewing of gasses and solid particulates into the atmosphere. Many
pollutants such as dust, pollen, and soil particles occur naturally, but most air
pollution, as the term is most commonly used and understood, is caused by human
activity. Although there are countless sources of air pollution, the most common
are emissions from the burning of hydrocarbons or fossil fuels e.g., coal and oil
products. Most of the world’s industrialized countries rely on the burning of fossil
fuels; power plants, heat homes and provide electricity, automobiles burn gas, and
factories burn materials to create products.
Air pollution is a serious global problem, and is especially problematic in
large urban areas all over the world. Many people suffer from serious illnesses
caused by smog and air pollution in these areas. Plants, buildings, and animals are
also victims of a particular type of air pollution called acid rain. Acid rain is caused
by airborne sulfur from burning coal in power plants and can be transported in rain
droplets for thousands of miles. Poisons are then deposited in streams, lakes, and
soils, causing damage to wildlife. In addition, acid rain eats into concrete and
other solid structures, causing buildings to slowly deteriorate.
Scientists study air pollution by breaking the particulates into two different
categories of gasses: permanent and variable. The most common of the stable
gasses are nitrogen at 78%, and oxygen at 21% of the total atmosphere. Other
highly variable gasses are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide,
sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 11 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Output of variable gasses increases with the growth of industrialization and

population & their life style. The benefits of progress cost people billions of dollars
each year in repairing and preventing air pollution damage. This includes health
care and the increased maintenance of structures that are crumbling, in part due
to air pollution.
The effects of air pollution have to be carefully measured because the build-
up of particulates depends on atmospheric conditions and a specific area’s emission
level. Once pollutants are released into the atmosphere, wind patterns make it
impossible to contain them to any particular region. On the other hand, terrestrial
formations such as mountain ridges can act as natural barriers. The terrain and
climate of a particular area can also help promote or deflect air pollution. Specifically,
weather conditions called thermal inversions can trap the impurities and cause
them to build up until they have reached dangerous levels. A thermal inversion is
created when a layer of warm air settles over a layer of cool area closer to the
ground. It can stay until rain or wind dissipates the layer of stationary warm air. In
addition to atmospheric pollution, indoor air pollution also poses special hazards.
Some man-made sources of indoor air pollutants include asbestos particulates and
formaldehyde vapors — once common building materials now thought to cause
cancer. Lead paint is also a problem in older buildings, but its use has been phased
out. Other sources of man-made indoor air pollution include improperly vented
stoves and heaters, tobacco smoke, and emissions or spillage from pesticides,
aerosol sprays, solvents, and disinfectants.
1.5.2 Types & Sources
Air Pollution is the human introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals,
particulates, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or
other living organisms, or damage the environment. Air pollution causes deaths
and respiratory diseases Air pollution is often identified with major stationary
sources. The atmosphere is a complex, dynamic natural gaseous system that is
essential to support life on the planet Earth. Stratosphere ozone depletion due to
air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to
the Earth’s ecosystems. There are many substances in the air, which may impair
the health of plants and animals including humans, or reduce visibility.
These arise both from natural processes and human activity. Substances
not naturally found in the air or at greater concentrations or in different locations
from usual are referred to as pollutants.
Pollutants can be classified as either primary or secondary. Primary pollutants are
substances directly emitted from a process, such as ash from a volcanic eruption
or the carbon monoxide gas from a motor vehicle exhaust. Secondary pollutants
are not emitted directly. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants react
or interact. An important example of a secondary pollutant is ground level ozone -
one of the many secondary pollutants that make up photochemical smog. Note
that some pollutants may be both primary and secondary: that is, they are both
emitted directly and formed from other primary pollutants.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 12 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Major primary pollutants produced by human activity include: (i) Sulfur oxides
(SOx) especially sulfur dioxide are emitted from burning of coal and oil; (ii) Nitrogen
oxides (NO x) especially nitrogen dioxide are emitted from high temperature
combustion. Can be seen as the brown haze dome above or plume downwind of
cities; (iii) Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless, non-irritating but very poisonous
gas. It is a product by incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural gas, coal or
wood. Vehicular exhaust is a major source of carbon monoxide; (iv) Carbon dioxide
(CO2), a greenhouse gas emitted from combustion; (v) Volatile organic compounds
(VOC), such as hydrocarbons, fuel vapors and solvents; (vi) Particulate matter
(PM), measured as smoke and dust. PM10 is the fraction of suspended particles 10
micrometers in diameter and smaller that will enter the nasal cavity. PM2.5 has a
maximum particle size of 2.5 μm and will enter the bronchitis and lungs; (vii) Toxic
metals, such as lead, cadmium and copper; (viii) Chloral-fluorocarbons (CFCs),
harmful to the ozone layer emitted from products currently banned from use; (ix)
Ammonia (NH3) emitted from agricultural processes; (x) Odors, such as from garbage,
sewage, and industrial processes; (xi) Radioactive pollutants produced by nuclear
explosions and was explosives, and natural processes such as radon.
Secondary pollutants include: (i) Particulate matter formed from gaseous primary
pollutants and compounds in photochemical smog, such as nitrogen dioxide; (ii)
Ground level ozone (O 3) formed from NOx and VOCs; (iii) Peroxyacetyl nitrate
(PAN) similarly formed from NOx and VOCs.
Minor air pollutants: A large number of minor hazardous air pollutants are also
released into atmosphere. Some of these are regulated in USA under the Clean Air
Act and in Europe under the Air Framework Directive. A variety of persistent organic
pollutants can be attached to particulate matter.
Sources of air pollution refer to the various locations, activities or factors, which
are responsible for the releasing of pollutants in the atmosphere [Annexure I].
These sources can be classified into two major categories, which are:
(a) Anthropogenic sources (human activity) mostly related to (i) burning different
kinds of fuel; (ii) “Stationary Sources” as smoke stacks of power plants,
manufacturing facilities, municipal waste incinerators; (iii) “Mobile Sources” as
motor vehicles, aircraft etc.; (iv) Marine vessels, such as container ships or cruise
ships, and related port air pollution; (v) Burning wood, fireplaces, stoves, furnaces
and incinerators; (vi) Oil refining, and industrial activity in general; (vii) Chemicals,
dust and controlled burn practices in agriculture and forestry management; (viii)
Fumes from paint, hair spray, varnish, aerosol sprays and other solvents; (ix) Waste
deposition in landfills, which generate methane; (x) Military, such as nuclear weapons,
toxic gases, germ warfare and rocketry.
(b) Natural sources: Dust from natural sources, usually large areas of land with
little or no vegetation. Methane, emitted by the digestion of food by animals, for
example cattle; Radon gas from radioactive decay within the Earth’s crust; Smoke
and carbon monoxide from wildfires; Volcanic activity, which produce sulfur, chlorine,
and ash particulates, etc.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 13 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Most Polluted Cities: Air pollution is usually concentrated in densely populated

metropolitan areas, especially in developing countries where environmental
regulations are generally relatively lax. However, even populated areas in developed
countries attain unhealthy levels of pollution. Table 2 presents most polluted cities
by particulate matter in 2004.
Table 2: Most Polluted Cities by PM in 2004
City Particulate Matter
Cairo, Egypt 169
Delhi, India 150
Kolkata, India 128
Tianjin, China 125
Chongqing, China 123
Kanpur, India 109
Lucknow, India 109
Jakarta, Indonesia 104

Shenyang, China 101

Annexure I: Major Air Pollutants

Pollutant Sources Effects

Ozone. A gas that can be found Ozone is not created directly, but Ozone near the ground can cause
in two places. Near the ground is formed when nitrogen oxides a number of health problems.
(the troposphere), it is a major part and volatile organic compounds Ozone can lead to more frequent
of smog. The harmful ozone in the mix in sunlight. That is why ozone asthma attacks in people who have
lower atmosphere should not be is mostly found in the summer. asthma and can cause sore
confused with the protective layer Nitrogen oxides come from throats, coughs, and breathing
of ozone in the upper atmosphere burning gasoline, coal, or other difficulty. It may even lead to
(stratosphere), which screens out fossil fuels. There are many types premature death. Ozone can also
harmful ultraviolet rays. of volatile organic compounds, hurt plants and crops.
and they come from sources
ranging from factories to trees.

Carbon monoxide. A gas that Carbon monoxide is released Carbon monoxide makes it hard
comes from the burning of fossil when engines burn fossil fuels. for body parts to get the oxygen
fuels, mostly in cars. It cannot be Emissions are higher when engines they need to run correctly.
seen or smelled. are not tuned properly, and when Exposure to carbon monoxide
fuel is not completely burned. makes people feel dizzy and tired
Cars emit a lot of the carbon and gives them headaches. In high
monoxide found outdoors. concentrations it is fatal. Elderly
Furnaces and heaters in the home people with heart disease are
can emit high concentrations of hospitalized more often when they
carbon monoxide, too, if they are are exposed to higher amounts of
not properly maintained. carbon monoxide.

Nitrogen dioxide. A reddish- Nitrogen dioxide mostly comes High levels of nitrogen dioxide
brown gas that comes from the from power plants and cars. exposure can give people coughs
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 14 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

burning of fossil fuels. It has a Nitrogen dioxide is formed in two and can make them feel short of
strong smell at high levels. ways—when nitrogen in the fuel breath. People who are exposed
is burned, or when nitrogen in the to nitrogen dioxide for a long time
air reacts with oxygen at very high have a higher chance of getting
temperatures. Nitrogen dioxide respiratory infections. Nitrogen
can also react in the atmosphere dioxide reacts in the atmosphere
to form ozone, acid rain, and to form acid rain, which can harm
particles. plants and animals.

Particulate matter. Solid or liquid Particulate matter can be divided Particulate matter that is small
matter that is suspended in the air. into two types—coarse particles enough can enter the lungs and
To remain in the air, particles and fine particles. Coarse particles cause health problems. Some of
usually must be less than 0.1-mm are formed from sources like road these problems include more
wide and can be as small as dust, sea spray, and construction. frequent asthma attacks,
0.00005 mm. Fine particles are formed when fuel respiratory problems, and
is burned in automobiles and premature death.
power plants.

Sulfur dioxide. A corrosive gas Sulfur dioxide mostly comes from Sulfur dioxide exposure can affect
that cannot be seen or smelled at the burning of coal or oil in power people who have asthma or
low levels but can have a “rotten plants. It also comes from factories emphysema by making it more
egg” smell at high levels. that make chemicals, paper, or difficult for them to breathe. It can
fuel. Like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur also irritate people’s eyes, noses,
dioxide reacts in the atmosphere and throats. Sulfur dioxide can
to form acid rain and particles. harm trees and crops, damage
buildings, and make it harder for
people to see long distances.

Lead. A blue-gray metal that is Outside, lead comes from cars in High amounts of lead can be
very toxic and is found in a areas where unleaded gasoline is dangerous for small children and
number of forms and locations. not used. Lead can also come from can lead to lower IQs and kidney
power plants and other industrial problems. For adults, exposure to
sources. Inside, lead paint is an lead can increase the chance of
important source of lead, having heart attacks or strokes.
especially in houses where paint
is peeling. Lead in old pipes can
also be a source of lead in drinking

Toxic air pollutants. A large Each toxic air pollutant comes Toxic air pollutants can cause
number of chemicals that are from a slightly different source, but cancer. Some toxic air pollutants
known or suspected to cause many are created in chemical plants can also cause birth defects. Other
cancer. Some important pollutants or are emitted when fossil fuels effects depend on the pollutant,
in this category include arsenic, are burned. Some toxic air but can include skin and eye
asbestos, benzene, and dioxin. pollutants, like asbestos and irritation and breathing problems.
formaldehyde, can be found in
building materials and can lead to
indoor air problems. Many toxic
air pollutants can also enter the
food and water supplies.

Stratospheric ozone depleters. CFCs are used in air conditioners If the ozone in the stratosphere is
Chemicals that can destroy the and refrigerators, since they work destroyed, people are exposed to
ozone in the stratosphere. These well as coolants. They can also more radiation from the sun
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 15 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

chemicals include be found in aerosol cans and fire (ultraviolet radiation). This can
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), extinguishers. Other stratospheric lead to skin cancer and eye
halons, and other compounds ozone depleters are used as problems. Higher ultraviolet
that include chlorine or bromine. solvents in industry. radiation can also harm plants and

Greenhouse gases. Gases that Carbon dioxide is the most The greenhouse effect can lead to
stay in the air for a long time and important greenhouse gas. It changes in the climate of the
warm up the planet by trapping comes from the burning of fossil planet. Some of these changes
sunlight. This is called the fuels in cars, power plants, might include more temperature
“greenhouse effect” because the houses, and industry. Methane is extremes, higher sea levels;
gases act like the glass in a released during the processing of changes in forest composition,
greenhouse. Some of the fossil fuels, and also comes from and damage to land near the coast.
important greenhouse gases are natural sources like cows and rice Human health might be affected
carbon dioxide, methane, and paddies. Nitrous oxide comes from by diseases that are related to
nitrous oxide. industrial sources and decaying temperature or by damage to land
plants. and water.

Source: Jonathan Levy, Harvard School of Public Health. Based on information

provided by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 16 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Chapter 2
Ozone Depletion
2.1 What is Ozone?
Ozone is a form of oxygen. Oxygen occurs in three different forms in the
atmosphere, namely as atoms (O), as molecules (O2) and as ozone (O3). Ozone’s
unique physical properties allow the ozone layer to act as our planet’s sunscreen,
providing an invisible filter to help protect all life forms from the Sun’s damaging
UV (ultraviolet) rays. Most incoming UV radiation is absorbed by ozone and prevented
from reaching the Earth’s surface. Without the protective effect of ozone, life on
the Earth would not have evolved the way it has.
The Sun emits a range of energy known as the electromagnetic spectrum
[Figure 2a]. The various forms of energy, or radiation, are classified according to
wavelength (measured in nanometers where one nm is a millionth of a millimeter).
The shorter the wavelength, the more energetic is the radiation. In order of
decreasing energy, the principal forms of radiation are gamma rays, x-rays, UV
(ultraviolet radiation), visible light, infrared radiation, microwaves, and radio waves.
Ultraviolet, which is invisible, is so named because it occurs next to violet in the
visible light spectrum. UV radiation is divided into three categories as: UV-A between
320 and 400 nm; UV-B between 280 and 320 nm; UV-C between 200 and 280 nm.
Of these UV-B and C being highly energetic and are dangerous to life on the Earth.
UV-A being less energetic is not dangerous. Fortunately, UV-C is absorbed strongly
by oxygen and also by ozone in the upper atmosphere. UV-B is also absorbed by
ozone layer in the Stratosphere and only 2-3% of it reaches the Earth’s surface.
The ozone Layer, therefore, is highly beneficial to plant and animal life on the
Earth in filtering out the dangerous part of the Sun’s radiation and allowing only
the beneficial part to reach the Earth. Any disturbance or depletion of this layer
would result in an increase UV-B and UV-C radiation reaching the Earth’s surface
leading to dangerous consequences.
2.2 History of Ozone Research
Sydney Chapman discovered the basic physical and chemical processes that
lead to the formation of an ozone layer in the Earth’s stratosphere in 1930. These
are discussed in the article Ozone-oxygen cycle — briefly, short-wavelength UV
radiation splits an oxygen (O2) molecule into two oxygen (O) atoms, which then
combine with other oxygen molecules to form ozone. Ozone is removed when an
oxygen atom and an ozone molecule “recombine” to form two oxygen molecules,
i.e. O + O3 = 2O2.
In the 1950s, David Bates and Marcel Nicolet presented evidence that various
free radicals, in particular hydroxyl (OH) and nitric oxide (NO), could catalyze this
recombination reaction, reducing the overall amount of ozone. These free radicals
were known to be present in the stratosphere, and so were regarded as part of the
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 17 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 18 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 19 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

natural balance – it was estimated that in their absence, the ozone layer would be
about twice as thick as it currently is.
In 1970 Prof. Paul Crutzen pointed out that emissions of nitrous oxide
(N2O), a stable, long-lived gas produced by soil bacteria, from the Earth’s surface
could affect the amount of nitric oxide (NO) in the stratosphere. Crutzen showed
that nitrous oxide lives long enough to reach the stratosphere, where it is converted
into NO. Crutzen then noted that increasing use of fertilizers might have led to an
increase in nitrous oxide emissions over the natural background, which would in
turn result in an increase in the amount of NO in the stratosphere. Thus human
activity could have an impact on the stratospheric ozone layer. In the following
year, Crutzen and (independently) Harold Johnston suggested that NO emissions
from supersonic aircraft, which fly in the lower stratosphere, could also deplete
the ozone layer.
In 1974 Frank Sherwood Rowland, Chemistry Professor at the University of
California at Irvine, and his postdoctoral associate Mario J. Molina suggested that
long-lived organic halogen compounds, such as CFCs, might behave in a similar
fashion as Crutzen had proposed for nitrous oxide. James Lovelock (most popularly
known as the creator of the Gaia hypothesis] had discovered, during a cruise in the
South Atlantic in 1971, that almost all of the CFC compounds manufactured
since their invention in 1930 were still present in the atmosphere. Molina and
Rowland concluded that, like N2O, the CFCs would reach the stratosphere where
they would be dissociated by UV light, releasing Cl atoms. A year earlier, Richard
Stolarski and Ralph Cicerone at the University of Michigan had shown that Cl is
even more efficient than NO at catalyzing the destruction of ozone. Michael McElroy
and Steven Wofsy at Harvard University reached similar conclusions. Neither group,
however, had realized that CFC’s were a potentially large source of stratospheric
chlorine — instead, they had been investigating the possible effects of HCl emissions
from the Space Shuttle, which are very much smaller.
The Rowland-Molina hypothesis was strongly disputed by representatives
of the aerosol and halocarbon industries. The Chair of the Board of DuPont was
quoted as saying that ozone depletion theory is “a science fiction tale...a load of
rubbish...utter nonsense”. Robert Abplanalp, the President of Precision Valve
Corporation (and inventor of the first practical aerosol spray can valve), wrote to
the Chancellor of UC Irvine to complain about Rowland’s public statements.
Nevertheless, within three years most of the basic assumptions made by Rowland
and Molina were confirmed by laboratory measure-ments and by direct observation
in the stratosphere.
The concentrations of the source gases (CFC’s and related compounds) and
the chlorine reservoir species (HCl and ClONO2) were measured throughout the
strato-sphere, and demonstrated that CFCs were indeed the major source of
stratospheric chlorine, and that nearly all of the CFCs emitted would eventually
reach the stratosphere. Even more convincing was the measurement, by James G.
Anderson and collaborators, of chlorine monoxide (ClO) in the stratosphere. ClO is
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 20 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

produced by the reaction of Cl with ozone — its observation thus demonstrated

that Cl radicals not only were present in the stratosphere but also were actually
involved in destroying ozone. McElroy and Wofsy extended the work of Rowland
and Molina by showing that Bromine atoms were even more effective catalysts for
ozone loss than chlorine atoms and argued that the brominated organic compounds
known as halons, widely used in fire extinguishers, were a potentially large source
of stratospheric bromine.
In 1976 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences released a report, which
concluded that the ozone depletion hypothesis was strongly supported by the
scientific evidence. Scientists calculated that if CFC production continued to increase
at the going rate of 10% per year until 1990 and then remain steady, CFCs would
cause a global ozone loss of 5 to 7% by 1995, and a 30 to 50% loss by 2050. In
response the United States, Canada, Sweden and Norway banned the use of CFCs
in aerosol spray cans in 1978. However, subsequent research, summarized by the
National Academy in reports issued between 1979 and 1984, appeared to show
that the earlier estimates of global ozone loss had been too large.
2.3 Ozone Depletion
Ozone depletion occurs when the natural balance between the production
and destruction of stratospheric ozone is tipped in favour of destruction. Although
natural phenomenon can cause temporary ozone loss, chlorine and bromine released
from synthetic compounds is now accepted as the main cause of a net loss of
stratospheric ozone in many parts of the world since 1980. Ozone is formed in the
stratosphere when oxygen molecules photo-dissociate after absorbing an ultraviolet
photon whose wavelength is shorter than 240 nm. This produces two oxygen
atoms. The atomic oxygen then combines with O2 to create O3. Ozone molecules
absorb UV light between 310 and 200 nm, following which ozone splits into a
molecule of O2 and an oxygen atom. The oxygen atom then joins up with an
oxygen molecule to regenerate ozone. This is a continuing process which terminates
when an oxygen atom “recombines” with an ozone molecule to make two O2
molecules: O + O3 −−> 2 O2. A balance between photochemical production and
recombination process determines the overall amount of ozone present in the
Ozone can be destroyed by a number of free radical catalysts, the most
important of which are the hydroxyl radical (OH), the nitric-oxide radical (NO) and
atomic chlorine (Cl) and bromine (Br). All of these have both natural and
anthropogenic (manmade) sources [Figure 2 b]; at the present time, most of the
OH and NO in the stratosphere is of natural origin, but human activity has
dramatically increased the high in oxygen chlorine and bromine. These elements
are found in certain stable organic compounds, especially chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs), which may find their way to the stratosphere without being destroyed in
the troposphere due to their low reactivity. Once in the stratosphere, the Cl and Br
atoms are liberated from the parent compounds by the action of ultraviolet light.
The Cl and Br atoms can then destroy ozone molecules through a variety of catalytic
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 21 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

cycles. In the simplest example of such a cycle, a chlorine atom reacts with an
ozone molecule, taking an oxygen atom with it (forming ClO) and leaving a normal
oxygen molecule. A free oxygen atom then takes away the oxygen from the ClO,
and the final result is an oxygen molecule and a chlorine atom, which then reinitiates
the cycle.
The overall effect is to increase the rate of recombination, leading to an
overall decrease in the amount of ozone. For this particular mechanism to operate
there must be a source of O atoms, which is primarily the photo dissociation of
O3; thus this mechanism is only important in the upper stratosphere where such
atoms are abundant. More complicated mechanisms have been discovered that
lead to ozone destruction in the lower stratosphere as well (discussed in previous
chapter). A single chlorine atom would keep on destroying ozone for up to two
years (the time scale for transport back down to the troposphere) were it not for
reactions that remove them from this cycle by forming reservoir species such as
hydrogen chloride (HCl) and chlorine nitrate (ClONO2). On a per atom basis, bromine
is even more efficient than chlorine at destroying ozone, but there is much less
bromine in the atmosphere at present. As a result, both chlorine and bromine
contribute significantly to the overall ozone depletion. Laboratory studies have
shown that fluorine and iodine atoms participate in analogous catalytic cycles.
However, in the Earth’s stratosphere, fluorine atoms react rapidly with water and
methane to form strongly bound hydrofluoric acid, while organic molecules which
contain iodine react so rapidly in the lower atmosphere that they do not reach the
stratosphere in significant quantities. Furthermore, a single chlorine atom is able
to react with 100,000 ozone molecules. This fact plus the amount of chlorine
released into the atmosphere by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) yearly demonstrates
how dangerous CFCs are to the environment.
2.4 The Ozone Hole
History: The discovery of the Antarctic “ozone hole” by British Atlantic Survey
scientists Farman, Gardiner and Shanklin (announced in a paper in Nature in May
1985) came as a shock to the scientific community, because the observed decline
in polar ozone was far larger than anyone had anticipated. Satellite measurements
showing massive depletion of ozone around the South Pole were becoming available
at the same time. However, these were initially rejected as unreasonable by data
quality control algorithms (they were filtered out as errors since the values were
unexpectedly low); the ozone hole was detected only in satellite data when the
raw data was reprocessed following evidence of ozone depletion in in situ
observations. When the software was rerun without the flags, the ozone hole was
seen as far back as 1976.
Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist at the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), proposed that chemical reactions on Polar
Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) in the cold Antarctic stratosphere caused a massive,
though localized and seasonal, increase in the amount of chlorine present in active,
ozone-destroying forms. The PSCs in Antarctica are only formed when there are
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 22 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

very low temperatures, as low as -80 oC, and early spring conditions. In such
conditions the ice crystals of the cloud provide a suitable surface for conversion of
non-reactive chlorine compounds into reactive chlorine compounds, which can
deplete ozone easily. Moreover the polar vortex formed over Antarctica is very tight
and the reaction, which occurs on the surface of the cloud crystals, is far different
from when it occurs in atmosphere. These conditions have led to ozone hole
formation in Antarctica. This hypothesis was decisively confirmed, first by laboratory
measurements and subsequently by direct measurements, from the ground and
from high-altitude airplanes, of very high concentrations of chlorine monoxide
(ClO) in the Antarctic stratosphere. Alternative hypotheses, which had attributed
the ozone hole to variations in solar UV radiation or to changes in atmospheric
circulation patterns, were also tested and shown to be untenable. However, the
vortex formation and consequent reduction in temperature is the part of atmospheric
circulation only. This is the region for the differences in ozone depletion at south
and north pole.
Meanwhile, analysis of ozone measurements from the worldwide network of
ground-based Dobson spectrophotometers led an international panel to conclude
that the ozone layer was in fact being depleted, at all latitudes outside of the
tropics. These trends were confirmed by satellite measurements. As a consequence,
the major halocarbon producing nations agreed to phase out production of CFCs,
halons, and related compounds, a process that was completed in 1996. Crutzen,
Molina, and Rowland were awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their
work on stratospheric ozone.
When the “ozone hole” forms, essentially all of the ozone in the lower
stratosphere is destroyed. The upper stratosphere is much less affected, however,
so that the overall amount of ozone over the continent declines by 50 percent or
more. The ozone hole does not go all the way through the layer; on the other
hand, it is not a uniform ‘thinning’ of the layer either. It’s a “hole” in the sense of
“a hole in the ground”, a depression, not in the sense of “a hole in the windshield”.
G.M.B. Dobson (Exploring the Atmosphere, 2nd Edition, Oxford, 1968)
mentioned that when springtime ozone levels over Halley Bay were first measured,
he was surprised to find that they were ~320 DU, about 150 DU below spring
levels, ~450 DU, in the Arctic. These, however, were the pre-ozone-hole normal
climatological values. What Dobson describes is essentially the baseline from which
the ozone hole is measured: actual ozone hole values are in the 150–100 DU range.
The discrepancy between the Arctic and Antarctic noted by Dobson was
primarily a matter of timing: during the Arctic spring ozone levels rose smoothly,
peaking in April, whereas in the Antarctic they stayed approximately constant
during early spring, rising abruptly in November when the polar vortex broke down.
The behavior seen in the Antarctic ozone hole is completely different. Instead of
staying constant, early springtime ozone levels suddenly drop from their already
low winter values, by as much as 50%, and normal values are not reached again
until December. If the theory were correct, the ozone hole should be above the
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 23 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

sources of CFCs. The CFCs are well mixed in the troposphere and the stratosphere.
The reason the ozone hole occurs above Antarctica is not because there are more
CFCs there but because the low temperatures allow polar stratospheric clouds to
form. There have been anomalous discoveries of significant, serious, localized “holes”
above other parts of the globe.
It is sometimes stated that since CFC molecules are much heavier than
nitrogen or oxygen, they cannot reach the stratosphere in significant quantities.
But atmospheric gases are not sorted by weight; the forces of wind (turbulence)
are strong enough to fully intermix gases in the atmosphere. CFCs are heavier than
air, but just like argon, krypton and other heavy gases with a long lifetime, they are
uniformly distributed throughout the turbosphere and reach the upper
atmosphere.Since 1981 the UNEP has sponsored a series of reports on scientific
assessment of ozone depletion. The most recent is from 2007 where satellite
measurements have shown the hole in the ozone layer is recovering and is now the
smallest it has been for about a decade.
Ozone Hole Process: The Antarctic ozone hole is an area of the Antarctic
stratosphere in which the recent ozone levels have dropped to as low as 33% of
their pre-1975 values. The ozone hole occurs during the Antarctic spring, from
September to early December, as strong westerly winds start to circulate around
the continent and create an atmospheric container. Within this polar vortex, over
50% of the lower stratospheric ozone is destroyed during the Antarctic spring.
As explained above, the overall cause of ozone depletion is the presence of
chlorine containing source gases (primarily CFCs and related halocarbons). In the
presence of UV light, these gases dissociate, releasing chlorine atoms, which then
go on to catalyze ozone destruction. The Cl catalyzed ozone depletion can take
place in the gas phase, but it is dramatically enhanced in the presence of polar
stratospheric clouds (PSCs). These polar stratospheric clouds form during winter,
in the extreme cold. Polar winters are dark, consisting of 3 months without solar
radiation (sunlight). Not only lack of sunlight contributes to a decrease in
temperature but also the polar vortex traps and chills air. Temperatures hover around
or below -80 °C. These low temperatures form cloud particles and are composed
of either nitric acid (Type I PSC) or ice (Type II PSC). Both types provide surfaces
for chemical reactions that lead to ozone destruction.
The photochemical processes involved are complex but well understood.
The key observation is that, ordinarily, most of the chlorine in the stratosphere
resides in stable “reservoir” compounds, primarily hydrogen chloride (HCl) and
chlorine nitrate (ClONO2). During the Antarctic winter and spring, however, reactions
on the surface of the polar stratospheric cloud particles convert these “reservoir”
compounds into reactive free radicals (Cl and ClO). The clouds can also remove
NO2 from the atmosphere by converting it to nitric acid, which prevents the newly
formed ClO from being converted back into ClONO2.
The role of sunlight in ozone depletion is the reason why the Antarctic ozone
depletion is greatest during spring. During winter, even though PSCs are at their
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 24 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

most abundant, there is no light over the pole to drive the chemical reactions.
During the spring, however, the sun comes out, providing energy to drive
photochemical reactions, and melt the polar stratospheric clouds, releasing the
trapped compounds.
Most of the ozone that is destroyed is in the lower stratosphere, in contrast
to the much smaller ozone depletion through homogeneous gas phase reactions,
which occurs primarily in the upper stratosphere.
Warming temperatures near the end of spring break up the vortex around
mid-December. As warm, ozone-rich air flows in from lower latitudes, the PSCs are
destroyed, the ozone depletion process shuts down, and the ozone hole heals.
While the effect of the Antarctic ozone hole in decreasing the global ozone
is relatively small, estimated at about 4% per decade, the hole has generated a
great deal of interest because the decrease in the ozone layer was predicted in the
early 1980s to be roughly 7% over a sixty-year period. The sudden recognition in
1985 that there was a substantial “hole” was widely reported in the press. The
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 25 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

especially rapid ozone depletion in Antarctica had previously been dismissed as a

measurement error. Many were worried that ozone holes might start to appear over
other areas of the globe but to date the only other large-scale depletion is a
smaller ozone “dimple” observed during the Arctic spring over the North Pole.
Ozone at middle latitudes has declined, but by a much smaller extent (about 4–5%
decrease). If the conditions became more severe (cooler stratospheric temperatures,
more stratospheric clouds, more active chlorine), then global ozone may decrease
at a much greater pace. Standard global warming theory predicts that the
stratosphere will cool.
When the Antarctic ozone hole breaks up, the ozone-depleted air drifts out
into nearby areas. Decreases in the ozone level of up to 10% have been reported in
New Zealand in the month following the breakup of the Antarctic ozone hole.
Ozone Hole: The terms “ozone hole” refers to a large and rapid decrease in the
abundance of ozone molecules, not the complete absence of them. The Antarctic
“ozone hole” occurs during the southern spring between September and November.
The British Antarctic Survey Team first reported it in May 1985. The Team found
that for the period between September and mid November, ozone concentrations
over Halley Bay, Antarctica, had declined 40% from levels during the 1960s. Severe
depletion had been occurring since the late 1970s. Lowest value of ozone measured
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 26 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

by TOMS each year in the ozone hole is given in Figure 2c. Figure 2d presents the
September 2006 image of the largest Antarctic ozone hole ever recorded. Figure
2e presents the annual March of Spring (September to December) and Summer
(January to March) Antarctic total ozone based on four locations observations,

namely Argentina Island, Syowa, Halley Bay and the South Pole (WMO, Fact
Sheet). Figure 2f presents the annual march of Winter (December to March) and
Summer (May to August) Arctic total ozone from the combined long-term mean
of 12 stations North of 59 oN. Figure 2g presents the seasonal change of Antarctic
ozone at Argentina Island, Syowa and Halley Bay. The figures represent the
change during 1979-86 as % of the 1957-78. Figure 2h presents the annual march
of total ozone as deviation
from the long-term average
for four latitudinal zones of
the Northern Hemisphere
(from top to bottom —
80-60, 64-53, 52-40 & 39-
30 oN) for Winter-Spring
(December to March) and
for Summer (May to
August) – on the right side
of each chart, the numbers
indicate the long-term
mean value for each zone
in Dobson units.
Reductions of up to
70% in the ozone column
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 27 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

observed in the austral (Southern Hemispheric) spring over Antarctica and first
reported in 1985 are continuing. Through the 1990s, total column ozone in
September and October have continued to be 40–50% lower than pre-ozone-hole
values. In the Arctic the amount lost is more variable year-to-year than in the
Antarctic. The greatest declines, up to 30%, are in the Winter and Spring, when
the stratosphere is colder. In middle latitudes it is preferable to speak of ozone
depletion rather than holes. Declines are about 3% below pre-1980 values for 35–
60°N and about 6% for 35–60°S. In the tropics, there are no significant trends.
Predictions of ozone levels remain difficult. The WMO/UN Global Ozone Research
and Monitoring Project – Report No. 44 comes out strongly in favor for the Montreal
Protocol, but notes that a UNEP 1994 Assessment overestimated ozone loss for
the 1994–1997 period.
Is UVB increasing at surface?: Since the ozone layer absorbs UVB ultraviolet light
from the Sun, ozone layer depletion is expected to increase surface UVB levels,
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 28 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

which could lead to damage, including increases in skin cancer. This was the
reason for the Montreal Protocol. Although decreases in stratospheric ozone are
well-tied to CFCs and there are good theoretical reasons to believe that decreases
in ozone will lead to increases in surface UVB, there is no direct observational
evidence linking ozone depletion to higher incidence of skin cancer in human
beings. This is partly due to the fact that UVA, which has also been implicated in
some forms of skin cancer, is not absorbed by ozone, and it is nearly impossible to
control statistics for lifestyle changes in the populace.
2.5 Ozone and Policy
That ozone depletion takes place is not seriously disputed in the scientific
community. There is a consensus among atmospheric physicists and chemists that
the scientific understanding has now reached a level where counter-measures to
control CFC emissions are justified, although the decision is ultimately one for
Despite this consensus, the science behind ozone depletion remains complex,
and some who oppose the enforcement of countermeasures point to some of the
uncertainties. For example, although increased UVB has been shown to constitute
a melanoma risk, it has been difficult for statistical studies to establish a direct
link between ozone depletion and increased rates of melanoma. Although melanomas
did increase significantly during the period 1970–1990, it is difficult to separate
reliably the effect of ozone depletion from the effect of changes in lifestyle factors
(e.g., increasing rates of air travel.
The detailed mechanism by which the polar ozone holes form is different
from that for the mid-latitude thinning, but the most important process in both
trends is catalytic destruction of ozone by atomic chlorine and bromine. The main
source of these halogen atoms in the stratosphere is photo-dissociation of
chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) compounds, commonly called freons, and of
bromofluorocarbon compounds known as halons. These compounds are transported
into the stratosphere after being emitted at the surface. Both ozone depletion
mechanisms strengthened as emissions of CFCs and halons increased.
Thomas Midgley invented Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the 1930s. They
were used in Air Conditioning/cooling units, as aerosol spray propellants prior to
the 1980s, and in the cleaning processes of delicate electronic equipment. They
also occur as by-products of some chemical processes. No significant natural
sources have ever been identified for these compounds — their presence in the
atmosphere is due almost entirely to human manufacture. When such ozone-
depleting chemicals reach the stratosphere, they are dissociated by ultraviolet
light to release chlorine atoms. The chlorine atoms act as a catalyst, and each can
break down tens of thousands of ozone molecules before being removed from the
stratosphere. Given the longevity of CFC molecules, recovery times are measured
in decades. It is calculated that a CFC molecule takes an average of 15 years to go
from the ground level up to the upper atmosphere, and it can stay there for about
a century, destroying up to one hundred thousand ozone molecules during that
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 29 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

CFCs and other contributory substances are commonly referred to as ozone-

depleting substances (ODS). Since the ozone layer prevents most harmful UVB
wavelengths (270–315 nm) of ultraviolet light (UV light) from passing through the
Earth’s atmosphere, observed and projected decreases in ozone have generated
worldwide concern leading to adoption of the Montreal Protocol banning the
production of CFCs and halons as well as related ozone depleting chemicals such
as carbon tetrachloride and trichloroethane. It is suspected that a variety of biological
consequences such as increase in skin cancer, damage to plants, and reduction of
plankton populations in the ocean’s photic zone may result from the increased UV
exposure due to ozone depletion.
2.6 International Action
The first international action to focus attention on the dangers of ozone
depletion in the stratosphere and its dangerous consequences in the long run on
life on earth was focused in 1977 when in a meeting of 32 countries in Washington
D.C. a World plan on action on Ozone layer with UNEP as the coordinator was
As experts began their investigation, data piled up and in 1985 in an article
published in the science journal, “Nature” by Dr. Farman pointed out that although
there is overall depletion of the ozone layer all over the world, the most severe
depletion had taken place over the Antarctica. This is what is famously called as
“the Antarctica Ozone hole”. His findings were confirmed by Satellite observations
and offered the first proof of severe ozone depletion and stirred the scientific
community to take urgent remedial actions in an international convention held in
Vienna on March 22, 1985. This resulted in an international agreement in 1987 on
specific measures to be taken in the form of an international treaty known as the
“Montreal Protocol” on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. Under this
Protocol the first concrete step to save the Ozone layer was taken by immediately
agreeing to completely phase out chlorofluoro-carbons (CFC), Halons, Carbon
tetrachloride (CTC) and Methyl chloroform (MCF) as per a schedule.
2.6.1 Alternative Substances
In 1985 around 20 nations, including most of the major CFC producers,
signed the Vienna Convention, which established a framework for negotiating
international regulations on ozone-depleting substances. That same year, the
discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole was announced, causing a revival in public
attention to the issue. In 1987, representatives from 43 nations signed the Montreal
Protocol. Meanwhile, the halocarbon industry shifted its position and started
supporting a protocol to limit CFC production. The reasons for this were in part
explained by “Dr. Mostafa Tolba, former head of the UN Environment Programme,
who was quoted in the June 30, 1990 edition of The New Scientist, ‘...the chemical
industry supported the Montreal Protocol in 1987 because it set up a worldwide
schedule for phasing out CFCs, which [were] no longer protected by patents. This
provided companies with an equal opportunity to market new, more profitable
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 30 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

At Montreal, the participants agreed to freeze production of CFCs at 1986

levels and to reduce production by 50% by 1999. After a series of scientific
expeditions to the Antarctic produced convincing evidence that the ozone hole
was indeed caused by chlorine and bromine from manmade organohalogens, the
Montreal Protocol was strengthened at a 1990 meeting in London. The participants
agreed to phase out CFCs and halons entirely (aside from a very small amount
marked for certain “essential” uses, such as asthma inhalers) by 2000. At a 1992
meeting in Copenhagen, the phase out date was moved up to 1996.
To some extent, CFCs have been replaced by the less damaging hydro-
chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), although concerns remain regarding HCFCs also. In
some applications, hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs) have been used to replace CFCs.
HFCs, which contain no chlorine or bromine, do not contribute at all to ozone
depletion although they are potent greenhouse gases. The best known of these
compounds is probably HFC-134a (R-134a), which in the United States has largely
replaced CFC-12 (R-12) in automobile air conditioners. In laboratory analytics (a
former “essential” use) the ozone depleting substances can be replaced with various
other solvents.
Ozone Diplomacy, by Richard Benedick (Harvard University Press, 1991) gives
a detailed account of the negotiation process that led to the Montreal Protocol.
Pielke and Betsill provide an extensive review of early US government responses to
the emerging science of ozone depletion by CFCs.
2.6.2 Ozone-depleting gas trends
Since the adoption and strengthening of the Montreal Protocol has led to
reductions in the emissions of CFCs, atmospheric concentrations of the most
significant compounds have been declining. These substances are being gradually
removed from the atmosphere. By 2015, the Antarctic ozone hole would have
reduced by only 1 million km² out of 25 (Newman et al., 2004); complete recovery
of the Antarctic ozone layer will not occur until the year 2050 or later. Work has
suggested that a detectable (and statistically significant) recovery will not occur
until around 2024, with ozone levels recovering to 1980 levels by around 2068.
There is a slight caveat to this, however “Global warming from CO2 is
expected to cool the stratosphere. This, in turn, would lead to a relative increase
in ozone depletion and the frequency of ozone holes. The effect may not be
linear; ozone holes form because of polar stratospheric clouds; the formation of
polar stratospheric clouds has a temperature threshold above which they will not
form; cooling of the Arctic stratosphere might lead to Antarctic-ozone-hole-like
conditions. But at the moment this is not clear”.
Even though the stratosphere as a whole is cooling, high-latitude areas may
become increasingly predisposed to springtime stratospheric warming events as
weather patterns change in response to higher greenhouse gas loading. This would
cause PSCs to disappear earlier in the season, and may explain why Antarctic
ozone hole seasons have tended to end somewhat earlier since 2000 as compared
with the most prolonged ozone holes of the 1990s. The decrease in ozone-depleting
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 31 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

chemicals has also been significantly affected by a decrease in bromine-containing

chemicals. The data suggest that substantial natural sources exist for atmospheric
methyl bromine (CH3Br). The 2004 ozone hole ended in November 2004, daily
minimum stratospheric temperatures in the Antarctic lower stratosphere increased
to levels that are too warm for the formation of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs)
about 2 to 3 weeks earlier than in most recent years.
The Arctic winter of 2005 was extremely cold in the stratosphere; PSCs
were abundant over many high-latitude areas until dissipated by a big warming
event, which started in the upper stratosphere during February and spread
throughout the Arctic stratosphere in March. The size of the Arctic area of
anomalously low total ozone in 2004-2005 was larger than in any year since 1997.
The predominance of anomalously low total ozone values in the Arctic region in
the winter of 2004-2005 is attributed to the very low stratospheric temperatures
and meteorological conditions favorable for ozone destruction along with the
continued presence of ozone destroying chemicals in the stratosphere.
A 2005 IPCC summary of ozone issues observed that observations and model
calculations suggest that the global average amount of ozone depletion has now
approximately stabilized. Although considerable variability in ozone is expected
from year to year, including in polar regions where depletion is largest, the ozone
layer is expected to begin to recover in coming decades due to declining ozone-
depleting substance concentrations, assuming full compliance with the Montreal
Temperatures during the Arctic winter of 2006 stayed fairly close to the
long-term average until late January, with minimum readings frequently cold enough
to produce PSCs. During the last week of January, however, a major warming event
sent temperatures well above normal — much too warm to support PSCs. By the
time temperatures dropped back to near normal in March, the seasonal norm was
well above the PSC threshold. Preliminary satellite instrument-generated ozone
maps show seasonal ozone buildup slightly below the long-term means for the
Northern Hemisphere as a whole, although some high ozone events have occurred.
During March 2006, the Arctic stratosphere pole-ward of 60 degrees North Latitude
was free of anomalously low ozone areas except during the three-day period from
March 17 to 19 when the total ozone cover fell below 300 DU over part of the
North Atlantic region from Greenland to Scandinavia.
The area where total column ozone is less than 220 DU (the accepted
definition of the boundary of the ozone hole) was relatively small until around 20
August 2006. Since then the ozone hole area increased rapidly, peaking at 29
million km² September 24. In October 2006, NASA reported that the year’s ozone
hole set a new area record with a daily average of 26 million km² between 7
September and 13 October 2006; total ozone thickness fell as low as 85 DU on
October 8. The two factors combined, 2006 sees the worst level of depletion in
recorded ozone history. The depletion is attributed to the temperatures above the
Antarctic reaching the lowest recording since comprehensive records began in
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 32 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

The Antarctic ozone hole is expected to continue for decades. Ozone

concentrations in the lower stratosphere over Antarctica will increase by 5%–10%
by 2020 and return to pre-1980 levels by about 2060–2075, 10–25 years later than
predicted in earlier assessments. This is because of revised estimates of atmospheric
concentrations of Ozone Depleting Substances — and a larger predicted future
usage in developing countries. Another factor, which may aggravate ozone depletion,
is the drawdown of nitrogen oxides from above the stratosphere due to changing
wind patterns.
2.6.3 Man-made chlorine vs natural source
Another objection occasionally voiced is that “It is generally agreed that
natural sources of tropospheric chlorine (volcanoes, ocean spray, etc.) are four to
five orders of magnitude larger than man-made sources”. While strictly true,
tropospheric chlorine is irrelevant; it is stratospheric chlorine that matters to ozone
depletion. Chlorine from ocean spray is soluble and thus is washed out by rainfall
before it reaches the stratosphere. CFCs, in contrast, are insoluble and long-lived,
which allows them to reach the stratosphere. Even in the lower atmosphere there
is more chlorine present in the form of CFCs and related haloalkanes than there is
in HCl from salt spray, and in the stratosphere the halocarbons dominate
overwhelmingly. Only one of these halocarbons, methyl chloride, has a predominantly
natural source, and it is responsible for about 20 percent of the chlorine in the
stratosphere; the remaining 80% comes from manmade compounds.
Very large volcanic eruptions can inject HCl directly into the stratosphere,
but direct measurements have shown that their contribution is small compared to
that of chlorine from CFCs. A similar erroneous assertion is that soluble halogen
compounds from the volcanic plume of Mount Erebus on Ross Island, Antarctica
are a major contributor to the Antarctic ozone hole.
2.6.4 World Ozone Day
In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly voted to designate September
16 as “World Ozone Day”, to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol
on that date in 1987. On the ozone depletion theory, though initially there was
some opposition, more particularly from the industry lobby, latter it was accepted.
This has leads in finding alternate substances to arrest this trend. However, the
long life of the ozone depleting substances in the atmosphere, it may take time to
stabilize the ozone process to pre-ozone depleting substances level. This is success
story of science.
2.7 Impact on Environment
2.7.1 Effects on life forms on the Earth
A recent assessment made by a panel of UNEP experts gives a detailed
account of the impacts of ozone depletion on human health, animals, plants,
microorganisms, materials and air quality.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 33 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Effects on Human & Animal Health: Increased penetration of solar UV-B radiation
is likely to have profound impact on human health with potential risks of eye
diseases, skin cancer and infectious diseases. UV radiation is known to damage
the cornea and lens of the eye. Chronic exposure to UV-B could lead to cataract of
the cortical and posterior subcapsular forms. UV-B radiation can adversely affect
the immune system causing a number of infectious diseases. In light skinned
human populations, it is likely to develop nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC).
Experiments on animals show that UV exposure decreases the immune response
to skin cancers, infectious agents and other antigens
Effects on Terrestrial Plants: It is a known fact that the physiological and
developmental processes of plants are affected by UV-B radiation. Scientists believe
that an increase in UV-B levels would necessitate using more UV-B tolerant cultivar
and breeding new tolerant ones in agriculture. In forests and grasslands increased
UV-B radiation is likely to result in changes in species composition (mutation) thus
altering the bio-diversity in different ecosystems. UV-B could also affect the plant
community indirectly resulting in changes in plant form, secondary metabolism,
etc. These changes can have important implications for plant competitive balance,
plant pathogens and bio-geochemical cycles.
Effects on Aquatic Ecosystems: While more than 30 percent of the world’s
animal protein for human consumption comes from the sea alone, it is feared that
increased levels of UV exposure can have adverse impacts on the productivity of
aquatic systems. High levels of exposure in tropics and subtropics may affect the
distribution of phytoplanktons which form the foundation of aquatic food webs.
Reportedly a recent study has indicated 6-12 percent reduction in phytoplankton
production in the marginal ice zone due to increases in UV-B. UV-B can also cause
damage to early development stages of fish, shrimp, crab, amphibians and other
animals, the most severe effects being decreased reproductive capacity and impaired
larval development.
Effects on Bio-geo-chemical Cycles: Increased solar UV radiation could affect
terrestrial and aquatic bio-geo-chemical cycles thus altering both sources and sinks
of greenhouse and important trace gases, e.g. carbon dioxide (CO 2), carbon
monoxide (CO), carbonyl sulphide (COS), etc. These changes would contribute to
biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks responsible for the atmosphere build-up of these
gases. Other effects of increased UV-B radiation include: changes in the production
and decomposition of plant matter; reduction of primary production changes in
the uptake and release of important atmospheric gases; reduction of
bacterioplankton growth in the upper ocean; increased degradation of aquatic
dissolved organic matter (DOM), etc. Aquatic nitrogen cycling can be affected by
enhanced UV-B through inhibition of nitrifying bacteria and photo-decomposition
of simple inorganic species such as nitrate. The marine sulphur cycle may also be
affected resulting in possible changes in the sea-to-air emissions of COS and
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 34 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

dimethylsulfied (DMS), two gases that are degraded to sulphate aerosols in the
stratosphere and troposphere, respectively.
Effects on Air Quality: Reduction of stratospheric ozone and increased penetration
of UV-B radiation result in higher photo-dissociation rates of key trace gases that
control the chemical reactivity of the troposphere. This can increase both production
and destruction of ozone and related oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide, which
are known to have adverse effects on human health, terrestrial plants and outdoor
materials. Changes in the atmospheric concentrations of the hydroxyl radical (OH)
may change the atmospheric lifetimes of important gases such as methane and
substitutes of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Increased tropospheric reactivity could
also lead to increased production of particulates such as cloud condensation nuclei
from the oxidation and subsequent nucleation of sulphur of both anthropogenic
and natural origin (e.g. COS and DMS).
Effects on Materials: Increased levels of solar UV radiation is known to have adverse
effects on synthetic polymers, naturally occurring biopolymers and some other
materials of commercial interest. UV-B radiation accelerates the photodegradation
rates of these materials thus limiting their lifetimes. Typical damages range from
discoloration to loss of mechanical integrity. Such a situation would eventually
demand substitution of the affected materials by more photostable plastics and
other materials in future.
2.7.2 Effects on Global Warming
One of the strongest predictions of the greenhouse effect theory proponents
is that the stratosphere will cool. The same CO2 radiative forcing that produces
near-surface global warming is expected to cool the stratosphere. This cooling, in
turn, is expected to produce a relative increase in ozone (O3) depletion and the
frequency of ozone holes. Conversely, ozone depletion represents a “radiative
forcing” of the climate system. There are two opposing effects: Reduced ozone
causes the stratosphere to absorb less solar radiation, thus cooling the stratosphere
while warming the troposphere; the resulting colder stratosphere emits less long-
wave radiation downward, thus cooling the troposphere. Overall, the cooling
dominates; the IPCC concludes that “observed stratospheric O3 losses over the
past two decades have caused a negative forcing of the surface-troposphere system”
of about -0.15 ± 0.10 watts per square meter (W/m²)”. It is also said that although
this cooling has been observed, it is not trivial to separate the effects of changes
in the concentration of GHGs and ozone depletion since both will lead to cooling.
Results from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical
Fluid Dynamics Laboratory show that above 20 km (12.4 miles), the GHGs dominate
the cooling. Ozone depleting chemicals are also GHGs. The increases in
concentrations of these chemicals have produced 0.34 ± 0.03 W/m² of radiative
forcing, corresponding to about 14% of the total radiative forcing from increases
in the concentrations of well-mixed greenhouse gases.
The long-term modeling of the process, its measurement, study, design of
theories and testing take decades to both document, gain wide acceptance, and
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 35 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

ultimately become the dominant paradigm. Several theories about the destruction
of ozone were hypothesized in the 1980s, published in the late 1990s, and are
currently being proven. Dr Drew Schindell, and Dr Paul Newman, NASA Goddard,
proposed a theory in the late 1990s, using a SGI Origin 2000 supercomputer, that
modeled ozone destruction, accounted for 78% of the ozone destroyed. Further
refinement of that model accounted for 89% of the ozone destroyed, but pushed
back the estimated recovery of the ozone hole from 75 years to 150 years. An
important part of that model is the lack of staratospheric flight due to depletion
of fossil fuels.
Ozone, while a minority constituent in the Earth’s atmosphere, is responsible
for most of the absorption of UVB radiation. The amount of UVB radiation that
penetrates through the ozone layer decreases exponentially with the slant-path
thickness/density of the layer. Correspondingly, a decrease in atmospheric ozone
is expected to give rise to significantly increased levels of UVB near the surface.
Increases in surface UVB due to the ozone hole can be partially inferred by radiative
transfer model calculations, but cannot be calculated from direct measurements
because of the lack of reliable historical (pre-ozone-hole) surface UV data, although
more recent surface UV observation measurement programmes exist. Because it is
this same UV radiation that creates ozone in the ozone layer from O2 (regular
oxygen) in the first place, a reduction in stratospheric ozone would actually tend
to increase photochemical production of ozone at lower levels (in the troposphere),
although the overall observed trends in total column ozone still show a decrease,
largely because ozone produced lower down has a naturally shorter photochemical
lifetime, so it is destroyed before the concentrations could reach a level which
would compensate for the ozone reduction higher up. At this time, ozone at
ground level is produced mainly by the action of UV radiation on combustion
gases from vehicle exhausts, discussed in previous chapter.
More often ozone depletion and global warming are interlinked in the mass
media but in reality the connection between global warming and ozone depletion
is not strong. The major component for stratospheric cooling the formation of
circum-polar vortex more frequent at South Pole and less frequent at North Pole,
which is corroborated with the observed ozone depletion patterns with latitude
and season as well with South & North Poles as discussed above. Also, the
downward long wave radiation from the stratospheric layer is insignificant in general.
With all these arguments, yet it is pertinent to see that with the non-ozone depleting
alternate substances introduction, the issue of stratospheric ozone is of not much
significance but yet the alternate substances are still come under GHGs along
with tropospheric ozone formation.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 36 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Chapter 3
Solar Radiation
3.1 What is Solar Radiation?
Solar radiation is a general term for the electromagnetic radiation emitted
by the Sun. It is radiant energy emitted by the Sun as a result of its nuclear fusion
reactions. We can capture and convert solar radiation into useful forms of energy,
such as heat and electricity, using a variety of technologies. The technical feasibility
and economical operation of these technologies at a specific location depends on
the available solar radiation. The spectrum of the Sun’s solar radiation (Figure 2a)
is close to that of a black body with a temperature of about 5,800 0K [degrees
absolute] » 6000 0K. The Sun emits radiation (energy) in different wavelengths/
bands, starting from X-rays (lower bandwidth side), g-rays, ultra-violet, visible,
infrared (higher bandwidth side). The wavelength in which maximum energy is
emitted depends upon the temperature of the emitting surface (the Sun, the
Earth, or any other object). According to Plank’s Law the wavelength at which
the maximum energy is emitted (λm) is given as:
λm = a/T
where ‘a’ is the constant given by 2830 and T is the emitting body’s surface
temperature, given in degrees absolute (at zero degrees Celsius it is 273 degrees
Absolute or Kelvin). The Sun’s surface temperature is around 6000 0C and the
Earth’s surface temperature is around 10 0C. Thus the wavelength at which the
maximum energy is located is given as:
The Sun: (λm) = 2830/(6000 + 273) = 0.45 microns (mm) – short wave radiation;
The Earth: (λm) = 2830/(10 + 273) = 10.0 microns (mm) – long wave radiation;
Thus, the Sun emits maximum energy around 0.5μm wavelengths and the
Earth emits at around 10μm wavelength. The former is known as short-wave
radiation or visible radiation and later is known as long-wave radiation or infrared
Solar Constant: The Solar constant is the amount of the Sun’s incoming
electromagnetic radiation (Solar Radiation) per unit area, measured on the outer
surface of the Earth’s Atmosphere – at the top of the atmosphere — in an aircraft
perpendicular to the rays. The Solar constant includes all types of the solar radiation,
not just the visible light. It is measured by satellite to be roughly 1,366 watts per
square meter (W/m²), though this fluctuates by about 6.9% during a year (from
1,412 W/m² in early January to 1,321 W/m² in early July) due to the Earth’s
varying distance from the Sun, and by a few parts per thousand from day to day.
Thus, for the whole Earth (which has a cross section of 127,400,000 km2), the
power is 1.740 x 1017 W, plus or minus 3.5%. Thus, the solar radiation reaching
on an average on the top of the atmosphere is constant averaging about 1.96 ly/
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 37 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

min [calories per minute per square centimeter, or Langley’s per minute]; this is
equivalent to 1,366 W/m².
Solar Radiation: The Earth receives a total amount of radiation determined by its
cross section, but as it rotates this energy is distributed across the entire surface

area. Hence the average incoming Solar radiation (sometimes called the Solar
irradiance), taking in to account the angle at which the rays strike and that at any
one moment half the planet does not receive any solar radiation, is one-fourth the
solar constant (approximately 342 W/m²).
The amount of solar radiation actually reaching the atmosphere at any given
place on the top of the atmosphere varies over the solar constant with the latitude
and declination of the Sun and seasons. Thus, the amount of radiation received at
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 38 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

the top of the free atmosphere at a given point (Ra, in ly/day) is given as (Fitz,
Ra = 2.0 x (sin φ x sin δ + cos φ x cos δ x cosh)
Where φ is the latitude of the place in degrees; δ is the declination of the
Sun that varies with the seasons between 230 27’ N to 230 27’ S latitude (on
March 23rd and September 22nd it is zero as the Sun is on equator and while on
June 22nd and December 23rd at the two extremes]; and h is the hour angle of
the Sun in degrees. Figure 3a presents the distribution of solar radiation received
on the top of the free atmosphere (Ra) over different latitudes and seasons both in
the Northern & Southern Hemispheres (estimated using the above equation). The
values of January to December in Northern Hemisphere respectively refer to July
to June values of Southern Hemisphere.
3.2 Types of Radiation
A typical Earth’s radiation budget is shown in Figure 3b. The incoming
solar energy (Ra) is reflected by atmosphere around 6%, by clouds around 20%,
by the Earth’s surface by around 4%; absorbed by atmosphere around 16%, by
clouds by around 3%, by land and oceans by around 51%; radiated back to space
by clouds and atmosphere is around 64%, radiation absorbed by atmosphere by
around 15%, radiated directly to space from the Earth by around 6%; conduction
and rising air by around 7%; carried to clouds and atmosphere by latent heat in
water vapour by around 23%. However, all these vary with place and time and
year. This gives only how the radiation budget is distributed in the Earth –
Atmosphere system. This is divided into net short wave radiation and net long
wave radiation.
3.2.1 Global Solar Radiation
The amount of solar radiation actually reaching the Earth’s surface passing
the atmosphere at any given place and time is quite different from the values seen
in Figure 3a. Every location on the Earth receives sunlight at least part of the
year. The amount of solar radiation that reaches any one “spot” on the Earth’s
surface varies according to the Geographic location, Time of the day, Season,
Local landscape, Local weather. Because the Earth is round, the Sun strikes the
surface at different angles ranging from 0º (just above the horizon) to 90º (directly
overhead). The day light hours at any given point on the Earth on a given day (N)
is given as:
N = (2/15) x cos-1 (- tan φ x tan δ)
At the equator N is 12 hours in all the months (that is, day & night are
equal) and from 660 27’ to poles it is 6 months day and 6 months night – in the
Southern Hemisphere if it is night for 6 months, then the Northern Hemisphere
presents 6 months day and vice-versa. In between these two conditions, N varies
between 0 to 24 based on the season and location. The January to December in
Northern Hemisphere respectively refer to July to June in the Southern Hemisphere.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 39 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

When the Sun’s rays are vertical, the Earth’s surface gets all the energy
possible. The more slanted the Sun’s rays are, the longer they travel through the
atmosphere, becoming more scattered and diffuse. Because the Earth is round, the
frigid polar-regions never get a high sun, and because of the tilted axis of rotation,
these areas receive no sun at all during part of the year. The Earth revolves around
the Sun in an elliptical orbit and is closer to the Sun during part of the year. When
the Sun is nearer the Earth, the Earth’s surface receives a little more solar energy.
The Earth is nearer the Sun when it’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere and
winter in the Northern Hemisphere. However the presence of vast oceans moderates
the hotter summers and colder winters one would expect to see in the Southern
Hemisphere as a result of these differences.
The 23.5 tilts in the Earth’s axis of rotation is a more significant factor in
determining the amount of sunlight striking the Earth at a particular location.
Thus, tilting results in longer days in the Northern Hemisphere from the spring
(vernal) equinox to the fall (autumnal) equinox and longer days in the Southern
Hemisphere during the other six months. The rotation of the Earth is responsible
for hourly variations in sunlight. In the early morning and late afternoon, the Sun
is low in the sky. Its rays travel further through the atmosphere than at noon when
the Sun is at its highest point. On a clear day, the greatest amount of solar energy
reaches a solar collector around solar noon. Thus, at any given moment, the amount
of the solar radiation received at a location on the Earth’s surface depends on the
state of the atmosphere/weather and the location’s latitude and season. In addition,
the solar energy while passing through the atmosphere, some of it is partially
depleted and attenuated as it traverses the atmospheric layers from the top of the
atmosphere, preventing substantial portion of it from reaching the Earth’s surface.
This phenomenon is due to absorption, scattering, and reflection in the atmosphere
(Figure 3b). The solar radiation is reflected and scattered primarily by clouds
(moisture & ice particles), particulate matter (dust, smoke, haze and smog), and
various other gases. After modification some of this again reaches the Earth’s
surface. This part is known as diffuse radiation. However, major part of the energy
directly reaches the Earth’s surface. The direct plus the diffuse radiation that
reaches the Earth’s surface is known as global solar radiation or total solar radiation
or short wave radiation. Atmospheric condition reduces direct beam radiation by
10% on clear, dry days and by 100% during thick, cloudy days.
3.2.2 Net Radiation Balance
The global solar radiation reaching the surface partly reflected back to the
atmosphere and the ground absorbs the remaining part. The reflected part of
radiation depends upon the albedo (ratio of reflected to incident radiation). The
albedo varies with reflecting surface. That is the reflection depends on the nature
of the surface and its cover and is approximately 5 to 7% for water and around 15
to 25% for most crops. This fraction varies with the degree of crop cover and
wetness of the exposed soil surface. White bodies like snow reflects maximum and
black bodies reflects minimum. That which remains is “net short wave radiation”.
The Earth emits part of the absorbed radiation in long wave band known as infrared
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 40 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

band. This also follows the same as albedo. That is white bodies emit less and
black bodies emit more. That is, black bodies are efficient absorbers and as well
efficient emitters. Some of the radiation leaving the Earth’s surface in long wave
will be reached back through reflection and absorption/emission process. The
difference between the out-going and in-coming long wave radiation is called “net
long wave radiation”. The net balance of net short wave and net long wave is
known as net radiation balance.
If the net long wave radiation is more than the net short wave radiation
then the net radiation is negative and vice versa case the net radiation is positive.
This is recorded using net radiation balance meters. However, because of high
costs, both global solar radiation and net radiation balance measuring instruments
are located at few locations when compared to the measurements of other
meteorological parameters. In view of this, these parameters are derived indirectly
using other meteorological parameters (Reddy, 1987).
The atmosphere absorbs long wave radiation more effectively than it does
the short wave radiation emitted by the Sun. The absorption of this long wave
radiation warms the atmosphere, transfer of sensible and latent heat also warms
the atmosphere from the surface. The proponents of global warming, greenhouse
gases [GHG] like water vapour, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous
Oxide (N2O) and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) play an important role in the warming.
It is argued that GHGs also emit long wave radiation both upward to space and
downward to the surface. It is also argued that the downward part of this long-
wave radiation emitted by the atmosphere is the “greenhouse effect.” In fact the
term “Greenhouse effect” is a misnomer, as this process is not the mechanism that
warms greenhouses. The warming also depends upon the emitting surface and its’
surrounding conditions. The warming relates to the net long wave radiation. That
is the balance between the out going and incoming long wave radiation at the
Earth’s surface.
Reports present absorption characteristics of major GHGs. The same reports
also state that it is not possible to state that a certain gas causes a certain
percentage of the greenhouse effect. That is, these are speculative values vary
with atmospheric composition at any given point of time over a given place. That
means this depends up on the state of atmosphere and relative interaction capacity.
3.3 Radiation Climatology
Let us see the models to estimate global solar radiation & net radiation
balance, to understand the localized influences on global solar radiation that is
reaching Earth’s surface and net radiation balance at the Earth surface.
Models: As the global solar radiation (Rt) and net radiation balance (Rn) measured
at few selected locations, these are derived indirectly using other meteorological
parameters using empirical formulae as they are part of major input in to several
studies, more particularly in the estimation of evaporation & evapotranspiration.
Reddy (1971a & b, 1981) & Reddy & Rao (1973) presented models to estimate Rt
& Rn. They are given as follows:
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 41 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Rt = K [(1+0.8s) x (1-0.2t)/(0.1 x √h’)

Rn= K (0.6+0.02Ts-0.04√h’)-h’ (4.3-√-T)
K is the radiation constant at the surface of the observations in ly/day (cal/cm2/
K = (N/12) x (lN+ ϕij cos φ) x 102
l = 0.2/(1+0.1φ) – latitude factor; ϕij = seasonal factor (i = 1, 2, 3 in
which 1, 2 and 3 stand for inland, coastal & hill stations, respectively, and j = 1,
2, — 12, in which 1 to 12 stand for January to December in the Northern Hemisphere
and respectively refer to July to June in the Southern Hemisphere. These are
given in Figure 3c. In the case of hill stations height correction factor is added as:
K = K + 0.005H (12-N) in which H is the height of the place above mean sea level
in meters; s = n/N where n is the mean hours of bright sunshine per day during a
month & N is the mean length of the day in a given month. n is measured using
Sunshine recorder or in the absence of measured data, this can be estimated using

the model (Reddy, 1974) as follows: s = 1 – φ1 – f2; where φ1 = a x e-0.25 a and
a = (Cl + Cm +Ch)/8 in which Cl, Cm & Ch respectively are the amounts of low,
medium & high clouds, mean of 0830 & 1730 hours IST observations, in octas,
varies between 0 and 1 as sky condition change from clear (zero octas) to overcast
(8 octas) and e is the exponential function; and f2 = 0.02 + 0.08 cos 4φ upto 450
latitude and = –0.06 for latitudes beyond 450 latitude; t = r/M where r is the
number of rainy days during the month and M is the number of days in the month;
h’ is the mean relative humidity per day in the month. If h’ ≤ 36% then h’ = 35%
only; T is the mean
daily screen
temperature during the
month in oC. √-T is
taken as -√T.
Alternative Model-1:
Where the above-
presented data sets are
not available, alternate
approach using the
rainfall data, that is
recoded at widely, is
presented by Reddy, et
al. (1984) for northeast
Brazil. This is given as
follows: Rt = a + b (φ)
+ c (P1/3); where φ is
the latitude in degrees
and P is the
precipitation in mm &
a, b & c are constants
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 42 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

derived for northeast Brazil [in the Southern Hemisphere] are given below
(Table 3):
Table 3: Regression parameters vs Calendar months
Months a b c
N.H. S.H.
January July 444 - 2.00 -12.07
February August 501 - 1.00 -13.20
March September 523 0.70 -15.00
April October 517 4.70 -20.20
May November 543 10.66 -35.79
June December 510 10.59 -30.07
July January 532 15.17 -40.80
August February 608 8.50 -44.44
September March 685 3.70 -44.80
October April 551 0.50 -23.70
November May 477 - 1.50 -16.91
December June 442 - 2.00 -14.00

N.H. = Northern Hemisphere; S.H. = Southern Hemisphere

Alternative Model 2: To derive Rt and Rn for longer series to carryout power
spectrum analysis Reddy, et al. (1977) presented: Rt = a x L x √ es & Rn =
b x L x Tw and L = (1013.2/p)B x (N/12.5) and B = 1.5 x log φ; where a and b are
constants (varying with seasons) given below (Table 4), es is the saturation vapour
pressure in mb of mean surface temperature in absolute scale, Tw is the wet bulb
temperature in 0C, L is the latitude and height correction factor, p is the station
level pressure in mb.
Table 4: Variation of “a” & “b” and “c” with seasons
Month a b c
January 90.0 8.50 11.4
February 97.0 9.50 11.8
March 93.0 9.75 12.8
April 85.0 10.63 13.0
May 77.0 9.75 12.2
June 65.0 8.50 11.5
July 60.0 8.75 10.0
August 63.0 9.37 10.0
September 70.0 9.37 10.6
October 74.0 9.00 11.4
November 80.8 8.13 11.4
December 85.0 7.50 11.4

Reddy (1976a) found a good relationship between the wet bulb temperatures
(Tw, 0C ) and precipitable water (W, gm/cm2) by an equation W = c [Tw]2 in
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 43 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 44 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 45 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

which c is given in Table 4. The total moisture content of the atmosphere is

expressed as precipitable water vapour in the atmosphere. This is defined as the
depth of liquid water that result by condensing all the vapour in a vertical column
of the atmosphere over one square centimeter cross section. That mean Rn formula
takes into account the moisture content in the vertical column of the atmosphere.
Spatial Distribution: Reddy & Rao (1976) presented spatial distribution of Rt &
Rn over India as estimated using models of Reddy (1971 a & b; 1981) & Reddy &
Rao (1973). Figures 3d & e present spatial distribution of Rt & Rn over India,
respectively for four representative months. Reddy (1976b) presented the spatial
distribution of W over India that matches well with Rn data presented in Figure
3e. Reddy, et al., (1984) presented Rt distribution over northeast Brazil using their
model (presented above). Figure 3f presents the spatial distribution of Rt for four
representative months. The differences between theoretical and observed solar
radiation at the top of the atmosphere and that actually reaching the ground by
passing through the intervening atmosphere (Figure 3b) can be seen from Figure
3a and Figures3 d & f in space and time scales. They are quite different over
different parts of the globe over different seasons.
The above-presented equations clearly demonstrate that the moisture in the
atmosphere plays the major role in both the short & long wave radiation balance at
the Earth’s surface. However, the interactive effect varies with latitude & seasons
on the one hand and land-sea-hill on the other.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 46 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 47 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Chapter 4
Weather & Climate
4.1 What is Weather & Climate?
Weather: Weather is the mix of events that happen each day in our atmosphere
including temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility,
wind, and atmospheric pressure. There are really a lot of other components to
weather, namely sunshine, rain, cloud cover, winds, hail, snow, sleet, freezing rain,
flooding, blizzards, ice storms, thunderstorms, steady rains from a cold front or
warm front, excessive heat, heat waves, excessive cold, cold waves and more.
Weather is basically the way the atmosphere is behaving, mainly with respect
to its effects upon life and human activities. Weather is not the same everywhere.
Perhaps it is hot, dry and sunny today where you live, but in other parts of the
world it is cloudy, raining or even snowing. Everyday, weather events are recorded
and predicted by meteorologists worldwide. In order to help people be prepared to
face all of these, National Weather Services (NWS), in India we have “Indian
Meteorological Department” (IMD), are the lead forecasting outlet for the nation’s
weather. They also provide Special Weather Statements and Short and Long Term
Forecasts. NWS also issues a lot of notices concerning marine weather for boaters
and others who dwell or are staying near shorelines.
Climate: Climate is the average weather pattern at a place. In most places, weather
can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season.
Climate, however, is the average of weather over time and space. An easy way to
remember the difference is that climate is what you expect, like a very hot summer,
and weather is what you get, like a hot day with pop-up thunderstorms.
Meteorologists record the weather every day. The constant recording of weather
information helps to determine the climate of an area. Climate is useful for weather
forecasting. It also helps determine when the best time would be for farmers to
plant their crops. It could even be helpful for you and your family to plan a vacation.
In short, climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a particular
Some scientists define climate as the average weather for a particular region
and time period, usually taken over 30-years. It’s really an average pattern of weather
for a particular region. However, this gives wrong signal in areas with systematic
variations in a given meteorological parameter. It is also true in areas where the
ecological changes influencing the weather. The averages of weather taking into
account these factors provide meaningful climate of the place.
When scientists talk about climate, they’re looking at averages of precipitation,
temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and
hail storms, and other measures of the weather that occur over a long period in a
particular place. For example, after looking at rain gauge data, lake and reservoir
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 48 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

levels, and satellite data, scientists can tell if during a summer, an area was drier
than average. If it continues to be drier than normal over the course of many
summers, than it would likely indicate a change in the climate.
The reason for studying climate and a changing climate is important in
many ways as it will affect people around the world: The changing local & regional
climates could alter forests, crop yields, and water supplies; & it could also affect
human health, animals, and many types of ecosystems. Deserts may expand into
existing rangelands, and features of some of our National Parks and National
Forests may be permanently altered. Our weather is always changing and now
scientists are discovering that our climate does not stay the same either. Climate,
the average weather over a period of many years, differs in regions of the world
that receive different amounts of sunlight and have different geographic factors,
such as proximity to oceans, altitude, etc.
4.2 World Climates
Climate is the characteristic condition of the atmosphere near the Earth’s
surface at a certain place on the Earth. It is the long-term weather of that area (at
least 30 years). This includes the region’s general pattern of weather conditions,
seasons and weather extremes like hurricanes, Typhoons, cyclones, droughts, floods,
or rainy periods. Two of the most important factors determining an area’s climate
are air temperature and precipitation. World biomes are controlled by climate. The
climate of a region will determine what plants will grow there, and what animals
will inhabit it. All three components, climate, plants and animals are interwoven to
create the fabric of a biome.
4.2.1 Some Facts About Climate
Geographical effect: The sun’s rays hit the equator at a direct angle between 23°
27’N and 23° 27’S latitude. Radiation that reaches the atmosphere here is at its
most intense. In all other cases, the rays arrive at an angle to the surface and are
less intense. The closer a place is to the poles, the smaller the angle and therefore
the less intense the radiation. Our climate system is based on the location of these
hot and cold air-mass regions and the atmospheric circulation created by trade
winds and westerlies. Trade winds North of the equator blow from the Northeast.
South of the equator, they blow from the Southeast. The trade winds of the two
hemispheres meet near the equator, causing the air to rise. As the rising air-cools,
clouds and rain develop. The resulting bands of cloudy and rainy weather near the
equator create tropical conditions. Westerlies blow from the Southwest on the
Northern Hemisphere and from the Northwest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Westerlies steer storms from West to East across middle latitudes. Both westerlies
and trade winds blow away from the 30° latitude belt. Over large areas centered at
30° latitude, surface winds are light. Air slowly descends to replace the air that
blows away. Any moisture the air contains evaporates in the intense heat. The
tropical deserts, such as the Sahara of Africa, Thar in India and the Sonoran of
Mexico, exist under these regions.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 49 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Seasons: The Earth rotates about its axis, which is tilted at 23.5 degrees. This tilt
and the Sun’s radiation result in the Earth’s seasons. The Sun emits rays that hit
the Earth’s surface at different angles. These rays transmit the highest level of
energy when they strike the Earth at a right angle (90 °). Temperatures in these
areas tend to be the hottest places on the Earth. Other locations, where the Sun’s
rays hit at lesser angles, tend to be cooler. As the Earth rotates on it’s tilted axis
around the Sun, different parts of the Earth receive higher and lower levels of
radiant energy . This creates the seasons.
4.2.2 Types of Climates
Classification of Climates: The purpose of climatic classification is to identify
those aspects of climate, which distinguish a region from nearby regions and to
draw inferences on the influence of climatic factors on human, animal and plant
life. In an environmental context this may allow areas to be characterized and
boundaries to be drawn around contiguous areas that can be regarded as
homogeneous in certain respects. Under given climatic conditions there are
similarities in natural vegetation, soils, crop probabilities, etc. Broad areas exit
with climatic homogeneity, which allows a simple classification to be an aid to
study and understand the Earth’s land and people. Reddy (1983a & b) presented
reviews of climatic classification procedures. For the present purpose selected the
Koppen’s classification procedure (Koppen, 1936) as it is the most widely used
“generalized climatic classification system of the world”.
Köppen Climate Classification System: In the Koppen classification system the
Earth’s surface is divided into climatic regions that generally coincided with world
patterns of vegetation and soils [Figure 4a]. The system recognizes five major
climate types based on the annual and monthly averages of temperature and
precipitation. Each type is designated by a capital letter.
A - Moist Tropical Climates are known for their high temperatures year round and
for their large amount of year round rain;
B - little rain and a huge daily temperature range characterize Dry Climates. Two
subgroups, S - semiarid or steppe, and W - arid or desert, are used with the B
C - In Humid Middle Latitude Climates land/water differences play a large part.
These climates have warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters;
D - Continental Climates can be found in the interior regions of large landmasses.
Total precipitation is not very high and seasonal temperatures vary widely;
E - Cold Climates are part of areas where permanent ice and tundra are always
present. Only about four months of the year have above freezing temperatures;
A second, lower case letter designates further subgroups that distinguish specific
seasonal characteristics of temperature and precipitation;
f - Moist with adequate precipitation in all months and no dry season. This letter
usually accompanies the A, C, and D climates;
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 50 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

m - Rainforest climate in spite of short, dry season in monsoon type cycle. This
letter only applies to A climates;
s - Dry season in the summer of the respective hemisphere (high-sun season);
w - Dry season in the winter of the respective hemisphere (low-sun season);
To further denote variations in climate, a third letter was added to the code.
a - Hot summers where the warmest month is over 22°C (72°F). These can be
found in C and D climates;
b - Warm summer with the warmest month below 22°C (72°F). These can also be
found in C and D climates;
c - Cool, short summers with less than four months over 10°C (50°F) in the C and
D climates;
d - Very cold winters with the coldest month below -38°C (-36°F) in the D climate
h - Dry-hot with a mean annual temperature over 18°C (64°F) in B climates only;
k - Dry-cold with a mean annual temperature under 18°C (64°F) in B climates only.
Three basic climate groups: Three major climate groups show the dominance of
special combinations of air-mass source regions.
Group1: Low Latitude Climates
These climates are controlled by equatorial tropical air masses.
Tropical Moist Climates (Af) — Rainforests: Rainfall is heavy in all months. The
total annual rainfall is often more than 250 cm (100 in). There are seasonal
differences in monthly rainfall but temperatures of 27°C (80°F) mostly stay the
same. Humidity is between 77 and 88%. High surface heat and humidity cause
cumulus clouds to form early in the afternoons almost every day.
The climates on the eastern sides of continents are influenced by maritime
tropical air masses. These air masses flow out from the moist western sides of
oceanic high-pressure cells, and bring lots of summer rainfall. The summers are
warm and very humid. It also rains a lot in the winter: Average temperature: 18 °C
(°F); Annual Precipitation: 262 cm (103 in); Latitude Range: 10° S to 25 ° N;
Global Position: Amazon Basin, Congo Basin of equatorial Africa, East Indies, from
Sumatra to New Guinea.
Wet-Dry Tropical Climates (Aw) — Savanna: A seasonal change occurs between
wet tropical air masses and dry tropical air masses. As a result, there is a very wet
season and a very dry season. Trade winds dominate during the dry season. It gets
a little cooler during this dry season but will become very hot just before the wet
season: Temperature Range: 16 °C; annual Precipitation: 0.25 cm (0.1 in). All
months less than 0.25 cm (0.1 in); Latitude Range: 15 ° to 25 ° N and S; Global
Range: India, Indochina, West Africa, southern Africa, South America and the
north coast of Australia
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 51 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Dry Tropical Climate (BW) — Desert biome: These desert climates are found in
low-latitude deserts approximately between 18° to 28° in both hemispheres. These
latitude belts are centered on the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, which lie just
north and south of the equator. They coincide with the edge of the equatorial
subtropical high-pressure belt and trade winds. Winds are light, which allows for
the evaporation of moisture in the intense heat. They generally flow downward so
the area is seldom penetrated by air masses that produce rain. This makes for a
very dry heat. The dry arid desert is a true desert climate, and covers 12 % of the
Earth’s land surface: Temperature Range: 16° C; Annual Precipitation: 0.25 cm
(0.1 in) with all months less than 0.25 cm (0.1 in); Latitude Range: 15° - 25° N
and S; Global Range: southwestern United States and northern Mexico, Argentina,
north Africa, south Africa, central part of Australia.
Group 2: Mid Latitude Climates
Climates in this zone are affected by two different air masses. The tropical
air masses are moving towards the poles and the polar air masses are moving
towards the equator. These two air masses are in constant conflict. Either air mass
may dominate the area, but neither has exclusive control.
Dry Mid-latitude Climates (BS) — Steppe: Characterized by grasslands,
this is a semiarid climate. It can be found between the desert climate (BW) and
more humid climates of the A, C, and D groups. If it received less rain, the steppe
would be classified as an arid desert. With more rain, it would be classified as a tall
grass prairie.
This dry climate exists in the interior regions of the North American and
Eurasian continents. Moist ocean air masses are blocked by mountain ranges to
the west and south. These mountain ranges also trap polar air in winter, making
winters very cold. Summers are warm to hot: Temperature Range: 24° C (43° F);
Annual Precipitation: less than 10 cm (4 in) in the driest regions to 50 cm (20 in) in
the moister steppes; Latitude Range: 35° - 55° N; Global Range: Western North
America (Great Basin, Columbia Plateau, Great Plains), Eurasian interior, from steppes
of eastern Europe to the Gobi Desert and North China.
Mediterranean Climate (Cs) — Chaparral biome: This is a wet-winter, dry-summer
climate. Extremely dry summers are caused by the sinking air of the subtropical
highs and may last for up to five months.
Plants have adapted to the extreme difference in rainfall and temperature
between the Winter and the Summer seasons. Clerophyll plants range in formations
from forests, to woodland, and scrub. Eucalyptus forests cover most of the chaparral
biome in Australia. Fires occur frequently in Mediterranean climate zones:
Temperature Range: 7 °C (12 °F); Annual Precipitation: 42 cm (17 in); Latitude
Range: 30° - 50° N and S; Global Position: central and southern California, coastal
zones bordering the Mediterranean Sea, coastal Western Australia and South
Australia, Chilean coast, Cape Town region of South Africa.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 52 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Dry Mid-latitude Climates (Bs) — Grasslands biome: These dry climates are
limited to the interiors of North America and Eurasia. Ocean air masses are blocked
by mountain ranges to the west and south. This allows polar air masses to dominate
in winter months. In the summer, a local continental air mass is dominant. A small
amount of rain falls during this season. Annual temperatures range widely. Summers
are warm to hot, but winters are cold Temperature Range: 31 °C (56°F); Annual
Precipitation: 81 cm (32 in); Latitude Range: 30° - 55° N and S; Global Position:
western North America (Great Basin, Columbia Plateau, Great Plains), Eurasian
Moist Continental Climate (Cf) — Deciduous Forest biome: This climate is in
the polar front zone - the battleground of polar and tropical air masses. Seasonal
changes between summer and winter are very large. Daily temperatures also change
often. Abundant precipitation falls throughout the year. It is increased in the
summer season by invading tropical air masses. Cold winters are caused by polar
and arctic masses moving south: Temperature Range: 31 °C (56 ° F); Average
Annual Precipitation: 81 cm (32 in); Latitude Range: 30° - 55° N and S (Europe:
45° - 60° N); Global Position: eastern parts of the United States and southern
Canada, northern China, Korea, Japan, central and Eastern Europe.
Group 3: High Latitude Climates
Polar and arctic air masses dominate these regions. Canada and Siberia are
two air-mass sources, which fall into this group. A southern hemisphere counterpart
to these continental centers does not exist. Air masses of arctic origin meet polar
continental air masses along the 60th and 70th parallels.
Boreal forest Climate (Dfc) — Taiga biome: This is a continental climate with
long, very cold winters, and short, cool summers. This climate is found in the polar
air mass region. Very cold air masses from the arctic often move in. The temperature
range is larger than any other climate. Precipitation increases during summer months,
although annual precipitation is still small. Much of the boreal forest climate is
considered humid. However, large areas in western Canada and Siberia receive very
little precipitation and fall into the sub-humid or semi-arid climate type. Temperature
Range: 41 °C (74 °F), lows; -25 °C (-14 °F), highs; 16 °C (60 °F); Average Annual
Precipitation: 31 cm (12 in); Latitude Range: 50° - 70° N and S; Global Position:
central and western Alaska, Canada, from the Yukon Territory to Labrador, Eurasia,
from northern Europe across all of Siberia to the Pacific Ocean.
Tundra Climate (E) — Tundra biome: The tundra climate is found along arctic
coastal areas. Polar and arctic air masses dominate the tundra climate. The winter
season is long and severe. A short, mild season exists, but not a true summer
season. Moderating ocean winds keep the temperatures from being as severe as
interior regions: Temperature Range: -22 °C to 6 °C (-10 °F to 41 °F); Average
Annual Precipitation: 20 cm (8 in); Latitude Range: 60° - 75° N; Global Position:
arctic zone of North America, Hudson Bay region, Greenland coast; northern Siberia
bordering the Arctic Ocean.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 53 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 54 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 55 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Highland Climate (H) — Alpine biome: Highland climates are cool to cold, found
in mountains and high plateaus. Climates change rapidly on mountains, becoming
colder the higher the altitude gets. The climate of a highland area is closely
related to the climate of the surrounding biome. The highlands have the same
seasons and wet and dry periods as the biome they are in. Mountain climates are
very important to mid-latitude biomes. They work as water storage areas. Snow is
kept back until spring and summer when it is released slowly as water through
melting. Temperature Range: -18 °C to 10 °C (-2 °F to 50°F); Average Annual
Precipitation: 23 cm (9 in); Latitude Range: found all over the world; Global Position:
Rocky Mountain Range in North America, the Andean mountain range in South
America, the Alps in Europe, Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, the Himalayans in India,
Mt. Fuji in Japan.
4.2.3 Cyclone Disturbances
The terms “hurricane” and “typhoon” are regionally specific names for a
strong “tropical cyclone”. A tropical cyclone is the generic term for a non-frontal
synoptic scale low-pressure system over tropical or sub-tropical waters with organized
convection (i.e. thunderstorm activity) and definite cyclonic surface wind circulation.
Figure 4b presents the primary storm tracks. Tropical cyclones with maximum
sustained surface winds of less than 17 m/s (34 kt, 39 mph) are called “Tropical
Depressions”. Once the tropical cyclone reaches winds of at least 17 m/s (34 kt,
39 mph) they are typically called a “tropical storm” and assigned a name. If winds
reach 33 m/s (64 kt, 74 mph)), then they are called “hurricane” (the North Atlantic
Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific
Ocean east of 160E) or “typhoon” (the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline)
or “severe tropical cyclone” (the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160 0E or
Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90 0E) or “severe cyclonic storm” (the North Indian
Ocean) or “tropical cyclone” (the Southwest Indian Ocean).
“Super-typhoon” is a term utilized by the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center
for typhoons that reach maximum sustained 1-minute surface winds of at least 65
m/s (130 kt, 150 mph). This is the equivalent of a strong category 4 or 5 hurricane
in the Atlantic basin or a category severe tropical cyclone in the Australian basin.
“Major hurricane” is a term utilized by the U.S. National Hurricane Center
for hurricanes that reach maximum sustained 1-minute surface winds of at least
50 m/s (96 kt, 111 mph). This is the equivalent of category 3, 4 & 5. “Intense
hurricane” is an unofficial term, but is often used in the scientific literature. It is
the same as “major hurricane”.
It has been recognized since at least the 1930s that lower tropospheric
(from the Ocean surface to about 5 km [3 mi] with a maximum at 3 km [2 mi])
westward traveling disturbances often serve as the “seedling” circulations for a
large proportion of tropical cyclones over the North Atlantic Ocean. These
disturbances, now known as African easterly waves, had their origins over North
Africa. The jet arises as a result of the reversed lower-tropospheric temperature
gradient over western and central North Africa due to extremely warm temperatures
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 56 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

over the Saharan Desert in contrast with substantially cooler temperatures along
the Gulf of Guinea coast.
The waves move generally toward the west in the lower tropospheric trade
wind flow across the Atlantic Ocean. They are first seen usually in April or May
and continue until October or November. The waves have a period of about 3 or 4
days and a wavelength of 2000 to 2500 km [1200 to 1500 mi], typically. One
should keep in mind that the “waves” can be more correctly thought of as the
convectively active troughs along an extended wave train. On average, about 60
waves are generated over North Africa each year, but it appears that the number
that is formed has no relationship to how much tropical cyclone activity there is
over the Atlantic each year. While only about 60% of the Atlantic tropical storms
and minor hurricanes category 1 & 2 originate from easterly waves, nearly 85% of
the intense (or major) hurricanes have their origins as easterly waves. It is suggested,
though, that nearly all of the tropical cyclones that occur in the Eastern Pacific
Ocean can also be traced back to Africa.
A tropical cyclone is a discrete tropical weather system of apparently
organized convection - generally 200 to 600 km (100 to 300 nmi) in diameter -
originating in the tropics or subtropics, having a non-frontal migratory character,
and maintaining its identity for 24 hours or more. It may or may not be associated
with a detectable perturbation of the wind field. Disturbances associated with
perturbations in the wind field and progressing through the tropics from east to
west are also known as easterly waves.
Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained wind
speed is 33 kt (38 mph, 17 m/s). Depressions have a closed circulation.
Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained wind speed
ranges from 34 kt (39 mph, 17.5 m/s) to 63 kt (73 mph, 32.5 m/s). The convection
in tropical storms is usually more concentrated near the center with outer rainfall
organizing into distinct bands.
Hurricane: When winds in a tropical cyclone equal or exceed 64 kt (74 mph, 33 m/
s) it is called a hurricane (in the Atlantic and eastern and central Pacific Oceans).
Hurricanes are further designated by categories. Hurricanes in categories 3, 4, 5
are known as Major Hurricanes or Intense Hurricanes. The wind speed mentioned
here are for those measured or estimated as the top speed sustained for one
minute at 10 meters above the surface. Peak gusts would be on the order of 10-
25% higher.
A sub-tropical cyclone: A sub-tropical cyclone is a low-pressure system existing in
the tropical or subtropical latitudes (anywhere from the equator to about 50°N)
that has characteristics of both tropical cyclones and mid-latitude (or extra-tropical)
cyclones. Therefore, many of these cyclones exist in a weak to moderate horizontal
temperature gradient region (like mid-latitude cyclones), but also receive much of
their energy from convective clouds (like tropical cyclones). Often, these storms
have a radius of maximum winds, which is farther out (on the order of 100-200 km
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 57 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

[60-125 miles] from the center) than what is observed for purely “tropical” systems.
Additionally, the maximum sustained wind for sub-tropical cyclones have not been
observed to be stronger than about 33 m/s (64 kts, 74 mph)).
Many times these subtropical storms transform into true tropical cyclones.
A recent example is the Atlantic basin’s Hurricane Florence in November 1994,
which began as a subtropical cyclone before becoming fully tropical. Note there
has been at least one occurrence of tropical cyclones transforming into a subtropical
storm (e.g. Atlantic basin storm 8 in 1973). Subtropical cyclones in the Atlantic
basin are classified by the maximum sustained surface winds: less than 18 m/s (34
kts, 39 mph) - “subtropical depression”, greater than or equal to 18 m/s (34 kts, 39
mph) - “subtropical storm”. Prior to 2002 subtropical storms were not given names,
but issued forecasts and warnings similar to those for tropical cyclones. Now they
are given names from the tropical cyclone list.
Extra-tropical Cyclones: An extra-tropical cyclone is a storm system that primarily
gets its energy from the horizontal temperature contrasts that exist in the
atmosphere. Extra-tropical cyclones (also known as mid-latitude or baroclinic storms)
are low-pressure systems with associated cold fronts, warm fronts, and occluded
fronts. Tropical cyclones, in contrast, typically have little to no temperature
differences across the storm at the surface and their winds are derived from the
release of energy due to cloud/rain formation from the warm moist air of the
Structurally, tropical cyclones have their strongest winds near the Earth’s
surface, while extra-tropical cyclones have their strongest winds near the tropopause.
These differences are due to the tropical cyclone being “warm-core” in the
troposphere (below the tropopause) and the extra-tropical cyclone being “warm-
core” in the stratosphere (above the tropopause) and “cold-core” in the troposphere.
“Warm-core” refers to being relatively warmer than the environment at the same
pressure surface (“pressure surfaces” are simply another way to measure height or
altitude). Often, a tropical cyclone will transform into an extra-tropical cyclone as
it re-curves pole ward and to the East. Occasionally, an extra-tropical cyclone will
lose its frontal features, develop convection near the center of the storm and
transform into a full-fledged tropical cyclone. Such a process is most common in
the North Atlantic and Northwest Pacific basins. The transformation of tropical
cyclone into an extra-tropical cyclone (and vice versa) is currently one of the most
challenging forecast problems.
The rule used to be that if the tropical storm or hurricane moved into a
different basin, then it was renamed to whatever name was next on the list for the
area. The last time that this occurred was in July 1996 when Atlantic basin Tropical
Storm Cesar moved across Central America and was renamed Northeast Pacific
basin Tropical Storm Douglas. The last time that a Northeast Pacific system moved
into the Atlantic basin was in June 1989 when Cosme became Allison. However,
these rules have now changed at the National Hurricane Center and if the system
remains a tropical cyclone as it moves across Central America, then it will keep the
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 58 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

original name. Only if the tropical cyclone dissipates with just a tropical disturbance
remaining, will give the system a new name assuming it becomes a tropical cyclone
once again in its new basin.
The reason is that the Earth’s rotation sets up an apparent force (called the
Coriolis force) that pulls the winds to the right in the Northern Hemisphere (and to
the left in the Southern Hemisphere). So when a low pressure starts to form North
of the equator, the surface winds will flow inward trying to fill in the low and will
be deflected to the right and a counter-clockwise rotation will be initiated. The
opposite (a deflection to the left and a clockwise rotation) will occur South of the
The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from 1 June to 30 November.
There is nothing magical in these dates, and hurricanes have occurred outside of
these six months, but these dates were selected to encompass over 97% of tropical
activity. June 1st has been the traditional start of the Atlantic hurricane season for
decades. However, the end date has been slowly shifted outward, from October
31st to November 15th until its current date of November 30th. The Atlantic basin
shows a very peaked season from August through October, with 78% of the
tropical storm days, 87% of the minor (Saffir-Simpson Scale categories 1 and 2 -
hurricane days, and 96% of the major (Saffir-Simpson Scale categories 3, 4 and 5)
hurricane days occurring then). Maximum activity is in early to mid September.
Once in a few years there may be a tropical cyclone occurring “out of season” -
primarily in May or December.
The Northeast Pacific basin has a broader peak with activity beginning in
late May or early June and going until late October or early November with a peak
in storminess in late August/early September. NHC’s official dates for this basin
are from May 15th to November 30th.
The Northwest Pacific basin has tropical cyclones occurring all year round
regularly. There is no official definition of typhoon season for this reason. There is
a distinct minimum in February and the first half of March, and the main season
goes from July to November with a peak in late August/early September.
The North Indian basin has a double peak of activity in May and November
though tropical cyclones are seen from April to December. The severe cyclonic
storms (>33 m/s winds [76 mph]) occur almost exclusively from April to June and
late September to early December.
The Southwest Indian and Australian/Southeast Indian basins have very similar
annual cycles with tropical cyclones beginning in late October/early November,
reaching a double peak in activity - one in mid-January and one in mid-February to
early March, and then ending in May. The Australian/Southeast Indian basin February
lull in activity is a bit more pronounced than the Southwest Indian basin’s lull.
The Australian/Southwest Pacific basin begin with tropical cyclone activity
in late October/early November, reaches a single peak in late February/early March,
and then fades out in early May. Globally, September is the most active month and
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 59 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

May is the least active month.

El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) - During El Niño events (ENSO warm phase),
tropospheric vertical shear is increased inhibiting tropical cyclone genesis and
intensification, primarily by causing the 200 mb (12 km or 8 mi) westerly winds to
be stronger. La Nina events (ENSO cold phase) enhance activity. The changes to
the moist static stability can also contribute toward hurricane changes due to
ENSO, with a drier, more stable environment present during El Nino events.
The Australian/Southwest Pacific shows a pronounced shift back and forth
of tropical cyclone activity with fewer tropical cyclones between 145° and 165°E
and more from 165°E eastward across the South Pacific during El Niño (warm
ENSO) events. There is also a smaller tendency to have the tropical cyclones originate
a bit closer to the equator. The opposite would be true in La Niña (cold ENSO)
The western portion of the Northeast Pacific basin (140°W to the dateline)
has been suggested to experience more tropical cyclone genesis during the El Niño
year and more tropical cyclones tracking into the sub-region in the year following
an El Niño, but this has not been completely documented yet.
The Northwest Pacific basin, similar to the Australian/Southwest Pacific
basin, experiences a change in location of tropical cyclones without a total change
in frequency. West of 160°E observed reduced numbers of tropical cyclone genesis
with increased formations from 160E to the dateline during El Niño events. The
opposite occurred during La Niña events. Again there is also the tendency for the
tropical cyclones to also form closer to the equator during El Niño events than
The eastern portion of the Northeast Pacific, the Southwest Indian, the
Southeast Indian/Australian, and the North Indian basins have either shown little
or a conflicting ENSO relationship and/or have not been looked at yet in sufficient
Tornadoes: While both tropical cyclones and tornadoes are atmospheric vortices,
they have little in common. Tornadoes have diameters on the scale of 100s of
meters and are produced from a single convective storm (i.e. a thunderstorm or
cumulonimbus). A tropical cyclone, however, has a diameter on the scale of 100s
of kilometers and is comprised of several to dozens of convective storms.
Additionally, while tornadoes require substantial vertical shear of the horizontal
winds (i.e. change of wind speed and/or direction with height) to provide ideal
conditions for tornado genesis, tropical cyclones require very low values (less than
10 m/s [20 kt, 23 mph]) of tropospheric vertical shear in order to form and grow.
These vertical shear values are indicative of the horizontal temperature fields for
each phenomenon: tornadoes are produced in regions of large temperature gradient,
while tropical cyclones are generated in regions of near zero horizontal temperature
gradient. Tornadoes are primarily over-land phenomena as solar heating of the land
surface usually contributes toward the development of the thunderstorm that spawns
the vortex (though over-water tornadoes have occurred). In contrast, tropical cyclones
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 60 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

are purely oceanic phenomena - they die out over-land due to a loss of a moisture
source. Lastly, tropical cyclones have a lifetime that is measured in days, while
tornadoes typically last on the scale of minutes.
An interesting side note is that tropical cyclones at landfall often provide
the conditions necessary for tornado formation. As the tropical cyclone makes
landfall and begins decaying, the winds at the surface die off quicker than the
winds at, say, 850 mb. This sets up a fairly strong vertical wind shear that allows
for the development of tornadoes, especially on the tropical cyclone’s right side
(with respect to the forward motion of the tropical cyclone). For the southern
hemisphere, this would be a concern on the tropical cyclone’s left side - due to the
reverse spin of southern hemisphere storms.
4.2.4 Monsoons
Indian Monsoons: Book of Das (1968) presents the monsoons in India. At the
Equator, the area near India is unique in that dominant or frequent westerly winds
occur at the surface almost constantly throughout the year; the surface easterlies
reach only to 20º N in February, and even then they have a very strong northerly
component. They soon retreat northward, and drastic changes take place in the
upper-air circulation. This is a time of transition between the end of one monsoon
and the beginning of the next. Late in March the high-sun season reaches the
Equator and moves farther north. With it go atmospheric instability, convectional
(rising, turbulent) clouds, and rain. The westerly subtropical jet stream still controls
the flow of air across northern India and the surface winds are north-easterlies. As
the high-sun season moves northward during April, India becomes particularly
prone to rapid heating because the highlands to the north protect it from any
incursions of cold air. In May the southwesterly monsoon is well established over
Sri Lanka. There are three distinct regions of relative upper tropospheric warmth—
namely (1) above the southern Bay of Bengal, (2) above the highlands of Tibet, and
(3) across the still, dry trunks of the peninsulas. The relatively warm area above the
southern Bay of Bengal occurs mostly at the 500-100 mb level. It does not appear
at a lower level and is probably caused by the release of condensation heat (associated
with the change from water vapour to liquid water) at the top of towering
cumulonimbus clouds along the advancing inter-tropical convergence.
In May the dry surface of Tibet (above 4,000 m) absorbs and radiates heat
that is readily transmitted to the air immediately above. At about 6,000 m an anti-
cyclonic cell arises, causing a strong easterly flow in the upper troposphere above
northern India. The subtropical jet stream suddenly changes its course to the
North of the anti-cyclonic ridge and the highlands, though it may occasionally
reappear southward of them for very brief periods. This change of the upper
tropospheric circulation above northern India from westerly jet to easterly flow
coincides with a reversal of the vertical temperature and pressure gradients between
600 and 300 mb. On many occasions the easterly aloft assumes jet force. It
anticipates by a few days the “burst,” or onset, of the surface southwesterly
monsoon some 1,500 km farther south, with a definite sequential relationship,
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 61 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

although the exact cause is not known. Because of India’s inverted triangular
shape, the land is heated progressively as the Sun moves northward. This accelerated
spread of heating, combined with the general direction of heat being transported
by winds, results in a greater initial monsoon activity over the Arabian Sea (at late
spring time), where a real frontal situation often occurs, than over the Bay of
Bengal. The relative humidity of coastal districts in the Indian region rises above
70% and some rain occurs. Above the heated land the air below 1,500 m becomes
unstable, but it is held down by the overriding easterly flow. This does not prevent
frequent thunderstorms in late May.
During June the easterly jet becomes firmly established at 150 to 100 mb. It
reaches its greatest speed at its normal position to the South of the anti-cyclonic
ridge, at about 15º N from China through India.
In Arabia, it decelerates and descends to the middle troposphere (3,000 m).
A stratospheric belt of very cold air, analogous to the one normally found above
the ITCZ near the Equator, occurs above the anti-cyclonic ridge, across southern
Asia at 30º-40º N and above the 6,000-m (500 mb) level. These upper air features
that arise so far away from the Equator are associated with the surface monsoon
and are absent when there is no monsoon flow. The position of the easterly jet
controls the location of monsoon rains, which occur ahead and to the left of the
strongest winds and behind them to the right. The surface flow, however, is a
strong, southwesterly, humid, and unstable wind that brings humidities of more
than 80% and heavy, squally showers that are the “burst” of the monsoon. The
overall pattern of the advance follows a frontal alignment, but local episodes may
differ considerably. The amount of rain is variable from year to year and place to
place. Most spectacular clouds and rain occur against the Western Ghats, where
the early monsoon air-stream piles up against the steep slopes, then recedes, and
piles up again to a greater height. Each time it pushes thicker clouds upward until
wind and clouds roll over the barrier and, after a few brief spells of absorption by
the dry inland air, cascade toward the interior. The windward slopes receive from
2,000 to 5,000 mm of rain in the monsoon season. Various factors, and especially
topography, combine to make up a complex regional pattern. Oceanic air flowing
toward India below 6,000 m is deflected in accordance with the Coriolis effect.
The converging, moist oncoming stream becomes unstable over the hot land and
is subject to convectional turmoil. Towering cumulonimbus clouds rise thousands
of m, producing violent thunderstorms and releasing latent heat in the surrounding
air. As a result, the upper tropospheric warm belt migrates northwestward from
the ocean to the land. The main body of air above 9,000 m maintains a strong
easterly flow.
Later, in June and July, the monsoon is strong and well established to a
height of 6,000 m (less in the far North); with occasional thickening to 9,000 m.
Weather conditions are cloudy, warm, and moist all over India. Rainfall varies between
400 and 500 mm, but topography introduces some extraordinary differences. On
the southern slopes of the Khasi Hills at only 1,300 m, where the moist airstreams
are lifted and overturned, Cherrapunji has an average rainfall of 2,730 mm in July,
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 62 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

with record totals of 897 mm in 24 hours in July 1915, more than 9,000 mm in
July 1861, and 16,305 mm in the monsoon season of 1899. Over the Ganges
Valley the monsoon, deflected by the Himalayan barrier, becomes a southeasterly
air-flow. By then the upper tropospheric belt of warmth from condensation has
moved above northern India, with an oblique bias. The lowest pressures prevail at
the surface.
It is mainly in July and August that waves of low pressure appear in the
body of monsoon air. Fully developed depressions appear once or twice a month.
They travel from east to west more or less concurrently with high-level easterly
waves and bursts of speed in the easterly jet, causing local strengthening of the
low-level monsoon flow. The rainfall consequently increases and is much more
evenly distributed than it was in June. Some of the deeper depressions become
tropical cyclones before they reach the land, and these bring torrential rains and
disastrous floods.
A totally different development arises when the easterly jet moves farther
north than usual because the monsoon wind rising over the southern slopes of the
Himalayas brings heavy rains and local floods. The weather over the central and
southern districts, however, becomes suddenly drier and remains so for as long as
the abnormal shift lasts. The opposite shift is also possible, with mid-latitude
upper air flowing along the south face of the Himalayas and bringing drought to
the northern districts. Such dry spells are known as “breaks” of the monsoon.
Those affecting the south are similar to those experienced on the Guinea coast
during extreme northward shifts of the wind belts (as later discussed), whereas
those affecting the north are due to an interaction of the middle and lower latitudes.
The southwest monsoon over the lower Indus Plain is only 500 m thick and does
not hold enough moisture to bring rain. On the other hand, the upper tropospheric
easterlies become stronger and constitute a true easterly jet stream. Western
Pakistan, Iran, and Arabia remain dry (probably because of divergence in this jet)
and thus become the new source of surface heat.
By August the intensity and duration of sunshine have decreased,
temperatures begin to fall, and the surge of southwesterly air diminishes
spasmodically almost to a standstill in the northwest. Cherrapunji still receives
over 2,000 mm of rainfall at this time, however. In September dry, cool, northerly
air begins to circle the west side of the highlands and spread over northwestern
India. The easterly jet weakens and the upper tropospheric easterlies move much
farther south. Because the moist south-westerlies at lower levels are much weaker
and variable, they are soon pushed back. The rainfall becomes extremely variable
over most of the region, but showers are still frequent in the southeastern areas
and over the Bay of Bengal.
By early October variable winds are very frequent everywhere. At the end of
the month the entire Indian region is covered by northerly air and the winter
monsoon takes shape. The surface flow is deflected by the Coriolis force and
becomes a northeasterly flow. This causes an October-December rainy season for
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 63 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

the extreme southeast of the Deccan (including the Tamil Nadu coast) and eastern
Sri Lanka, which cannot be explained by topography alone because it extends well
out over the sea. Tropical depressions and cyclones are important contributing
Most of India thus begins a sunny, dry, and dusty season. The driest period
comes in November in the Punjab; December in Central India, Bengal, and Assam;
January in the northern Deccan; and February in the southern Deccan. Conversely,
the western slopes of the Karakoram and Himalayas are then reached by the mid-
latitude frontal depressions that come from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
The winter rains they receive, moderate as they are, place them clearly outside the
monsoon realm.
Because crops and water supplies depend entirely on monsoon rains, it
became imperative that quantitative, long-range weather forecasts be available. For
a forecast to be released at the beginning of June, it is necessary to use, in April,
South American pressure data and Indian upper-wind conditions (positive
correlation) and, in May, rainfall in Zimbabwe and Java and easterly winds above
Calcutta (negative correlation).
The Malaysian-Australian Monsoon: Southeast Asia and northern Australia are
combined in one monsoon system that differs from others because of the peculiar
and somewhat symmetrical distribution of landmasses on both sides of the Equator.
In this respect, the northwest monsoon of Australia is unique. The substantial
masses of water between Asia and Australia have a moderating effect on tropospheric
temperatures, weakening the summer monsoon. The many islands (e.g., Philippines
and Indonesia) provide an infinite variety of topographic effects. Typhoons that
develop within the monsoon air bring additional complications.
It would be possible to exclude North China, Korea, and Japan from the
monsoon domain because their seasonal rhythm follows the normal mid-latitude
pattern—a predominant outflow of cold continental air in winter, and frontal
depressions and rain alternating with fine, dry anti-cyclonic weather in the warm
season. On the other hand, the seasonal reversal of wind direction in this area is
almost as persistent as that in India. The winter winds are much stronger because
of the relative proximity of the Siberian anticyclone. The tropical ridge of high
pressure is the natural boundary between these non-monsoonal areas and the
monsoon lands farther south.
The northern limit of the typical monsoon may be set at about latitude 25º
N. Farther North, the summer monsoon is not strong enough to overcome the
effect of the traveling anticyclones normally typical of the subtropics. As a result,
monsoon rains occur in June and also in late August and September, separated by
a mild anti-cyclonic drought in July. In South China and the Philippines the trade
winds prevail in the October-April (winter) period, strengthened by the regional,
often gusty, outflow of air from the stationary Siberian anticyclone. Their
disappearance and replacement by opposite (southwesterly) winds in the May-
September (summer) period is the essence of the monsoon. In any case, these
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 64 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

monsoon streams are quite shallow, about 1,500 m in winter and 2,000 m in
summer. They bring rain only when subject to considerable cooling, as happens to
the windward anywhere on the steep slopes of the Philippines and Taiwan. On the
larger islands there are contrasting effects, the slopes facing west receiving most
of the rain from May to October and a drought from December to April, whereas
the slopes facing east receive orographic rains (those produced when moist air is
forced to rise by topography) from September to April and mainly convectional
rains from May to October.
In Vietnam and Thailand the summer monsoon is more strongly developed
because of the wider expanses of overheated land. The southwesterly stream flows
from May to October, reaching a thickness of four to five km; it brings plentiful
but not extraordinary rainfall. November to February is the cool, dry season, and
March to April the hot, dry one; in the far south the coolness is but relative. Along
the east coast and on the eastward slopes more rain is brought by the winter
monsoon. In the summer, somewhere between Thailand and Kampuchea in the
interior, there may be a faint line of convergence between the southwesterly Indian-
Burmese monsoon and the southeasterly
Malaysian Monsoon: Winds are weak over Indonesia because of the expanses of
water and the low latitude, but their seasonal reversal is definite. From April to
October the Australian southeasterly air flows, whereas north of the Equator it
becomes a southwesterly. It generally maintains its dryness over the islands closer
to Australia, but farther north it carries increasing amounts of moisture. The
northeasterly flow from Asia, which becomes northwesterly south of the Equator,
is laden with moisture when it reaches Indonesia, bringing cloudy and rainy weather
between November and May. The wettest months are December in most of Sumatra
and January elsewhere, but rainfall patterns are highly localized. In Java, for instance,
at sea level alone there are two major regions, an “equatorial” west with no dry
season and a “monsoon” east with extreme drought in August and September.
Because of its relatively small size and compact shape, Australia shows
relatively simple monsoon patterns. The north shore is subject to a clear-cut wind
reversal between summer (November-April, north-westerly) and winter (May-
September, southeasterly), but with two definite limitations: first, the northwesterly,
rain-bearing monsoon wind is often held offshore and is most likely to override the
land to any depth during January and February; and second, even in summer there
often are prolonged spells of southeasterly trade winds issuing from traveling
anticyclones, separating the brief monsoon incursions. The Australian summer
monsoon is thus typical in direction and weather type but quite imperfect in
frequency and persistence. Its thickness is usually less than 1,500 m over the sea
and 2,000-2,500 m over the land.
Much less typical are the marginal monsoon manifestations. On the northwest
coast there frequently is a northwesterly airflow in the summer (December-March),
as opposed to the winter south-easterlies, but this stream is very shallow and does
not bring any rain—i.e. its weather is not monsoon even though its direction is so.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 65 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

On the northeast coast the onshore air is humid and brings rain, but its direction is
only partly modified in summer. It comes in mostly as a northeasterly, while at
other times it is mostly southeasterly.
4.3 Indian Climate
It is clear from the above presentations, the climate of India comprises a
wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale and varied
topography, making generalizations difficult. Analyzed according to the Koppen
System of classification, India hosts six major climatic subtypes [Figure 4c], ranging
from desert in the west, to alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, to humid
tropical regions supporting rainforests in the southwest and the island territories.
Many regions have starkly different microclimates. The nation has four seasons:
winter (January and February), summer (March to May), a monsoon (rainy) season
(June to September), and a post-monsoon period (October to December).
India’s unique geography and geology strongly influence its climate; this is
particularly true of the “Himalayas” in the North and the “Thar Desert” in the
Northwest. The Himalayas act as a barrier to the frigid katabatic winds flowing
down from Central Asia. Thus, North India is kept warm or only mildly cold during
winter; in summer, the same phenomenon makes India relatively hot. Although the
Tropic of Cancer — the boundary between the tropics and subtropics—passes
through the middle of India, the whole country is considered to be tropical. As in
much of the tropics, monsoon and other weather conditions in India are unstable:
major droughts, floods, cyclones and other natural disasters are sporadic, but have
killed or displaced millions. Climatic diversity in India makes the analysis of these
issues complex. However, the Indian climate is modified by topographical patterns
prevailing over different parts of India.
4.3.1 Types of Climates
India is home to an extraordinary variety of climatic regions, ranging from
tropical in the south to temperate and alpine in the Himalayan North, where
elevated regions receive sustained winter snowfall. The nation’s climate is strongly
influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert. The Himalayas, along with the
Hindu Kush mountains in Pakistan, prevent cold Central Asian katabatic winds
from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most
locations at similar latitudes. Simultaneously, the Thar Desert plays a role in
attracting moisture-laden Southwest Summer Monsoon winds that, between June
and October, provide the majority of India’s rainfall. Four major climatic groupings
predominate, into which fall seven climatic zones that are defined on the basis of
such traits as temperature and precipitation. Groupings are assigned codes according
to the Köppen climate classification system [Figure 4c].
Tropical Wet: A tropical rainy climate covers regions experiencing persistent warm
or high temperatures, which normally do not fall below 18 oC (64 oF). India hosts
two climatic subtypes that fall under this group. The most humid is the tropical
wet monsoon climate that covers a strip of southwestern lowlands abutting the
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 66 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Malabar Coast, the Western Ghats, and southern Assam. India’s two island
territories, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, are also subject to
this climate. Characterized by moderate to high year-round temperatures, even in
the foothills, its rainfall is seasonal but heavy—typically above 2,000 mm (79 in)
per year. Most rainfall occurs between May and November; this is adequate for the
maintenance of lush forests and other vegetation throughout the remainder of the
year. December to March is the driest months, when days with precipitation are
rare. The heavy monsoon rains are responsible for the extremely biodiverse tropical
wet forests of these regions. In India, a tropical wet and dry climate is more
common. Significantly drier than tropical wet zones, it prevails over most of inland
peninsular India except for a semi-arid rain shadow east of the Western Ghats.
Winter and early summer are long, dry periods with temperatures averaging above
18 °C (64 °F). Summer is exceptionally hot; temperatures in low-lying areas may
exceed 50 °C (122 °F) during May, leading to heat waves that can each kill hundreds
of Indians. The rainy season lasts from June to September; annual rainfall averages
between 750–1500 mm (30–59 in) across the region. Once the dry northeast
monsoon begins in September, most precipitation in India falls on Tamil Nadu,
leaving other states comparatively dry.
Tropical Dry: A tropical arid and semi-arid climate dominates regions where the
rate of moisture loss through evapotranspiration exceeds that from precipitation;
it is subdivided into three climatic subtypes. The first, a tropical semi-arid steppe
climate, predominates over a long stretch of land south of Tropic of Cancer and
east of the Western Ghats and the Cardamom Hills. The region, which includes
Karnataka, inland Tamil Nadu, western Andhra Pradesh, and central Maharashtra,
gets between 400–750 mm (16–30 in) annually. It is drought-prone, as it tends to
have less reliable rainfall due to sporadic lateness or failure of the southwest
monsoon. North of the Krishna River, the summer monsoon is responsible for most
rainfall; to the south, significant post-monsoon rainfall also occurs in October and
November. In December, the coldest month, temperatures still average around 20–
24 °C (68–75 °F). The months between March to May are hot and dry; mean
monthly temperatures hover around 32 °C, with 320 mm (13 in) precipitation.
Hence, without artificial irrigation, this region is not suitable for permanent
agriculture. The Ran of Kutch, a vast salt marsh south of the Thar Desert in Gujarat.
During the monsoon season, the region fills with standing waters.
Most of western Rajasthan experiences an arid climatic regime. Cloudburst
is responsible for virtually all of the region’s annual precipitation, which totals less
than 300 mm (12 in). Such bursts happen when monsoon winds sweep into the
region during July, August, and September. Such rainfall is highly erratic; regions
experiencing rainfall one year may not see precipitation for the next couple of
years or so. Atmospheric moisture is largely prevented from precipitating due to
continuous downdrafts and other factors. The summer months of May and June
are exceptionally hot; mean monthly temperatures in the region hover around
35 °C (95 °F), with daily maxima occasionally topping 50 °C (122 °F). During
winters, temperatures in some areas can drop below freezing due to waves of cold
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 67 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

air from Central Asia. There is a large diurnal range of about 14 °C (57 °F) during
summer; this widens by several degrees during winter.
East of the Thar Desert, the region running from Punjab and Haryana to
Kathiawar experiences a tropical and sub-tropical steppe climate. The zone, a
transitional climatic region separating tropical desert from humid sub-tropical
savanna and forests, experiences temperatures that are less extreme than those of
the desert. Average annual rainfall is 30–65 cm (12-26 in), but is very unreliable;
as in much of the rest of India, the southwest monsoon accounts for most
precipitation. Daily summer temperature maxima rise to around 40 °C (104 °F).
The resulting natural vegetation typically comprises short, coarse grasses.
Subtropical Humid: Most of Northeast India and much of North India are subject
to a humid sub-tropical climate. Though they experience hot summers, temperatures
during the coldest months may fall as low as 0 °C (32 °F). Due to ample monsoon
rains, India has only one subtype of this climate, Cfa (under the Köppen system).
In most of this region, there is very little precipitation during the winter, owing to
powerful anticyclonic and katabatic (downward-flowing) winds from Central Asia.
Due to the region’s proximity to the Himalayas, it experiences elevated prevailing
wind speeds, again from the influence of Central Asian katabatic movements.
Humid subtropical regions are subject to pronounced dry winters. Winter rainfall—
and occasionally snowfall—is associated with large storm systems such as
“Nor’westers” and “Western Disturbances”; the latter are steered by westerlies
towards the Himalayas. Most summer rainfall occurs during powerful thunderstorms
associated with the southwest summer monsoon; occasional tropical cyclones
also contribute. Annual rainfall ranges from less than 1,000 mm (39 in) in the west
to over 2,500 mm (98 in) in parts of the northeast. As most of this region is far
from the ocean, the wide temperature swings more characteristic of a continental
climate predominate; the swings are wider than in those in tropical wet regions,
ranging from 24 °C (75 °F) in north-central India to 27 °C (81 °F) in the east.
Montane: Pangone Lake in Ladakh, an arid montane region lying deep within the
Himalayas. India’s northernmost fringes are subject to a montane, or alpine, climate.
In the Himalayas, the rate at which an air mass’s temperature falls per km (3,281 ft)
of altitude gained (the adiabatic lapse rate) is 5.1 °C/km. In terms of environmental
lapse rate, ambient temperatures fall by 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) for every 100 m (328 ft)
rise in altitude. Thus, climates ranging from nearly tropical in the foothills to
tundra above the snow line can coexist within several dozen miles of each other.
Sharp temperature contrasts between sunny and shady slopes, high diurnal
temperature variability, temperature inversions, and altitude-dependent variability
in rainfall are also common. The northern side of the western Himalayas, also
known as the trans-Himalayan belt, is a region of barren, arid, frigid, and wind-
blown wastelands. Most precipitation occurs as snowfall during the late winter
and spring months. Areas south of the Himalayas are largely protected from cold
winter winds coming in from the Asian interior. The leeward side (northern face)
of the mountains receives less rain while the southern slopes, well exposed to the
monsoon, get heavy rainfall. Areas situated at elevations of 1,070–2,290 m (3,510–
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 68 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

7,510 ft) receive the heaviest rainfall, which decreases rapidly at elevations above
2,290 m (7,513 ft). The Himalayas experience their heaviest snowfall between
December and February and at elevations above 1,500 m (4,921 ft). Snowfall
increases with elevation by up to several dozen mm per 100 m (~2 in; 330 ft)
increase. Elevations above 5,000 m (16,404 ft) never experience rain; all precipitation
falls as snow.
4.3.2 Seasons
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) designates four official seasons:
Winter season, occurring between January and March. The year’s coldest months
are December and January, when temperatures average around 10–15 °C (50–
59 °F) in the northwest; temperatures rise as one proceeds towards the equator,
peaking around 20–25 °C (68–77 °F) in mainland India’s southeast. Summer or
pre-monsoon season, lasting from March to June (April to July in northwestern
India). In western and southern regions, the hottest month is April; for northern
regions, May is the hottest month. Temperatures average around 32–40 °C (90–
104 °F) in most of the interior. June to September is the Monsoon or rainy season,
which is dominated by the humid southwest summer monsoon that slowly sweeps
across the country beginning in late May or early June. Monsoon rains begin
[Figure 4d] to recede from North India at the beginning of October. October to
December is the Post-monsoon season, during which period the South India typically
receives more precipitation. Monsoon rains begin to recede from North India at
the beginning of October. In northwestern India, October and November are usually
cloudless. Parts of the country experience the dry northeast monsoon. The Himalayan
states, being more temperate, experience an additional two seasons: autumn and
spring. Traditionally, Indians note six seasons, each about two months long. These
are the spring, summer, and monsoon season, early autumn, late autumn, and
Winter: Once the monsoons subside, average temperatures gradually fall across
India. As the Sun’s vertical rays move south of the equator, most of the country
experiences moderately cool weather; temperatures change by about 0.6 °C
(1.35 °F) per degree of latitude. December and January are the coldest months,
with mean temperatures of 10–15 °C (50–59 °F) in Indian Himalayas. Mean
temperatures are higher in the east and south, where they reach 20–25 °C (68–
77 °F). In northwestern India, virtually cloudless conditions prevail in October and
November, resulting in wide diurnal temperature swings; as in much of the Deccan
Plateau, they range between 16–20 °C (61–68 °F).
However, from March to May, “western disturbances” bring heavy bursts of
rain and snow. These extra-tropical low-pressure systems originate in the eastern
Mediterranean Sea. They are carried towards India by the subtropical westerlies,
which are the prevailing winds blowing at North India’s range of latitude. Once
their passage is hindered by the Himalayas, they are unable to proceed further, and
they release significant precipitation over the southern Himalayas. The three
Himalayan states (Jammu and Kashmir in the extreme north, Himachal Pradesh,
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 69 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

and Uttarkhand) experience heavy snowfall; in Jammu and Kashmir, blizzards occur
regularly, disrupting travel and other activities.
The rest of North India, including the Indo-Gangetic Plain, almost never receives
snow. However, in the plains, temperatures occasionally fall below freezing, though
never for more one or two days. Winter highs in Delhi range from 16 °C (61 °F) to
21 °C (70 °F). Nighttime temperatures average 2–8 °C (36–46 °F). In the Punjab
plains, lows can fall below freezing, dropping to around -6 °C (21 °F) in Amritsar.
Frost sometimes occurs, but the hallmark of the season is the notorious fog, which
frequently disrupts daily life; fog grows thick enough to hinder visibility and disrupt
air travel 15–20 days annually. Eastern India’s climate is much milder, experiencing
moderately warm days and cool nights. Highs range from 23 °C (73 °F) in Patna to
26 °C (79 °F) in Kolkata (Calcutta); lows average from 8 °C (46 °F) in Patna to
14 °C (57 °F) in Kolkata. Frigid winds from the Himalayas can depress temperatures
near the Brahmaputra River. The two Himalayan states in the east, Sikkim and
Arunachal Pradesh, receive substantial snowfall. The extreme north of West Bengal,
centered on Darjeeling, also experiences snowfall, but only rarely.
In South India, particularly the hinterland of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh,
parts of Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, somewhat cooler weather prevails. Minimum
temperatures in western Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh hover around
10 °C (50 °F); in the southern Deccan Plateau, they reach 16 °C (61 °F). Coastal
areas, especially those near the Coromandal Coast, and low-elevation interior tracts
are warm, with daily high temperatures of 30 °C (86 °F) and lows of around
21 °C (70 °F). The Western Ghats, including the Nilgiri Range, are exceptional;
there, lows can fall below freezing. This compares with a range of 12–14 °C (54–
57 °F) on the Malabar Coast; there, as is the case for other coastal areas, the
Indian Ocean exerts a strong moderating influence on weather.
Summer: Summer in northwestern India lasts from April to July, and in the rest of
the country from March to June. The temperatures in the north rise as the vertical
rays of the Sun reach the Tropic of Cancer. The hottest month for the western and
southern regions of the country is April; for most of North India, it is May.
Temperatures of 50 °C (122 °F) and higher have been recorded in parts of India
during this season In cooler regions of North India, immense pre-monsoon squall-
line thunderstorms, known locally as “Nor’westers”, commonly drop large hailstones.
Near the coast the temperature hovers around 36 °C (97 °F), and the proximity of
the sea increases the level of humidity. In southern India, the temperatures are
higher on the east coast by a few degrees compared to the west coast. By May,
most of the Indian interior experiences mean temperatures over 32 °C (90 °F),
while maximum temperatures often exceed 40 °C (104 °F). In the hot months of
April and May, western disturbances, with their cooling influence, may still arrive,
but rapidly diminish in frequency as summer progresses. Notably, a higher frequency
of such disturbances in April correlates with a delayed monsoon onset (thus
extending summer) in northwest India. In eastern India, monsoon onset dates have
been steadily advancing over the past several decades, resulting in shorter summers
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 70 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Altitude affects the temperature to a large extent, with higher parts of the
Deccan Plateau and other areas being relatively cooler. Hill Stations, such as
Ootacamund (“Ooty”) in the Western Ghats and Kalimpong in the eastern Himalayas,
with average maximum temperatures of around 25 °C (77 °F), offer some respite
from the heat. At lower elevations, in parts of northern and western India, a strong,
hot, and dry wind known as the Loo blows in from the west during the daytime;
with very high temperatures, in some cases up to around 45 °C (113 °F); it can
cause fatal cases of sunstroke Tornadoes may also occur, concentrated in a corridor
stretching from northeastern India towards Pakistan. They are rare, however; only
several dozen have been reported since 1835.
Monsoon: The southwest summer monsoon, a four-month period when massive
convective thunderstorms dominate India’s weather, is Earth’s most valuable wet
season. It results from the southeast trade winds originating from a high-pressure
mass centered over the southern Indian Ocean; attracted by a low-pressure region
centered over South Asia, it gives rise to surface winds that ferry humid air into
India from the southwest. These inflows ultimately result from a northward shift
of the local jet stream, which itself results from rising summer temperatures over
Tibet and the Indian subcontinent. The void left by the jet stream, which switches
from a route just south of the Himalayas to one tracking north of Tibet, then
attracts warm, humid air. The main factor behind this shift is the high summer
temperature difference between Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. This is
accompanied by a seasonal excursion of the normally equatorial ITCZ, a low-pressure
belt of highly unstable weather, northward towards India. This system intensified
to its present strength as a result of the Tibetan Plateau’s uplift, which accompanied
the Eocene-Oligocene transition event, a major episode of global cooling and
aridification, which occurred 34–49 mya.
The southwest monsoon arrives in two branches: the Bay of Bengal branch
and the Arabian sea branch. The latter extends toward a low-pressure area over the
Thar Desert and is roughly three times stronger than the Bay of Bengal branch.
The monsoon usually breaks over Indian territory by around 25 May, when it lashes
the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It strikes the Indian mainland
around 1 June supplies over 80% of India’s annual rainfall. First appearing near
the Malabar Coast of Kerala [Figure 4d]. By 10 June, it reaches Mumbai; it appears
over Delhi by 2 July. The Bay of Bengal branch, which hugs the Coromandal Coast
between Cape Comorin and Orissa, swerves to the northwest. The Arabian Sea
branch moves northeast towards the Himalayas. By the first week of July, the
entire country experiences monsoon rain; on average, South India receives more
rainfall than North India. However, Northeast India receives the most precipitation.
Monsoon clouds begin retreating from North India by the end of August; it withdraws
from Mumbai by 5 October. As India further cools during September, the southwest
monsoon weakens. By the end of November, it has left the country.
Monsoon rains impact the health of the Indian economy; as Indian agriculture
employs 600 million people and composes 20% of the national GDP good monsoons
correlate with a booming economy. Weak or failed monsoons (droughts) result in
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 71 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

widespread agricultural losses and substantially hinder overall economic growth.

The rains reduce temperatures and replenish groundwater tables, rivers, and lakes.
Post-monsoon: During the post-monsoon months of October to December, a
different monsoon cycle, the northeast (or “retreating”) monsoon, brings dry, cool,
and dense Central Asian air masses to large parts of India. Winds spill across the
Himalayas and flow to the southwest across the country, resulting in clear, sunny
skies. Though the IMD and other sources refer to this period as a fourth (“post-
monsoon”) season, other sources designate only three seasons. Depending on
location, this period lasts from October to November, after the southwest monsoon
has peaked. Less and less precipitation falls, and vegetation begins to dry out. In
most parts of India, this period marks the transition from wet to dry seasonal
conditions. Average daily maximum temperatures range between 28 °C and 34 °C
(82–93 °F). Reddy (1978) presented weather associated with western disturbances,
which are of importance in winter both in terms of temperature and rainfall..
The northeast monsoon, which begins in September, lasts through the post-
monsoon seasons, and only ends in March, carries winds that have already lost
their moisture while crossing central Asia and the vast rain shadow region lying
north of the Himalayas. They cross India diagonally from northeast to southwest.
However, the large indentation made by the Bay of Bengal into India’s eastern
coast means that the flows are humidified before reaching Cape Comorin and rest
of Tamil Nadu, meaning that the state, and also some parts of Kerala, experience
significant precipitation in the post-monsoon and winter periods. However, parts
of West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Northeast India also receive
minor precipitation from the northeast monsoon. Figures 4 e & 4 f presents the
rainfall and temperature patterns in India.
4.3.3 Disasters
Climate-related natural disasters cause massive losses of Indian life and
property. Droughts, flash floods, cyclones, avalanches, landslides brought on by
torrential rains, and snowstorms pose the greatest threats. Other dangers include
frequent summer dust storms, which usually track from north to south; they cause
extensive property damage in North India and deposit large amounts of dust from
arid regions. Hail is also common in parts of India, causing severe damage to
standing crops such as rice and wheat.
Floods and Landslides: In the Lower Himalaya, landslides are common. The young
age of the region’s hills result in labile rock formations, which are susceptible to
slippages. Rising population and development pressures, particularly from logging
and tourism, cause deforestation. The result, denuded hillsides, exacerbates the
severity of landslides, since tree cover impedes the downhill flow of water. Parts of
the Western Ghats also suffer from low-intensity landslides. Avalanches occur in
Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Sikkim.
Floods are the most common natural disaster in India. The heavy southwest
monsoon rains cause the Brahmaputra and other rivers to distend their banks,
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 72 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

often flooding surrounding areas. Though they provide rice paddy farmers with a
largely dependable source of natural irrigation and fertilisation, the floods can kill
thousands and displace millions. Excess, erratic, or untimely monsoon rainfall may
also wash away or otherwise ruin crops. Almost all of India is flood-prone, and
extreme precipitation events, such as flash floods and torrential rains, have become
increasingly common in central India over the past several decades, coinciding
with rising temperatures. Mean annual precipitation totals have remained steady
due to the declining frequency of weather systems that generate moderate amount
of rain.
Cyclones: Tropical cyclones, which are severe storms spun off from the ITCZ, may
affect thousands of Indians living in coastal regions. Tropical cyclogenesis is
particularly common in the northern reaches of the Indian Ocean in and around
the Bay of Bengal. Cyclones bring with them heavy rains, Storm surges, and winds
that often cut affected areas off from relief and supplies. In the North Indian
Ocean Basin, the cyclone season runs from April to December, with peak activity
between May and November [Table 5]. Each year, an average of eight storms with
sustained wind speeds greater than 63 km/h (39 mph) form; of these, two strengthen
into true tropical cyclones, which have sustained gusts greater than 117 km/h
(73 mph). On average, a major Category 3 or higher) cyclone develops every other
During summer, the Bay of Bengal is subject to intense heating, giving rise
to humid and unstable air masses that produce cyclones. Many powerful cyclones,
including the 1737 Calcutta cyclone, the 1970 Bhola cyclone, and the 1991
Bangladesh cyclone, have led to widespread devastation along parts of the eastern
coast of India and neighboring Bangladesh. Widespread death and property
destruction are reported every year in exposed coastal states such as Andhra Pradesh,
Orissa, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. India’s western coast, bordering the more
placid Arabian Sea, experiences cyclones only rarely; these mainly strike Gujarat
and, less frequently, Kerala.
Table 5: Monthly cyclonic disturbances in Arabian sea and
Bay of Bengal during 1891-1990
Number of disturbances recorded
Bay OF Bengal Arabian sea
January 13 4 2 19 4 2 0 6
February 3 0 1 4 0 0 0 0
March 1 2 2 5 1 0 0 1
April 8 11 10 29 2 2 4 8
May 32 15 35 82 11 5 15 31
June 84 33 5 122 27 6 12 45
July 118 34 7 159 15 3 0 18
August 161 27 3 191 5 2 0 7
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 73 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

September 151 25 14 190 10 4 3 17

October 104 44 34 182 28 13 12 53
November 55 42 53 150 32 6 20 58
December 37 23 19 79 8 4 2 14
Total 767 260 185 1212 143 47 68 258

Note: D = depression, CS = cyclonic storm, SCS = severe cyclonic

storm & T = total
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 74 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

In terms of damage and loss of life, a super-cyclone that struck Orissa on 29

October 1999, was the worst in more than a quarter-century. With peak winds of
160 miles per hour (257 km/h), it was the equivalent of a Category 5 Hurricane
Almost two million people were left homeless; another 20 million people lives
were disrupted by the cyclone. Officially, 9,803 people died from the storm;
unofficial estimates place the death toll at over 10,000.
Droughts: Indian agriculture is heavily dependent on the monsoon as a source of
water. In some parts of India, the failure of the monsoons result in water shortages,
resulting in below-average crop yields [Figures 4g & 4h]. This is particularly true
of major drought-prone regions such as southern and eastern Maharashtra, northern
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. In the past, droughts
have periodically led to major Indian famines. These include the Bangla famine of
1770, in which up to one third of the population in affected areas died; the 1876–
1877 famine, in which over five million people died; the 1899 famine, in which
over 4.5 million died; and the Bengal famine of 1943, in which over five million
died from starvation and famine-related illnesses.
All such episodes of severe drought correlate with El Nino- Souhern Oscillation
(ENSO) events. El Niño-related droughts have also been implicated in periodic
declines in Indian agricultural output. Nevertheless, ENSO events that have coincided
with abnormally high sea surfaces temperatures in the Indian Ocean—in one
instance during 1997 and 1998 by up to 3 °C (5 °F)—have resulted in increased
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 75 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Oceanic evaporation, resulting in unusually wet weather across India. Such

anomalies have occurred during a sustained warm spell that began in the 1990s. A
contrasting phenomenon is that, instead of the usual high pressure air mass over
the southern Indian Ocean, an ENSO-related oceanic low pressure convergence
center forms; it then continually pulls dry air from Central Asia, desiccating India
during what should have been the humid summer monsoon season. This reversed
airflow causes India’s droughts. The extent that an ENSO event raises sea surfaces
in the central Pacific Ocean influences the degree of drought. However, it is not
well proved theory.
Extremes: The average annual precipitation of 11,871 mm (467 in) in the village
of Mawsynram, in the hilly northeastern state of Meghalaya, is the highest recorded
in Asia, and possibly on the Earth. The village, which sits at an elevation of
1,401 m (4,596 ft), benefits from its proximity to both the Himalayas and the Bay
of Bengal. However, since the town of Cherrapunji, 5 km (3 mi) to the east, is the
nearest town to host a meteorological office (none has ever existed in Mawsynram),
it is officially credited as being the world’s wettest place. In recent years, the
Cherrapunji-Mawsynram region has averaged 9,296 mm (366 in) of rain annually,
though Cherrapunji has had at least one period of daily rainfall that lasted almost
two years. India’s highest recorded one-day rainfall total occurred on 26 July
2005, when Mumbai received more than 650 mm (26 in); the massive flooding
that resulted killed over 900 people.
In terms of snowfall, regions of Jammur and Kashmir, such as Baramulla in
the east and the Pir Panjal Range in the southeast, experience exceptionally heavy
snowfall. Kashmir’s highest recorded monthly snowfall occurred in February of
1967, when 8.4 m (331 in) fell in Gulmarg, though the IMD has recorded snowdrifts
up to 12 m (39 ft) in several Kashmiri districts. In February of 2005, more than 200
people died when, in four days, a western disturbance brought up to 2 m (7 ft) of
snowfall to parts of the state.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 76 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Chapter 5
Climate Change
5.1 Introduction
One issue that received wide media coverage relates to recent spurt in natural
disasters felt globally such as Earthquakes/Tsunamis, cyclones/Typhoons/Hurricanes,
floods & droughts, heat & cold waves, etc. These were attributed to man-induced
changes to climate, more particularly to the so-called global warming.
The politicians, bureaucrats, environmentalists, NGOs are giving so much
importance to a phenomena that is not well understood by themselves but at the
same time they are not giving the same and equal importance to direct affects of
pollution on air, water, soil and food and their consequent effects on human,
animal and plant life, that is on life forms. It is just because the climate change
aspects of pollution, known as indirect effects, have billions of dollars to share but
the same is not the case in the area of direct consequences of pollution by which
common man suffers, more particularly in developing countries.
Extreme natural events become disasters when they affect settlements,
economic and social activities. Whether a given phenomenon is equated to a
disaster does not depend so much on its intensity as on its impact on society. The
public measure the intensity of the system based on deaths and destruction of
property. The damage is far less before 1960s when compared to damages after
60s in terms of numerical numbers but when we consider the percent figures of
that time they are not different. Therefore, in all these cases the place of occurrence
plays an important role in terms of damage.
Scientific point of view the intensity/severity of natural disaster is different
from the public point of view. The public experience present a short span of years
while scientists experience relates to a long period of historical scale of years.
Media is more interested in the view point of public rather than scientists view
point, because the former group represent numerically far more in number than
the later group and at the same time gives big hype.
This is exactly what is happening with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) perspective of climate change. With this every thing has become
unusual and try to attribute to some thing they don’t have the comprehensive
knowledge like a blind man using a light pole. In floods and droughts in recent
years political floods and droughts play important role over the scientific floods
and droughts – that is motivated floods and droughts gets more publicity. Most
unfortunately, man on the street to Editor of scientific magazines talk of climate
change at the same wavelength, and thus science became a scapegoat!!!
The same can be said with modern climate change research. The group
that is using the modern model based global warming and their impact get big
hype compared to people engaged in understanding the nature in its’ true
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 77 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

perspective like natural rhythm that help agriculture in true sense. In the modern
world of Western based science, awards/rewards go to modelers, promotions go to
modelers!!! People talks of science are considered as outcastes. Therefore, it is the
responsibility of scientific groups to clear this ambiguity, so that it is easy to
understand the impact of such events on environment and thereby on human,
animal and plant life under different time and space scales. The same is evident in
modern politics. When a famous person from a particular field with mass connection,
when he says some thing people blindly believe him with out knowing his real
background. So, it is easy to cheat gullible public. A known enemy is better than
an unknown enemy. Here media plays the spoilsport. Let us see how, the media
without understanding the basics create controversies!!!
A recent report says, “In the debate on global warming, the data on the
climate of Antarctica has been distorted, at different times, by both sides. As a
polar researcher caught in the middle, I would like to set the record straight. In
January 2002, a research paper about Antarctic temperatures, of which I was the
lead author, appeared in the journal Nature. At the time, the Antarctic Peninsula
was warming, and many people assumed that meant the climate on the entire
continent was heating up, as the Arctic was. But the Antarctic Peninsula represents
only about 15 percent of the continents landmass, so it could not tell the whole
story of Antarctic climate. Our paper made the continental picture clearer. My
research colleagues and I found that from 1986 to 2000, one small, ice-free area
of the Antarctic mainland had actually cooled. Our report also analyzed temperatures
for the mainland in such a way as to remove the influence of the peninsula warming
and found that, from 1986 to 2000, more of the continent had cooled than had
warmed. Our summary statement pointed out how the cooling trend posed
challenges to models of Antarctic climate and ecosystem change. Newspaper and
television reports focused on this part of the paper. And many news and opinion
writers linked our study with another bit of polar research published that month,
in Science, showing that part of Antarctica’s ice sheet had been thickening and
erroneously concluded that the Earth was not warming at all. Scientific findings
run counter to theory of global warming, said a headline on an editorial in The San
Diego Union-Tribune. One conservative commentator wrote, It is ironic that two
studies suggesting that a new Ice Age may be under way may end the global
warming debate. In a rebuttal in The Providence Journal, in Rhode Island, the lead
author of the Science paper and I explained that our studies offered no evidence
that the earth was cooling. But the misinterpretation had already become legend,
and in the four and half years since, it has only grown. Our results have been
misused as evidence against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel
State of Fear and by Ann Coulter in her latest book, Godless: The Church of
Liberalism. Search my name on the Web, and you will find pages of links to
everything from climate discussion groups to Senate policy committee documents
all citing my 2002 study as reason to doubt that the Earth is warming. One recent
Web column even put words in my mouth. I have never said that the unexpected
colder climate in Antarctica may possibly be signaling a lessening of the current
global warming cycle. I have never thought such a thing either.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 78 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Our study did find that 58 percent of Antarctica cooled from 1986 to 2000. But
during that period, the rest of the continent was warming. And climate models
created since our paper was published have suggested a link between the lack of
significant warming in Antarctica and the ozone hole over that continent. These
models, conspicuously missing from the warming-skeptic literature, suggest that
as the ozone hole heals thanks to worldwide bans on ozone-destroying chemicals
all of Antarctica is likely to warm with the rest of the planet. Also missing from
the skeptics’ arguments is the debate over our conclusions. Another group of
researchers who took a different approach found no clear cooling trend in Antarctica.
We still stand by our results for the period we analyzed, but unbiased reporting
would acknowledge differences of scientific opinion. The disappointing thing is
that we are even debating the direction of climate change on this globally important
continent. And it may not end until we have more weather stations on Antarctica
and longer-term data that demonstrate a clear trend. In the meantime, I would like
to remove my name from the list of scientists who dispute global warming. I know
my coauthors would as well”.
5.2 What is Climate Change?
“Climate Change” is a change in the “average weather”. Climate refers to
the weather over very long periods, while the weather is what we experience daily.
In the past climate change refers to the “Systematic Natural Rhythm”, expressed
in the form of cycles with different time scales. In recent years, it invariably refers
to one component of man-induced changes, expressed in the form of global warming
“trend”. The major culprit in this sordid episode is the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change [IPCC). As long as it was in the hands of scientific organization,
namely World Meteorological Organization [WMO] it was in the hands of scientific
groups. Once it was put in the hands of a political organization such as IPCC it
went into the hands of non-scientific-vested groups. In this, public relation campaign
by vested groups played major role over the science. It is the greatest tragedy in
the annals of history of science. It is clear from the way IPCC gave weight to
majority individual/organizations opinion without valid scientific base and tried to
manipulate science to prove its’ point. In the same line, Indian scientists are
enthusiastic in “thinking locally and acting globally” instead “thinking globally
and acting locally”. Basically because of this attitude the scientists invariably give
weight to Westerners unproved-semi-empirical models. These are far from ground
realities. By this way the responsible scientific community leading the planners in
wrong way. The Public Relation Campaign in this direction by vested groups
“fetched” Noble Prize to IPCC & Al Gore former Vice-President of USA. This has
given a big hype to the unproven arguments. Even when authors of the theory are
skeptical about the issue, yet the public relation campaign groups became more
aggressive in their campaign, causing irrevocable damage to science of climate
change. It turned into another political vote catching type campaign in developing
Man within his understanding of the subject/nature formulates models with
several unknown factors missing; while ground truth is the result of integrated
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 79 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

effect of known and unknown factors. This exactly what is happening in the
global warming and its’ so called impact. While making sweeping conclusions
based on such imperfect mathematical models one must be cautious and careful.
At the same time while presenting results, one must not present/discuss in isolation
but present/discuss in an integrated manner. That is exactly what is needed for
planning. In fact weather plays major role in Indian economic context, as it is an
agriculture nation in which agriculture is driven by weather.
For example, Reddy (1995a) presented 3 points of difference of series of
articles by top scientific groups of the world on the importance of radiation term
in crop growth, where one author says yes/correct and the other author says no/
not correct, from the series of discussion papers published in 1994 in Agric. For.
Meteorol., 68:213-242. After integrating these studies in holistic manner, Reddy
come up with more pragmatic and practical approach to be useful in real conditions,
by explaining the limitations of individual approaches by taking components in
isolation. Reddy (1995b) reviewed the result of McKenny & Rosenberg (1993)
results estimated using GISS & GFDL general circulation models for doubled
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 80 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

atmospheric CO 2 , on the expected climate change induced effects on

meteorological parameters (Figure 5a) that are inputs into crop models – Down To
Earth presented sensitivity of land suitable for cereal production to climate change
(Figure 5b). Reddy observed changes observed in parameters are far less than
those expected from the model-induced error ranges. That is, first the model’s
applicability in holistic condition must be proven beyond doubt, which the authors
have not attempted.
Like in the climate change & genetically modified crops of MNCs, there are
large vested interest groups that present public relation campaign in artificial rain
making (cloud seeding) by simply highlighting the isolated results. Reddy (2004)
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 81 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

presented a review of the literature on cloud seeding in a holistic context and

observed “The experiments so far conducted suggested that, with few exceptions,
conclusive cloud seeding is not producing the desired results. The Indian experience
is not much different from this conclusion. It is important to note that a successful
experiment in one region does not guarantee that seeding in another region will
be successful unless environmental conditions are replicated as well as the
methodology of seeding. Such a situation is hypothetical”. To counter this, the
seeding agencies invariably seed a severe-active synoptic system and present the
results as the outcome of cloud seeding operations and without showing how
much rainfall was reduced by seeding a strong-active system that give copious
rainfall in the down wind direction in normal circumstances. Here also isolated
things are attributed to holistic situation by falsifying the facts before ignorant
It has become a common reporting saying “global warming is the increase in
the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and Oceans in recent decades
and its projected continuation. The IPCC concludes most of the observed increase
in globally average temperature since the mid-twentieth Century is very likely due
to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases concentrations via
the greenhouse effect. Natural phenomena such as solar variation combined with
volcanoes probably had a smaller warming effect and pre-industrial times to 1950
and a small cooling effect from 1950 onward. These basic conclusions have been
endorsed by at least thirty Scientific Societies and Academies of Science. While
the individual scientists have voiced disagreement with some findings of the IPCC,
the overwhelming majority of scientists working on climate change agree with
IPCC main conclusion”. The basic question to be answered from such
pronouncements is: scientific studies should be based on what many accepted or
endorsed; or based on what is scientifically correct? But unfortunately, the public
Relation activists put emphasis in the number game!!! In this connection, let me
give three examples from my experience (Reddy, 1983; Reddy, 1983-84; Reddy,
1993; Reddy, 1995a; Reddy, 2002b):
Firstly, while I was a Ph.D. student in Australia, it became a big issue why I
am not using a particular model, which is being in wide use in Australia including
a student from my department completed his Ph.D. thesis using that model. They
asked my explanation on this. I presented to them stating that this is a static
model. Discarding his thesis, then the Ph.D. student took up another topic and
completed his Ph.D. We both received our Ph.D.s in 1985. This is science!!!
Secondly, FAO Headquarters asked my explanation in writing, why I am
using a different model in my work instead of FAO-Agro-ecological zones concept
as an FAO Expert. I gave my scientific report stating that this is a static model.
After hearing my explanation, they asked me to modify the model. I did not do it
as it has some inherent weaknesses. In fact when I presented a talk on the
agroclimatic classification developed by me in 1981, the scientist who was involved
in the development of the FAO model was also present at my talk. He left the
organization; he adopted over simplified version of mine and used monthly data
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 82 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

instead weekly data, which was used in my concept. With this the model became
static. This is science!!!
Thirdly, to present the solar radiation impact on crop, three different groups
started publishing articles with contradicting observations. This was clarified by
presenting the results in an integrated manner saying that all are correct (Reddy,
1995). This is science but not “numerical number” as adopted by IPCC to bulldoze
the science!!!
Dr. James E. Hansen, Director of Space Studies at the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration was a principal author of one of the first papers spelling
out the links between rising atmospheric levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and rising
global temperatures as back as 1981. In 2000, he along with his colleagues reported
in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA that the global
warming seen in recent decades was not caused by CO2 but mainly by other heat
trapping emissions Methane [CH4], CFCs, black particles of diesel & coal soot,
and other compounds that create the ozone in smog. Thus, Dr. James E. Hansen
introduced politics of CO2 & CH 4 as a function of developed vs developing
countries like India. And yet, it would be appropriate here to mention that the
eminent NASA scientist James Hansen, the man who could be called the father of
global warming theory, admits that it was impossible to come up with reliable
climate models because there is too much about the climate that scientists don’t
understand. Thus, the entire global warming theory rests on the validity of trapping
theory and so far no valid “one to one theory” was presented!!! .
5.3 Data Types
Historical documents contain a wealth of information about past climates.
Observations of weather and climatic conditions can be found in ship and farmers’
logs, travelers’ diaries, newspaper accounts, and other written records. When
properly evaluated, historical data can yield both qualitative and quantitative
information about past climate. There are, also, several other ways that Scientists
study how the Earth’s climate is changing: satellites, instrumental records, historical
records and proxy data. Some scientists look to satellites to study the Earth’s
changing climate. However, the satellite record is too short (around. 20 years) to
provide much perspective on changing climate and yet they throw some light to
interpret in right direction the ground based observations.
Instrumental weather records: The record of instrumental weather measurements,
extending back into the 19th century, provides data from thermometers, rain gauges,
historical documents and other instruments. However, this record is too short to
study many climatic processes. Also, because we have few instrumented observations
from before the major industrial releases of carbon dioxide began, it is difficult to
separate human and natural influences on climate. However, these records throw
light on the short term natural rhythm in built in the nature, like cycles in precipitation
that play an important role in agriculture and water resources availability. One
must be careful while interpreting meteorological data as the change of units of
measurements like inches to millimeters in rainfall; degrees Fahrenheit to degrees
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 83 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Celsius in temperature may lead to abrupt changes as the former are bigger units
while later are smaller units. One inch is 2.5 cm or 25 mm.
Palioclimatological weather records: Paleoclimatologists gather proxy data from
natural recorders of climate variability such as tree rings, ice cores, fossil pollen,
ocean sediments, corals and historical data. By analyzing records taken from these
and other proxy sources, scientists can extend our understanding of climate far
beyond the 100+ year instrumental record. Thus, Paleoclimatology is the study of
climate prior to the widespread availability of records of temperature, precipitation
and other instrumental meteorological data that can help to establish the range of
natural climatic variability in a period prior to global scale human influence. If
there is one thing that the paleoclimatic record shows, it is that the Earth’s climate
is always changing. Climatic variability, including changes in the frequency of
extreme events (like droughts, floods and storms), has always had a large impact
on humans. For this reason, scientists study past climatic variability on various
time scales to gain clues that will help society plan for future climate change.
The study of paleoclimates have been particularly helpful in showing that
the Earth’s climate system can shift between dramatically different climate states
in a matter of years and/or decades. Understanding “climate surprises” of the past
is critical if we are to avoid being surprised by abrupt climatic change. The study of
past climate change also helps us understand how humans influence the Earth’s
climate system. The paleoclimatic record also allows us to examine the causes of
past climate change, and to help unravel how much of the present observed changes
may be explained by natural causes, such as solar variability, and how much may
be explained by human influences.
Lastly, most state of the art climate prediction is accomplished using large
sophisticated computer models of the climate system. A great deal of research
has been focused on ensuring that these models can simulate most aspects of the
modern, present-day, climate. It is also important to know how these same models
simulate climate change. This can be accomplished by comparing simulations of
past climate change with observations from paleoclimatic records. Thus,
paleoclimatology helps us improve the ability of computer models to simulate
future climate. Some of these are given as follows:
Corals — Corals build their hard skeletons from calcium carbonate, a mineral extracted
from seawater. The carbonate contains isotopes of oxygen, as well as trace metals,
that can be used to determine the temperature of the water in which the coral
grew. These temperature recordings can then be used to reconstruct climate when
the coral lived.
Fossil Pollen — All flowering plants produce pollen grains. Their distinctive shapes
can be used to identify the type of plant from which they came. Since pollen
grains are well preserved in the sediment layers in the bottom of a pond, lake or
ocean, an analysis of the pollen grains in each layer tell us what kinds of plants
were growing at the time the sediment was deposited. Inferences can then be
made about the climate based on the types of plants found in each layer.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 84 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Tree Rings — Since tree growth is influenced by climatic conditions, patterns in

tree-ring widths, density, and isotopic composition reflect variations in climate.? In
temperate regions where there is a distinct growing season, trees generally produce
one ring a year, and thus record the climatic conditions of each year. Trees can
grow to be hundreds to thousands of years old and can contain annually resolved
records of climate for centuries to millennia.
Ice Cores — Located high in mountains and in polar ice caps, ice has accumulated
from snowfall over many millennia. Scientists drill through the deep ice to collect
ice cores. These cores contain dust, air bubbles, or isotopes of oxygen that can be
used to interpret the past climate of that area.
Ocean & Lake Sediments — Billions of tons of sediment accumulate in the
Ocean and the Lake basins each year. To interpret part climates, scientist drill cores
of sediment from the basin floors of the Ocean and the Lake that include tiny
fossils and chemicals.
5.4 Climate Change
Good weather records extend back less than 150 years in most
places. In that time, the Earth’s global average temperature has increased
by approximately 0.5 0C or 0.9 0F. Scientists are trying to determine how much of
this warming is a natural fluctuation and how much is a result of human induced
greenhouse warming. However, this tends to be confined to one parameter of
weather, namely temperature as it plays vital role in the developed nations as they
being located in extra-tropical zone.
Since the end of the last ice age occurred over 10,000 years ago, the planet
has continued to undergo changes in climate. Warming during medieval times and
cooling during the “Little Ice Age” a few centuries ago dominate the last millennia.
From paleoclimate records, we know that the climate of the past million years has
been dominated by the glacial cycle, a pattern of ice ages and glacial retreats
lasting thousands of years.
The changes in ice cover over the Northern Hemisphere. Eighteen-thousand
years ago, at the peak of the last ice age, scientists estimate that nearly 32% of
the Earth’s land area was covered with ice, including much of Canada, Scandinavia,
and the British Isles. These glaciers developed because the Earth was in the midst
of an ice age. Today ice coverage about 10% of the Earth’s land surface.
However, the literature review present that the “climate change” has two
components, namely systematic variations that are in built in nature and the trend
that is created by man’s action on nature. The systematic variations, known as
cyclic variations, are ground-realities that are the outcome of interaction with
known & unknown factors that are beyond the control of man. The trend is
caused by several factors that are associated with man’s action on nature; and
modern scientists are contemplating this to solely to global warming or rise in
temperature. The recent unusual events are also attributed to global warming
phenomena. As Indian economy is weather driven, it is essential that while making
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 85 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

any inferences on weather & climate, this must be looked into in an integrated
manner rather than in isolation.
Up to around 1980s the studies on “climate change” were principally related
to natural variations in climate and the impact of ecological changes on climate at
local & regional level. The natural variations in the climate were studied using
historical climate data, sediments, tree rings, etc along with solar phenomena like
sunspot, solar flares, etc. Ecological changes primarily related to land-use changes
and land cover such as de-forestation, changes in orography/topography, changes
in human habitations & urbanization, agriculture, etc [Reddy & Jayanthi, 1974;
Reddy & Rao, 1977; Reddy, 1984; Reddy, 1993; Reddy, 2000a; Reddy, 2007].
These were integrated with the dry-land agricultural planning in developing countries
[Reddy, 1983-84, 1993, 2002a].
Now these are more or less masqued by the global warming concept primarily
estimated using unsound mathematical models. Yet scientists started flooding the
magazines with mind-boggling predictions on what happens to agriculture, health,
sea level, etc [Raj Chengappa, 2002; Paul R. Epstein, 2000; McKenney & Rosenberg,
To provide a clear picture on climate change, the study of climate change is
divided into two parts, namely natural variations that are in built in the nature that
are beyond man’s control and the other, changes induced by man’s actions
represented by trend, which are the creation by man. The natural variation part of
climate change has irregular and systematic variations. Day-to-day, month-to-
month, year-to-year variations form part of irregular variations. The systematic
variations part is dealt in Chapter 6. The man-induced variations also have two
distinctive parts, namely ecological changes dealt in Chapter 7 and global warming,
dealt in Chapter 8. The issues of unusual events vs global warming are dealt in
Chapter 9.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 86 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Chapter 6
Systematic Variations
6.1 Ancient Lore
The science of astrology started with the understanding of seasons and
weather in relation to movement of extraterrestrial bodies known as planets; this
understanding of ancient lore later became the science of astronomy, as a guide
to fight wars, develop medicine to cure diseases, and practice agriculture, all of
which were more seasonal. All, or most, cultures have developed a form of astrology
such as Indian Astrology, Western Astrology, Chinese Astrology, Mexican Astrology,
Celtic Astrology, etc. (Reddy, 2000b). The Western System is solar-based, the
Chinese system is lunar-based, and the Indian system is luni-solar based. By the
use of certain fixed stars, calendars were evolved to mark the movements of the
Sun, the Moon, and the planets with reference to a point on the Earth.
There was a category of priests trained to understand the lore of the
divinatory calendars, which was one of the foundations of higher learning. One of
the most fascinating and enchanting features about the practice of astrology is
the fact that Indian astrologers, and the technique they use, often differ dramatically
from town to town in India. However, there are no differences in the basic concept.
They are the highly respected group in the society. It is a family tradition of
astrological education. A lot of this ancient lore lost its glory with industrialization,
as the family tradition in astrology lost its shine. In addition, the basic point
around which astrological calculations are made also became erroneous. The principal
activity was the time reckoning and the calendar computations in terms of the
motion of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets along the zodiacal path with which
were also associated 27 nakshtras. According to the ruling planet of a year, overall
rainfall of that particular year should be anticipated as follows: Sun – moderate;
Moon – very heavy; Mars – scanty; Mercury – good; Jupiter – very good; Venus –
good; and Saturn – very low, etc. On every New Year day the respected gentlemen
present what is in store in terms of weather, agriculture, expected political turmoils,
disasters, etc. This ancient science of predicting rainfall talks about the wind
direction. In northwest India the wind direction on Holi, the full-moon day of the
last Hindu month Phalguna (approximately March) and wind direction on
Akshayatrutiya, the third day of the month Vaisakha (approximately May) were
used to predict whether the monsoon would be early or late (Reddy, 2005). Reddy
(1977) observed a clear relationship between the onset of the monsoon over the
Kerala Coast and the zonal component of wind at 50 mb level over Singapore
(which presents a systematic variation with time), an equatorial station in the
month of May. If the winds are westerly then the monsoon is early; if the winds
are easterlies, the monsoon is late.
The Chinese system of astrology has a 60-year cycle. This is based on a
combination of five elements and twelve animal signs. In Indian astrology, the
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 87 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 88 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

calendar system is the same as or similar to what is called the 60-year cycle
[Prabhava (1987-88), Vibhava, — Krodhana, Akshaya (2046-47)] – the cycle of the
Sun (6 years) and the Moon (10-years), i.e., 6 of 10 years; or the cycle of Jupiter –
a cycle of five 12 years, similar to the Chinese 60-year cycle. The Indus Valley
Civilization, which was before the Vedic period used the 60-year cycle. The Indian
cycle is later by 3 years than the Chinese cycle. In both Indian and Chinese
astrology, the 60-year cycle is more in relation to the Moon/nakshatras. Similar to
this, the All-India Southwest Monsoon rainfall also presents a 60-year cycle. This
rainfall cycle lags by 3 years to Indian astrological cycle. The present 60-year cycle
in Chinese astrological cycle started in 1984-85 will continue upto 2043-44; in
Indian astrological cycle started in 1987-88 will continue upto 2046-47 and in the
All-India Southwest Monsoon rainfall started in 1990-91 will continue upto 2049-
The Aztecs noted that 5 Venus years equal to 8 Sun years. These cycles
only repeated after 65 Sun and 104 Venus years, i.e., once in 520 years. The
number 104 is the longest period in Mexican time keeping, and was called one “old
age”. The Mexican “Century” was 52 years. Similar to this, the rainfall data of
Fortaleza in Brazil in Southern Hemisphere presents a 52-year cycle as well the
onset of monsoon over Kerala Coast in India in the Northern Hemisphere around
the same latitude belt.
6.2 Sun-Weather Relationship
King (1975) presented an important review of the scientific articles on the
Sun-Weather relationship appeared in the literature up to that time. He states “As
they profoundly influence civilization, and have not been well explored, Sun-Weather
relationships should become a major field of research in the decades being ushered
in by GARP and IMS”. He also further states, “Many people have suggested in the
past that the weather is influenced by the 11- and 22-year (double sunspot cycle)
sunspot cycles” — Figure 6a presents 400 years of sunspot observations (bottom)
and solar cycle variations during 1975 to 2005 (top). He further says that “I believe
that the accumulated evidence is so compelling that is no longer possible to deny
the existence of strong connections between the weather and radiation changes
(electromagnetic and/or corpuscular) associated with a whole range of solar
phenomena. Even the most skeptical scientist who investigates the literature
thoroughly will be forced to concede that important aspects of lower-atmospheric
behavior are associated with solar phenomena ranging from short-lived events
such as solar flares, through 27-day solar rotations to the 11-year, 22-year, and
even longer solar cycles”.
Sunspot Cycles: King (1975) presents that Xanthakis in 1973 observed (Figure
6b) at higher latitudes in Northern Hemisphere (70-80 degrees) the 11-year solar
cycle was positively correlated with 10-cm oscillation in the annual rainfall analysis
total; between 60-70 degrees they are negatively correlated and at lower latitudes
(50-60 degrees) a negative correlation existed before about 1915 and a positive
correlation after that. The three zones respectively based on 12, 22 & 36 stations
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 89 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 90 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

data. Brown in 1974 observed opposite pattern at 17 degrees and 43 degrees in

Southern Hemisphere in the rainfall oscillations associated with the 11-year sunspot
cycle (Figure 6c). The curves were obtained by applying an 8-15 year filter to the
annual differences. King in 1973 also observed opposite ways at 55 and 35 degrees
in the Northern Hemisphere. Scientists noticed that the 11-year sunspot cycle is
not fixed but vary between 9 to 13 years.
The solar-cycle-induced rainfall oscillations referred to range from about 3
to some 50% of the normal annual total. Obviously, a reduction of rainfall by
25% in each of several years around one of the extremes of the sunspot cycle is of
considerable importance. Analyses combining data from zones exhibiting opposite
solar cycle effects will invariably lead to the erroneous conclusion that no solar
cycle effect exists, as well as an analysis of rainfall data from regions situated
between zones in which the sunspot cycle effect is opposite. Such variations with
latitude are quite obvious as the climate systems differ.
The annual rainfall totals at Fortaleza, Brazil by Markham in 1974 (Figure 6
d) and at three sites in South Africa by Tyson in 1974 (Figure 6e) were positively
correlated with the “double” sunspot cycle for considerable periods of time. Both
these are from Southern Hemisphere. The modulation associated with the double
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 91 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

cycle amounted to about 35% of the average annual total at Fortaleza and at
about 25% of the average rainfall at the South African stations. The data from
Fortaleza are available from 1865 onwards. After the first 60 years the relationship
between the rainfall and the double cycle at Fortaleza changed phase. The 50
years of data available from South Africa show a consistent positive correlation
with the double cycle. According to Tyson & his co-authors in 1974 the African
rainfall data for latitudes south of those where the double sunspot cycle influence
is observed exhibit a pronounced oscillation having a period of about 10 years in
anti-phase with the sunspot cycle as noted by King & his co-authors in 1974.
Cornish in 1936 & 1954 and Whippe in 1936 in Adelaide, Australia observed
impressive evidence of an association between rainfall and double sunspot cycle
(Figure 6f). Cornish in 1954 concluded that this oscillation must be due to
secular changes in the latitudinal paths of anticyclones with their attendant cyclones
across southern Australia. Bodurtha in 1952 reported that the sunspot cycle
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 92 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 93 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

strongly influences both the frequency and the intensity of anticyclogenesis, so it

may be concluded that the number and intensity of anticyclones and the latitudes
at which they occur all vary during the solar cycle.
King & his co-authors presented another striking illustration of the influence
of the double sunspot cycle on the weather in 1974 (Figure 6g). The July
temperature in central England during the period 1750-1880 exhibited an oscillation
of nearly 1 oC in phase with double sunspot cycle. The temperature curve is
somewhat anomalous during the years 1840-1855 when the temperature extremes
occurred around sunspot minima instead of near sunspot maximum. Brooks in
1951 presents that it appears to be firmly established is that over the world as a
whole, and especially in the tropical regions, the mean air temperature at the
Earth’s surface varies in opposition to the sunspot cycle, being the lowest at
sunspot minima.
The double sunspot cycle appears to influence the climate of the United
States in several ways. Thomson in 1973 and Roberts in 1974 have shown that
droughts in various parts of the country occur around every second sunspot minima.
Newman in 1965 has shown that winter temperatures in Boston exhibit a 22-year
periodicity. Thompson in 1973 reported a remarkable correlation between the
July/August temperature in the corn belt of United States and the double sunspot
cycle. Mather in 1974 presented striking evidence between double sunspot cycle
and temperature in the US. Willett in 1961 discussed the possible relationship
between the weather and the 80-year sunspot cycle.
A sunspot cycle induced meteorological variation may suddenly reverse phase
(Figure 6b). King presented two such examples. Brooks in 1951 observed in his
reviews of the relationships between solar and meteorological phenomena that
over the world as a whole and especially in the tropical regions, the mean air
temperature at the Earth’s surface varies in opposition to the sunspot cycle, being
lowest at sunspot maxima and highest at sunspot minima. This was suspected by
Hershel as early as 1801 but was first clearly demonstrated by Koppen in 1873 and
has since been confirmed by Mieke in 1913, Hildebrandson in 1914, Walker in
1915 & 1923, Mecking in 1918, Clayton in 1923, Droste in 1924 and others. In
their Handbook of Statistical Methods in Meteorology, Brooks & Carruthers in
1953 examined the significance of some of the negative correlations between
tropical temperatures and sunspot numbers and concluded that they were
undoubtedly significant. Although the tropical temperatures examined by the
early workers referred to by Brooks correlated negatively with sunspot number,
Troup in 1962 pointed out a relatively recent reversal of this “Over the tropics as a
whole, the correlations between sunspot number and tropical temperatures which
were negative prior to 1920 have become zero or even positive subsequently. Of
recent years there has apparently been a reversal in the phase of the temperature
The level of the water in Lake Victoria, positively correlated with sunspot
number before about 1930, has been negatively correlated since about 1950;
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 94 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

during the interim period little correlation existed between sunspot number and
the water level. Stringfellow in 1974 observed a good relationship between Five-
year means of the Annual Lightning events index in Great Britain and sunspot cycle
(Figure 6h). Brooks in 1934 first showed that a significant relationship exists
between the occurrence of thunderstorms and the annual sunspot numbers:
correlation coefficients up to 0.91 were obtained from long series of data, the
largest correlation coefficients relating to high latitudes. In 1953 Brooks and
Carruthers made this observation: ”There is a correlation coefficient of +0.88
between the number of thunderstorms recorded in Siberia and mean annual sunspot
relative number. Since it is inconceivable that thunderstorms in Siberia cause
sunspots, it is reasonable to assume that sunspots or some other solar phenomenon
associated with sunspots cause thunderstorms”. They also established statistically
that the observed variation of the frequency of thunderstorms in the West Indies
during the sunspot cycle was definitely significant, the probability of obtaining
the correlation by chance being less than 0.1% “We have established”, they said,
“a high probability that thunderstorm frequency in the West Indies is related in
some way to the sunspot maximum”.
Schostakowitsch made one of the most comprehensive investigations of
the influence of the solar cycle on the weather. He prepared detailed global maps
(reproduced by Clayton in 1933) showing how the temperature, pressure and rainfall
over the Earth vary between sunspot minimum and maximum. Reddy & Lahori
(1977) subjected to power spectrum & harmonic analysis the monthly mean data
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 95 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

of dynamic height of constant pressure surface, temperature and eastward &

northward velocities of wind at 100, 50 & 30 mb levels from eleven equatorial
stations in the latitude belt of 13.5 degrees north latitude to 12.0 degrees south
latitudes. It was noted the quasi-biennial Oscillation (QBO) the 5th harmonic of
sunspot 11-year cycle is acting in unison with the multiple mode of annual cycle,
where higher modes are prominent at low sunspot activity and lower modes at
higher sunspot activity. That is near the maximum sunspot activity the QBO is 10-
24 months and near the minimum sunspot activity the period of QBO is 30-36
months. This type of variation may be attributed to the modulating effect of
annual cycle, where the amplitude of annual cycle is maximal. Reddy et al. (1977)
subjected the monthly mean data for 44 to 67 years at 20 stations of total solar
radiation and net radiation intensities estimated using simple models (see Chapter
3) to power spectrum analysis. The results presented significant influence of sunspot
cycle on total solar radiation and net radiation intensities.
Solar flares: Several analyses have indicated that short-lived solar phenomena,
such as solar flares, magnetic field, etc, may trigger a response in the lower
atmosphere. Schuurmans in 1965 studied the tropospheric response to solar flares
using the change in height of the 500-mb level over much of the Northern
Hemisphere during the first 24 hour after each of 53 flares. He concluded that the
pattern of height changes “shows a remarkable regularity with a symmetry with
respect to the geomagnetic rather than to the geographic pole”. Results such as
these show that the circulation of the lower atmosphere is significantly modified
after solar flares.
Reddy & Rao (1977) studied the effect of solar flares on lower tropospheric
(i.e. ground surface, 850, 700 and 500 mb levels) temperature and pressure (i.e.
dynamic height of constant pressure surface) using 81 flares for the period 1957-
59 at few selected locations in India. The analysis showed that the effect of solar
flare occurs within 24-hr period, while the influence starts receding after 48-hr.
The change in magnitude of the flare influence is observed to decrease with
decreasing of altitude. The effect on pressure is more pronounced compared to
that on temperature. As the change in the magnitude of the solar flare influence is
seen to depend on the intensity of the flare but not on the time of occurrence of
the flare. The same type of seasonal variation (i.e. winter maximum and summer
minimum) was not seen at all the stations, but this variation shows a considerable
relation to the general circulation pattern prevailing at that time over the region –
low & high pressure belts. That is, the authors noted significant influence of solar
flares on lower tropospheric weather in association with prevailing synoptic weather
Solar phenomena tend to recur with periods of the order of 27 days, the
synodic period of revolution of the Sun. Panofsky in 1967 has shown that this
period is close to the period of the maximum fluctuations of mean west winds at
upper-middle latitudes. Similar behaviour is not observed at lower latitudes. After
an investigation of the 500-mb circulation along the auroral belt, Riehl in 1956
concluded that circulation increases and decreases take place with a period which
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 96 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

can be related to the mean solar rotation in the equatorial zone. Rosenberg and
Coleman in 1974 studied the southern California rainfall power spectrum and
concluded that there is a significant peak at almost exactly 27 days. Baerkes in
1955 has reported the existence of a 27-day periodicity in wind speed and Egyed
in 1961 noted a 27-day periodicity in soil temperature. Rao & Reddy (1972 a & b)
and Reddy (1974a) studies on surface winds & rainfall at few Indian stations
present significant solar and lunar influence. We are well aware the sea/ocean
tides vary with phases of the Moon.
Magnetic field: Many authors including Sazonov in 1965, Mustel in 1966, Baynon
and Winstanley in 1969, Roberts and Olson in 1973, Stolov and Shapiro in 1974,
and Sidorenkov in 1974 have reported that Earth’s magnetic field may play a role
in bringing some sun-weather relationships (Figures 6i presented by Wollin and
co-authors in 1973 & Wales-Smith in 1973). Figure 6j presented by Wollin and
co-authors in 1974, for example, shows oxygen-isotope data, which provide a
measure of temperature and magnetic intensity values obtained from a single
deep-sea core formed during a 500,000-year period. Cold epochs occurred when
the magnetic intensity was relatively high and vice versa. King and Willis in 1974
have suggested that the “Little Ice Age” which occurred in Europe between 1550

and 1850 (Figure 6k) was associated with the unusually high values of magnetic
inclination that existed at that time.
Milankovitch Cycles in Paleoclimate: Milankovich cycles are cycles in the Earth’s
orbit that influence the amount of solar radiation striking different parts of the
Earth at different times of year. They are named after a Serbian mathematician,
Milutin Milankovitch, who explained how these orbital cycles cause the advance
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 97 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

and retreat of the polar ice caps. Although they are named after Milankovitch, he
was not the first to link orbital cycles to climate. Adhemar in 1842 and Croll
in1875 were two of the earliest.
Ozone: The total ozone content of the atmosphere also varies during the sunspot
cycle and possibly during the short-lived solar events. Various authors, including
Willet and Prohaska in 1965, Christie in 1973 and Paetzold in 1973 have described
variations of ozone content that occurred during the sunspot cycle while Dobson
and his co-authors in 1929 said “there is a small but definite tendency for days
with much ozone to be associated with magnetically disturbed conditions”. Weeks
and co-authors in 1972 concluded that the ozone content is reduced during strong
solar proton events.
Prior to 1980 the Sun-Weather relationship was an important topic for
research and achieved significant results by scientists from the globe. Once after
the papers linking global temperature increases to greenhouse gases, the entire
focus of research changed and as a result the research priorities completely changed
and sun-weather-climate change aspects have gone in to oblivion. There is an
urgent need to re-look into these aspects and separate and thus the integrated
effect of the Sun on the short & long-term variations in weather-climate system.
6.3 Systematic Variations in Observed Data
In this section the Sun-Weather component was not linked but presented
studies on the possible patterns in observed historical precipitation data over different
parts of the globe, known as systematic variations / climatic cycles / climatic
fluctuations. Climatic fluctuations have profound effects on water resources. In
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 98 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

arid and semi-arid zones, climatic fluctuations affect many hydrological

characteristics of watersheds including quantity of base flow, the occurrence of
large floods. The importance of climatic fluctuations in agriculture was dealt by
Reddy (1993) with reference to several countries around the globe. The literature
is rich with studies on climatic fluctuations. The author presented in brief the
results of the climatic fluctuations from his studies.
Climates in the savanna of northern Africa have changed substantially over
the past few millennia (Jackson, 1957). Climatic changes over the shorter periods
have been identified in other parts of the world (Lamb, 1972). Trends of both
increasing and decreasing rainfall have been found in some places in the tropics.
Fluctuations that are repeated in time have been detected for some places in the
tropics (Dyer, 1977; Parthasarathy & Mooley, 1978). Dyer (1977) predicted that
the next period of drought in South Africa should occur in the middle of 1980. In
such situations the average climate discussed in Chapter 4 give misleading signal
to planners. The climate presented in Chapter 4 when discussed by taking into
account the trends & fluctuations provide the realistic conditions for better planning.
Lockwood (2001) presented a review of papers on climatic changes and
oscillations. Webb, et al. (2005) presented time series plot of the annual flow
volume for the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry along with linear trend line. However,
without looking at abrupt change, fitting the data to linear curve give a misleading
conclusions and thus loose faith on such trend. For example, the fluctuations
from 1890 – 1930 showed a sudden drop and from around 1930 to 2000 presented
different fluctuations. There is a need to correct this sudden drop and that make
the results meaningful. This is an important issue while studying the observed
data series that may give spurious results. Also, it is important to take into account
the changes in units of measurements or place of observation, etc. In recent years,
in majority of developing countries the meteorological observatories are in dilapidated
Models: World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a Technical Note (No.
79) as back as 1966 on the subject “climate change”. One of the components of
this report is the assessment of climatic fluctuations in the observed meteorological
data series, known as systematic variations, principally in the precipitation data.
The time series contain not only systematic variations of different periods and
trend and irregular variations. Using the methods presented in the technical report
it is possible to separate these factors and their significance. However, the accuracy
primarily depends upon the length of the data series. The data series must be for a
period at least double to the systematic variation expected to be present in the
data. That is, if we expect a 60-year cycle, we need minimum of 120 years data
series. Such data series are available only at few selected locations. For India,
Parthasarathy, et al. (1995) presented precipitation data series at monthly, seasonal
and annual for the period 1871 to 1994 for All-India, five homogeneous regions
and 29 meteorological sub-divisions on the basis of a fixed and well-distributed
network of 306 rain-gauge stations by proper area-weightage. Similarly, all over
the world such data series were presented by respective meteorological services /
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 99 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

researchers. Figure 6l presents standardized time series of rainfall anomalies for

the twentieth century (top) and a century period of the GFDL model simulation
containing the most prominent dry episode (bottom).
Climate change traditionally refers to those present in the climate itself,
known as natural changes, known as Natural Rhythm. The natural changes are
beyond man’s control. The natural variations have two components, namely irregular
variations and systematic variations. Irregular variations vary with time – day-to-
day, season-to-season, year-to-year, etc. The systematic variations are also known
as “climatic cycles” or natural rhythm or fluctuations. This part of the climate is
generally referred to as “climate change”.
Climatic cycles in annual or seasonal rainfall means, it shows above the
average pattern for some continuous years followed by about the same number of
years of below the average rainfall pattern and this repeats itself with the time as
was the case with astrological cycles and sunspot cycle. In temperature we call
such cycles of longer duration as ice ages, etc. Where such cycles are present the
“normals” have no meaning. However, the series are affected by localized disturbances
like wars or man induced ecological changes that are known as trend.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 100 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

WMO (1966) presented details on the method of estimating the systematic

variations or cycles (amplitude & angle) in precipitation data. Blackman & Tukey
(1958) power spectrum analysis, Moving average technique, Iterative auto-regression
technique, Sine curves matching technique, etc. For power spectrum analysis, the
primary data needed for the study are the continuous long series annual or seasonal
data at least twice the length of the expected long cycle. This technique was
widely used in the estimation of cycles in precipitation data. Some of these
procedures could also be used in the case of temperature to deduce the shorter
cycles. In the case of temperature, the concept of ice ages is deduced through the
paleoclimatological tools.
Results: Using the moving average technique, Reddy (1977) observed 52-year
cycle in the dates of onset of Southwest Monsoon observed data over Kerala
Coast in India. This is given in Figure 6m. The average date is 1st June. The top
figure presents the association of lower stratospheric 50 mb winds over Singapore
in relation to onset on monsoon in India. When the winds were easterlies at 50 mb
in the month of May, the onset will be late in that year and when the winds are
westerlies the onset will be early in that year. The winds at 50 mb level over
Singapore are very systematic. In the case of westerly regime, it is always – 12
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 101 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

months and 24 months and the easterly regime, it is always 12 months and 6
months. This pattern makes it easy to predict the onset date over Kerala Coast in
advance. This was presented in the figure by dotted lines and found to be correct.
In fact, Reddy made the study using the data of 100, 50 & mb levels wind at
Singapore, Bogota, Malakal and Lima but found that the onset dates are following
the 50 mb winds over Singapore only and the wind at other locations including
100 mb winds at Singapore haven’t presented any relation with the dates of
onset. Kane (1995) used different data sets (a) derived data sets of onset dates of
Southwest Monsoon over Kerala Coast and (b) average 50 mb winds of Balboa,
Singapore and Gam and did not found relationship as was observed by the author
with the data other than Singapore. That is, it is important to follow trial & error
approach to get a better match.
Using the power spectrum analysis Reddy (1984) tried to homogenize the
climate of northeast Brazil. In this study used 70-years annual precipitation data
series of 105 stations. Based on the results the study zone is divided into three
groups, namely zones less than 4 degrees south latitude, between 4 to 8 degrees
and more than 8 degrees. In all the three zones harmonics 0, 1 and 2 are significant
at many locations. Harmonics 4 & 5, 9-12 and 13-15 are significant at many
stations in the first two zones. The harmonic 16-25 (QBO) is mainly significant in
the last zone. The auto-regression analysis of 133-year data series (1849-1981) of
Fortaleza in the first zone revealed four significant cycles, namely 52-year cycle
along with sub-multiples, namely 26, 13 and 6.5 years. The first three cycles are
closer to harmonics 1, 2 and 4, while the 4th cycle is not significantly seen in the
spectrum analysis, which is slightly different from harmonic 9-12. Through the
iterative regression analysis the amplitudes and phase angles for the four cycles
were derived (Table 6).
Table 6: Estimated amplitudes and phase angles of four cycles in
Fortaleza rainfall data series
Cycle (years) Amplitude Angle (degrees)

52.0 0.1875 6.923

26.0 0.3125 318.462
13.0 0.3125 110.769
6.5 0.1875 0.000

Note: Normalized amplitude presents the deviations from the average as a ratio of
average; the phase angle corresponds to 1911 at Fortaleza.
It is seen from the table that the amplitudes of cycles 26 & 13 years are
higher than those of 52 and 6.5 years cycles. Strang in 1979 reported a 13-year
cycle; Girardi in 1983 reported 26-year cycle; Carlos and co-authors in 1982 found
cycles 26 and 13 years as significant. However, they stated that these two cycles
explained only 24% of variance in the data series. The 52 year cycle found in
onset dates over a low latitude Kerala Coast in India on the Northern Hemisphere
lags behind the 52 year cycle observed in Fortaleza rainfall data series at lower
latitude in Southern Hemisphere.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 102 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

The integrated pattern along with observed data series of Fortaleza is

presented in Figure 6n(bottom curve), in which the observed and predicted patterns
present a perfect match. This pattern is also seen in the first two zones. The
matching is poor in the last zone. Few locations present good agreement between
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 103 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

observed and predicted curves prior to 1920’s and later 1955’s. There is discrepancy
during 1920-1955. Similar to Fortaleza pattern is also evident in the precipitation
average of 12 locations in Rio Grande do Norte [top curve — right) while top curve
— left depicts the rainfall pattern of two groups of locations in Piaui region in
which during 1920-1955 the two groups presented opposite behavior.
Using similar analysis (Reddy & Singh, 1981) of the annual rainfall data of
Mahalapye in Botswana observed 60-year cycle with sub-multiples of 30, 20 & 10
years. The integrated estimate along with the observed time series is presented in
Figure 6o.
Reddy (1986) studied the precipitation data series of 16 stations in
Mozambique in Southern Hemisphere. In this analysis also included one station
each from Malawi (Chileka) & Zimbabwe (Salisbury) and Lilongwe. The analysis
was carried out using iterative regression approach. The annual rainfall time series
of Catuane (southern most point in Mozambique) presented a 54-year cycle along
with a sub-multiple of 18-year cycle. The integrated pattern along with the observed
time series is presented in Figure 6p. Table 7 presents estimated amplitude and
phase angles. Similar pattern is observed in majority of the stations. However they
present coast to inland & latitude change in the starting year of the integrated
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 104 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

cycle. At the same latitude the starting year is early in coastal stations compared
to inland stations and early in lower latitudes. Nampula, Mutuali, Ulongoe &
Chileka, Lylongwe around the same latitude zone present 40-year cycle with the
starting year respectively showing sharp delay. That is at Nampula it started in
1973 and at Lylongwe it started in 2004. This is longitudinal variation.
Table 7: Estimated amplitudes and phase angles of Durban &
Catuane rainfall data series
Catuane Durban
Cycle Amplitude Phase Cycle Amplitude Phase
(years) (mm) angle (years) (mm) angle
(degrees) (degrees)
54 200 86.7 66 250 185.5

18 200 100.0 22 350 180.0

Reddy & Mersha (1990) analyzed the annual precipitation data of Ethiopia
in Northern Hemisphere. Annual rainfall data was available at 18 locations for more
than 25 years in Ethiopia. Only at three stations the series are for more than 50
years. The 18 stations data series were subjected to iterative regression approach
– sine curve fitting. The results are grouped under 8 types. The longest cycle of
54 years was noted in Koka data series located at a latitude of 8025’ North and
the shortest of 22 years was noted at Asmara at a latitude 150 17’ North while at
Addis Ababa and Massawa with longest series presented irregular pattern. It was
noted that in general the low-lying areas have a shorter periodicity compared to
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 105 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
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Climate Change: Myths & Realities 107 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

elevated areas. Mayole at 30 31’ North latitude presented 40-year cycle, similar to
that seen in Mozambique data in the Southern Hemisphere. At seven stations in
between 7.5 to 11.0 degrees North present 36 year cycle. However, there are
differences in the starting years of above average pattern. Four locations presented
28-year cycle. Figure 6q presents these patterns for four locations, namely In the
case of Gore & Jijiga the prominent cycles are 36 & 28-years; for Mayole & Asmara
[now it is in Eritria] they are 40 & 22-years. Tyson (1978) studied the Durban in
South Africa annual rainfall data and noted 66 and 22-year cycles. Table 7 presents
the amplitude and phase angles of the cycles noted in Durban along with Catuane
rainfall series.
Reddy (2000a) studied the All-India Southwest Monsoon Rainfall series and
the rainfall series for three meteorological sub-divisions in Andhra Pradesh using
the data series presented by Parthasarathy, et al. (1995) for the period 1871 to
1994. The All-India Southwest Monsoon Rainfall series presented a 60-year cycle
(Figure 6s) — The bottom diagram refers to annual march of rainfall and the top
diagram refers to the march of 10-year rainfall totals. In the above the average 30-
year part of the cycle present deficit rainfall (i.e., less than 90% of average) in 2 to
3 years while the same during the below the average 30-year part of the cycle are 6
to 10 years. The current ongoing above the average cycle commenced during 1991
is predicted to continue upto 2020. So far the rainfall was normal or above
The agroclimatic variable (G = available effective rainy period, weeks; S =
starting week number of planting rains – starting time of G] time series of Kurnool
in Andhra Pradesh presented a 54-year cycle. Using this pattern the rainfall data
series of the three meteorological sub-divisions in Andhra Pradesh were analyzed
and found they follow this pattern in the case of Southwest Monsoon (SWM)
rainfall data series and a reverse pattern in the case of Northeast Monsoon (NEM)
rainfall data series [Figure 6t]. The bottom diagram refers to the SWM & NEM
cyclic pattern in which given the % number of years the rainfall of the individual
years are less than the average in each 28-year period. The top diagram presents
the pattern of agroclimatic variables (G & S) pattern of Kurnool. The 54 and its’
sub-multiple like 28 years cycle are also present in the Mozambique & Ethiopia
precipitation data series.
These results clearly demonstrate one thing that the precipitation data follow
rhythmic patterns in terms of cycles & their sub-multiples. It appears in certain
conditions all these are clearly seen but under certain other conditions either cycle
or its’ sub-multiple is clearly seen. These fluctuations are observed in both the
Southern & the Northern Hemisphere precipitation data series. 66-years cycle is
the longest cycle observed at higher latitude zone and 22-years cycle is the shortest
cycle observed at lower latitude zone. In between, the important cycles observed
are 60, 56,54, 52, 40, 36, 28-years cycles. By using the data accumulated in the
last three decades, these results could be updated and could be integrated in
terms of latitude-longitude; land-sea; sun-weather. We must look this in terms of
global weather patterns – summer rains, winter rains, summer & winter rains (bi-
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 108 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 109 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

model rainfall) — but not in isolation and then only we can achieve reasonably
good conclusions that help planning in any country or region.
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Climate Change: Myths & Realities 111 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Chapter 7
Ecological Change

7.1 What is Ecological Change?

In addition to changes in the atmosphere’s composition, changes in the
land surface & cover, known as ecological changes, can have important effects on
climate. For example, a change in land use and cover can affect temperature by
changing how much solar radiation the land reflects and absorbs. Processes such
as deforestation, reforestation, desertification, changes in topography/orography,
urbanization, agriculture – dry-land to wet-land & vice versa or grazing lands,
water resources – construction of dams, etc contribute to changes in temperature,
wind, precipitation, etc in places they occur.
Changes in land cover and land use can also affect the amount of carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gases taken up or released by the land surface and
can have significant effects on radiative forcings and thus the climate at the local
& regional level by changing the reflectivity of land surface known as albedo
factor, formation of thermal inversions, etc.
To understand global land-cover change as an element of global environmental
change, it will be necessary to specify the links between human systems generating
changes both in land use and in the physical systems that are affected by the
resulting changes in land covers. The environmental consequences of uses of land
cover (changes in the state of cover) affect the original driving forces through the
environmental impacts feedback loop. Likewise these land-cover changes can be
repeated elsewhere such that they reach a global magnitude that trigger climate
change, which in turn feeds back on the local physical system, affecting land
cover and ultimately the driving forces through the environmental impact loop.
Regardless of the stimuli - local or global environmental impacts or the interactions
of driving forces in their social context - changes in driving forces at any given
time may trigger a new land use, with new consequences for the land-use/cover
system. This perspective indicates that understanding of global environmental
change must consider the conditions and changes in land cover engendered by
changes in land use; the rates of change in the conversion-modification-maintenance
processes of use; and the human forces and societal conditions that influence the
kinds and rates of the processes.
Land use is obviously constrained by environmental factors such as soil
characteristics, climate, topography, and vegetation. But it also reflects the
importance of land as a key and finite resource for most human activities including
agriculture, industry, roads including railways, forestry, energy production,
settlement, recreation, and water catchment and storage. Land is a fundamental
factor of production, and through much of the course of human history, it has
been tightly coupled to economic growth. As a result, control over land and its
use is often an object of intense human interactions.
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Human activities that make use of, and hence change or maintain, attribute of
land cover are considered to be the proximate sources of change. They range from
the initial conversion of natural forest into cropland to on-going grassland
management (e.g., determining the intensity of grazing and fire frequency). Such
actions arise as a consequence of a very wide range of social objectives, including
the need for food, fibre, living space, and recreation; they therefore cannot be
understood independent of the underlying driving forces that motivate and constrain
production and consumption.
Some of these, such as property rights and the structures of power from the
local to the international level, influence access to or control over land resources.
Others, such as population density and the level of economic and social development,
affect the demands that will be placed on the land, while technology influences
the intensity of exploitation that is possible. Still others, such as agricultural pricing
policies, shape land-use decisions by creating the incentives that motivate individual
decision makers. Interpretations of how these factors interact to produce different
uses of the land in different environmental, historical, and social contexts are
controversial in both policymaking and scholarly settings. Furthermore, there are
many theories regarding which factors are the most important determinants.
Particular controversy arises in assessing the relative importance of the different
forces underlying land-use decisions in specific cases. For example, apparent dry-
land degradation could be the result of: overgrazing by increasingly numerous
groups of nomadic cattle herders; an unintended consequence of a “development”
intervention such as the drilling of bore holes which increases stress on land close
to the wells; or the political clout of groups that, through governmental connections,
are able to over-exploit land belonging to the state or local communities. Identifying
a particular cause may have implications for the rights of competing user groups
or the formulation of policy responses.
There are several possible forces driving land-use and land-cover changes. In
other words it relates to population & their lifestyle. Population density found to
be related to agricultural expansion and intensification everywhere, but only in
some regions to deforestation. The interactions of population, affluence, and
technology as causes of environmental change have been explored extensively, but
research on the direct association of affluence or technology with land use change
is not as common. This is because of the paucity of globally comparative data for
statistical assessments and because of the common assumption that level of
affluence or technology do not by themselves govern human-environment
relationships but must be considered within a larger set of contextual variables.
Nonetheless, some historical assessments associate high levels of affluence and
industrial development (and thus the ability to draw resources from elsewhere)
with the return of forest cover.
Global comparisons indicate that afforestation is largely a phenomenon of
advanced industrial societies, which are both affluent and have high technological
capacity. Wealth, however, also increases per capita consumption, bringing about
environmental change through higher resource demands, although these higher
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demands can be reduced by advanced technologies available to wealthy societies.

Poverty is often associated with environmental degradation, although recent research
shows that this relationship is strongly influenced by other factors as well. These
mixed conclusions indicate the importance of further studies of the relationship
between level of affluence and environmental change. It is obvious that technological
development alters the usefulness and demand for different natural resources. The
extension of basic transport infrastructure such as roads, railways, and airports,
can open up previously inaccessible resources and lead to their exploitation and
degradation. To these added further (i) political economy, which includes the
systems of exchange, ownership, and control; (ii) political structure, involving the
institutions and organization of governance; and (iii) attitudes and values of
individuals and groups. Changes in attitudes and values may add a dimension to
environmental change that cannot be explained otherwise, such as impact on land
use of the “green” movement. Improved transport facilities are expected to exacerbate
land degradation if the region in question is small, but its impact on larger regions
will vary by circumstance. Additional comparative studies are needed to address
the interactions of different driving forces with their environmental context.
However, the specific role of any of the proposed driving forces is extremely difficult
to demonstrate at this global scale of analysis, however, because of their complex
interrelationships, and interactions with other factors such as social organization,
attitudes, and values, which have also undergone profound changes. As a result,
research is driven by subjective interpretations and assumptions rather than by
attempts to test different hypotheses at global level. Most of the components
have direct and indirect impacts on climate related changes. In some cases the
indirect effects more dangerous over the direct impacts. Though the individual
components impact is felt globally, the impact at local, regional and national level
they are large. Certain components may be significantly felt in some countries
and few others in other countries. Because of this, the impact of ecological
changes on climate made complex.
7.2 Population & Lifestyle related Changes
Let us look at changes in population & lifestyle with an example of US [from
a publication of Population Reference Bureau, 2006 – Lifestyle choices affect US,
impact on the Environment, by Sandra Yin —]. Between 1950 and 2005, US
population nearly doubled and in many cases, the consumption of resources is
more than doubled. For example, (a) overall energy consumption nearly tripled.
Petroleum consumption within the transportation sector rose more than 300%
between 1950 and 2005; (b) Wood consumption was up by 171% between 1950
and 2002; (c) Coal consumption increased by 128% from 1950 to 2005; and (d)
Water use was up by 127% between 1950 and 2000. The US population reaching
300 million might not be seen relevant at a global level. After all, the US represents
just 5% of the world population. But it consumes disproportionately larger amounts
than any other nation in the world – at least one-quarter of practically every
natural resource, because of its’ lifestyle choice. The high consumption tends to
occur in households in the highest income quintiles. For example, households in
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the top-income bracket own on an average 2.8 vehicles and this number progressively
drops in lower household-income groups. That is, how we live spatially affects
other consumption patterns.
In recent decades, “sprawl” has become the most common-land use pattern
that refers to low-density residential-subdivisions, commercial strips, large retail
complexes surrounded by acres of parking and office parks far from home and
shops, and a growing network of roads to link them. This is probably the most
consumptive housing pattern. Sprawl translates into longer drive to connect home
with work, school, and recreation. Not surprisingly, US’s annual number of vehicle
miles traveled in 2004 was nearly 6.5 times the number in 1950. As dependency
on cars grows, fuel consumption rises exponentially and more stop-and-go driving
results in less fuel efficiency and more pollution. The share of workers who drove
top work alone rose from 64% to 76% between 1980 and 2000. During that same
period, the share that carpool fell from 20% to 12%. The US has fewer people
than India & China, but motor vehicles per 1000 are more common in US
(Table 8).
Table 8: Estimated number of vehicles vs population
Country P N Estimated No. of motor vehicles

India 1.122 9 10,098,000

China 1.311 12 15,732,000

US 0.300 779 233,700,000

Note: P = Population in 2006 in billions; N = No. of motor vehicles per 1000

Even as US passes the 300-million mark, American’s use 75% more water
per capita than the average person in the world’s developed nations [US with 1682
cubic meters of water per person; 956 for developed countries & 545 for developing
countries). This tendency is clearly evident in developing countries too in addition
to developed countries.
7.3 Forest Related Land Use Changes
Forests cover about 30% of the global total land area; this amounts to just
under 40 million km2, but it is unevenly distributed. Deforestation, mainly conversion
of forests to agricultural land, is continuing at an alarmingly high rate. Forest area
decreased worldwide by 0.22% per year in the period 1990-2000 and 0.18% per
year between 2000 and 2005. However, the net loss of forest is slowing down as a
result of the planting of new forests and of natural expansion of forests. Primary
forests account for over a third of global forest area, but 60 000 km2 (an area
roughly the size of Ireland) continue to be lost or modified by logging or other
human interventions each year. Forest plantations are increasing but make up less
than 5% of overall forest area. The remainder are mainly modified natural forests,
but also semi-natural forests.
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The world’s natural forests are experiencing land use change due to both
direct and indirect causes. Direct causes include immediate human land use activities
that change forest cover in a local area. Key drivers include agricultural expansion,
infrastructure development, wood extraction, climate change, fire and alien invasive
species. Underlying causes result from social and institutional processes that may
indirectly impact forest cover from a local, national, or international level. Prominent
underlying causes include market failure and perverse incentives, corruption,
inappropriate state policies and institutional failure, population pressure and poverty.
The most significant human-related, direct causes affecting forest cover are discussed
Agricultural expansion: Over the years, researchers have identified agricultural
expansion as a major factor in almost all studies on deforestation. In the 1990s,
according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 70% of total
deforested areas were converted to permanent agriculture systems. Despite the
compelling figure, regional differences should be noted. For example, in Latin America
conversion to agriculture has been large scale and permanent whereas in Africa
small-scale agricultural enterprises have predominated. In Asia, the changes have
been more equally distributed between permanent agriculture and areas under
shifting cultivation. Historically, increases in food production have been at the
expense of millions of hectares of forest. Humans have always cleared land for
agriculture either for subsistence or for larger scale settling and planting. The FAO
claims that former is less a threat to forests than the latter.
Infrastructure development: The conversion of forestland to infrastructure
development can take several forms, including road-building, hydroelectric dam
construction, etc. Road construction reduces forest cover both directly by occupying
land, and indirectly, by fragmenting the landscape and opening it up for exploitation.
A study showed that 86% of Amazonian forests lost between 1991 and 1996 were
within 25 km of major roads. A similar process has occurred in Indonesia and
Central Africa. Dam construction is an infrastructure development mostly affecting
forests in Southeast and East Asia. Dams flood large populated areas, forcing
migration or resettlement to more environmentally sensitive areas. This is turn lead
to deforestation, degradation of forests and increased erosion. However, unlike
roads dams have a compensating affect by increasing water spread area and greenery
for a long time period over large tracts.
Wood extraction: Another direct cause of forest land-use change is wood
extraction from natural forests. Despite the growing importance of plantations as
a source of wood supply, wood extraction in the form of commercial timber, poles,
fuel wood, and charcoal continues to degrade mature natural forests in many
parts of the world. In the case of commercial logging, tree removal methods are
frequently destructive and unsustainable. This is often the case on steep slopes
and in sensitive ecosystems such as mangroves. Also, though many tropical countries
in Africa, Asia and Latin America rely on logging timber for export earnings. However,
under this reforestation is common.
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Harvesting forests for timber: Harvesting is an important factor in the global loss
of forest cover but it often causes degradation rather than deforestation, as old
growth is replaced with younger ecosystems or fewer species, or as areas are only
partially logged. The extent of forest cover is most threatened when farmers,
ranchers and fuel wood collectors move in to clear the land for other economic
uses after harvesting is complete. According to the FAO (FRA 2000), timber harvesting
takes place on some 110,000 km2 of tropical forests each year.
Harvesting forests for pulp and paper production: Paper manufacture accounts for
some 14% of the total world wood harvest. Most of the fibre used for pulp comes
from managed temperate forests (only 2% from natural hardwood or tropical
forests). The IIED in their study on “The Sustainable Paper Cycle” found that the
sources of wood fibre mainly originate from managed natural regeneration forests
(37%), plantations (29%) and thirdly from unmanaged natural regeneration forests
(17%). Original conifer forest account for 15% while tropical rainforests and
hardwood forests account for only 2% of the global wood pulp. Europe, North
America and Japan are increasingly using recycled paper as a source of fibre.
Acid rain and atmospheric pollutants: The most common form of atmospheric
pollution believed to affect forests is ‘acid rain,’ defined as precipitation containing
high levels of sulfuric or nitric acid. Acid rain and air pollution degrade forest
vegetation. Damage varies with tree species and soil composition. Research in
Eastern Europe, where in the past severe atmospheric pollution took place, is
clarifying the links between this pollution and forest vegetation. Forests seem to
recover well from mild pollution damage but more slowly with severe damage.
Research on forest recovery is under way in an area of the Czech republic where
50% of the forest died in 1989 due to atmospheric pollution. On the other hand,
there is evidence that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the growth rate
of forests. Radiation is another form of pollution. According to the University of
Voronezh in Russia, 70,000 km2 of forest in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine were
degraded by the nuclear accident in Chernobyl.
Loss of forests to fire: Fires are a key driver of forest land-use change. A United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) study estimates that annually fires burn
up to 500 million hectares of woodland, open forests, tropical and sub-tropical
savannas, 10-15 million hectares of boreal and temperate forest and 20-40 million
hectares of tropical forests. Yet, fire is a paradox as while it can cause extensive
ecological, economic, and social damage it can also be extremely beneficial through
nutrient recycling and regeneration. For example in boreal forests, fire is a natural
part of the forest cycle with some tree species, notably Lodge pole Pine and Jack
Pine being able to germinate only after they have been exposed to fire. In addition,
burning quickly decomposes organic matter into mineral components that cause a
spurt of plant growth, and can also reduce disease in the forest. Nevertheless,
forest fires in contrast have caused considerable environmental, health, economic
and social damages in recent years and have been recognized as major cause of
forest loss and degradation in some parts of the world. Furthermore, emissions
from forest fires have also exacerbated global climate change.
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Human activities can start fires deliberately or accidentally. These accidents

can be caused by careless use of fire for the clearing of land or other purposes.
They can burn out of control for long periods of time. Burned areas can recover but
they are vulnerable because fires open up large areas of forest and the ash increases
the fertility of the soil, thereby giving an incentive to agricultural use. Areas of
concern include the Mediterranean forests, tropical forests and boreal forests in
northern China and Siberia. A prominent example of deforestation by fire is the
case in1997-1998 in Sumatra and Borneo (Indonesia). Although there was wide
disagreement at first, the final consensus is that 20,000 km2 of land had burned,
only some of it being forest.
Conversion of forests for expansion of cash crops production in developing
countries: Many developing countries have large debts requiring foreign ‘hard’
currency to pay the interest. The incentive is then to convert forests to expand the
production of export crops such as palm oil, rubber or coffee. Sometimes economic
policies, such as Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) that are meant to address
economic crises, may encourage faster exploitation of resources such as forests
and fisheries. In many cases, economic policies are followed but clauses calling for
the protection of natural resources are ignored.
Destruction of forests in the course of warfare: Warfare can lead to long-lasting
deforestation. Forest fires can be set off in a battle, deliberately or not. The Vietnam
War can be cited, but also conflicts in Myanmar (Burma) and Sri Lanka.
Alien invasive species: As the global movement of people and products spreads, so
does the movement of plant and animal species from one part of the world to
another. When a species is introduced into a new habitat – for example, oil palm
from Africa into Indonesia, Eucalyptus species from Australia into California, and
rubber from Brazil into Malaysia – the alien species typically requires human
intervention to survive and reproduce. Often these alien species are economically
important and enhance the production of forest commodities in many parts of the
world. However, in some cases species introduced intentionally become established
in the wild and spread at the expense of native species, affecting entire ecosystems.
Perhaps even worse are invasive alien species that are introduced unintentionally,
such as disease organisms that can devastate an entire tree species (e.g. Dutch
elm disease and chestnut blight in North America) or pests that can have a major
effect on native forests or plantations (e.g. gypsy moths and long-horned beetles).
As global trade grows, so does the threat from devastating invasive species of
insect and pathogen. These could fundamentally alter natural forests and wipe
out tree plantations, the latter being especially vulnerable because of their lower
species diversity.
Absence of Good Governance and Rule of Law: Government policies, and how
those policies are enforced, both within and outside the forest sector, also ultimately
impact on forestland use change. Forestland is still all too often seen as a nationally
owned asset, irrespective of the stewardship that local communities have exercised
over the same resource for many years. Inequities in titling and use rights can
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result in forests becoming a major source of conflict and/or illegal activity. While
illegal logging and corruption may, and often does, exist because of pure criminality
it can, in some situations, be driven by inappropriate governance structures that
turn legitimate concerns or entitlements into illegal activities. For example, in one
Central American country in the early 1990s one of the main causes for bribery
associated with log transport permits was not that loggers want to move illegally
harvested trees but rather that they wanted to avoid long bureaucratic delays in
attaining permission that would leave legally harvested trees deteriorating in forest
loading yards.
7.4 Agriculture related Land Use Changes
Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants,
animals and other life forms. The history of agriculture is a central element of
human history, as agricultural progress has been a crucial factor in worldwide
socio-economic changes. Weather-building and militaristic specializations rarely
seen in hunter-gatherer cultures are commonplace in agricultural and agro-industrial
societies—when farmers became capable of producing food beyond the needs of
their own families. It is argued that the development of civilization required
agriculture. As of 2006, an estimated 45 percent of the world’s workers are employed
in agriculture (from 42% in 1996). This has got both direct and indirect affects.
The indirect effects have more environmental consequences.
As of late 2007, several factors have pushed up the price of grain used to
feed poultry and dairy cows and other cattle, causing higher prices of wheat (up
58%), soybean (up 32%), and maize (up 11%) over the year. Approximately 40%
of the world’s agricultural land is seriously degraded. In Africa, if current trends of
soil degradation continue, the continent might be able to feed just 25% of its
population by 2025, according to UNU’s Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources
in Africa.
According to the United Nations, the livestock sector (primarily cows,
chickens, and pigs) emerges as one of the top two or three most significant
contributors to our most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local
to global. Livestock production occupies 70% of all land used for agriculture, or
30% of the land surface of the planet. It is one of the largest sources of greenhouse
gases—responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions as measured
in CO2 equivalents. By comparison, all transportation emits 13.5% of the CO2. It
produces 65% of human-related nitrous oxide (which has 296 times the global
warming potential of CO2) and 37% of all human-induced methane (which is 23
times as warming as CO2). It also generates 64% of the ammonia, which contributes
to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems. But studies have shown that a cow is
climate neutral since it eats grass, corn. These plants take the CO2 out of the air.
To meet the food needs of ever increasing population around 60’s green
revolution technology was introduced in the system. The production is primarily
related to water availability and chemical inputs. The water availability was related
to tanks built by rulers of the day. Then open wells, then bore wells and small &
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 119 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

big dams. According to a report of the World Commission on Dams, there are
around 50,000 dams around the world of which 45% are in China, 14% are in
USA, 9% are in India, 6% in Japan, 3% in Spain, the rest in 23%. After this
accounting, China built the largest dam (Three Gorges). With this system changed
the crops & cropping pattern; multiple cropping to sole crop; dry land to wet land
agriculture. With dams, forests are submerged and water spread has increased.
Thus, land use changed in multifold.
To produce chemical inputs, industries were established that introduced
greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. They introduced mining for raw material
used in these industries. Thus, land use changed. For lift irrigation, power is used;
and in the power production again contributing greenhouse gases. These industries
induced severe health hazards on life forms. The food produced under the green
revolution technology is polluted and as a result health hazards. This introduced
industries to produce medicine that are causing severe pollution to air, water &
soil; causing soil degradation. The vicious circle became a never- ending
phenomenon. In affect the agriculture changed the land-use & land cover in terms
of crops/cropping pattern and water reservoirs on the one hand; and at the same
time introduced greenhouse gases and health hazards to life forms on the Earth
and they in turn introduced green house gases. The land use changes here contribute
changes in net radiation as well atmospheric water vapour balance and advection
of energy. However, not much work has been done in this direction. Thus only
qualitative statements and no quantitative estimates are available at global level.
7.5 Urbanization related Land Use Changes
Metropolitan areas around the globe irrespective of developed or developing
nations are growing at unprecedented rates, creating extensive urban landscapes.
Many of the farmlands, wetlands, forests, and deserts have been transformed
during the past 100 years into human settlements, known as “concrete jungle”.
Almost every one has seen these changes to their local environment but without a
clear understanding of their impacts on environment and life forms. It is not until
we study these landscapes from a spatial and temporal perspective that we can
measure the changes that have occurred and predict the impact of changes to
Most major metropolitan areas face the growing problems of urban sprawl,
loss of natural vegetation and open spaces as well water bodies and converting
these into concrete structures in both horizontal-vertical spectrum with roads.
The public identifies with these problems when they see residential and commercial
development replacing undeveloped land around them. Urban growth rates show
no signs of slowing, especially when viewed at the global scale, since these problems
can be generally attributed to increasing population. Cities have changed from
small, isolated population centers to large, interconnected economic, physical,
and environmental features.
Urban growth and the concentration of people in urban areas are creating
societal problems worldwide. One hundred years ago, approximately 15 percent of
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the world’s population was living in urban areas. Today, the percentage is nearly
50. In the last 200 years, world population has increased six times, stressing
ecological and societal systems. Over the same time period, the urban population
has increased 100 times; concentrating more people on less land even as the total
land devoted to urbanization expands. Yet the temporal and spatial dimensions of
the land use changes that shape urbanization are little know, even in the United
States. A temporal database can be visualized as a sequence of maps, such as
those presented in Figures 7a, b, c & d — examples of urban growth in Willamette
Valley, Chicago-Milwaukee, Washington, D.C. & River watershed —. Sequential
maps show urbanization as a static pattern that changes with each time period
that is mapped:
Figures 7a presents an example of urban change for Chicago-Milwaukee in
1955, 1975 & 1995. Each time period is represented by a different color. Black
shows the extent of urban growth in 1955, red represents 1975, and yellow
represents 1995. Figures 7b presents the time series documents of urban change
in the Willamette Valley region over 115 years. The red areas represent urban extent
for each time period. The Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River are shown in blue.
Figures 7c presents the series of maps shows more than 200 years of urban growth
in and around the Washington, D.C. area. The red areas represent urban extent
for each time period and the blue is Chesapeake Bay. This figure also includes a
projection for 2025 period given in yellow & green colours. Figures 7d presents
series of maps compares changes in urban, agricultural, and forested lands in the
Patuxent River watershed over the past 140 years. Red colour shows the extent of
urbanization, gold shows extent of agriculture & green shows the extent of forestland.
The existence and accessibility of transportation routes have often dictated
patterns of urban growth. Urban areas that were established in the 18th and early
19th Centuries were usually located along waterways, reflecting dependence on
shipping for the transportation of goods and people. By the middle of the 19th
Century, railroads began to connect existing towns and spurred the growth of new
urban areas. The post-World War II era saw not only an increase in the population
of most metropolitan areas, but also the emergence of a society dependent on the
automobile. The proliferation of the private automobile led to expansive
development at the edges of many urban areas. The development of the Interstate
Highway system in the 1950’s spurred the widespread construction of roads. As
road networks expanded and became more complex, urban development followed.
As in the past, most recent urban growth has occurred along transportation
These introduced changes in the net radiation balance as well atmospheric
water vapour balance along with greenhouse gases composition. These are assessed
qualitatively but there is no quantitative data at global level.
7.6 Mining related Land Use Changes
Mining related land use change has direct and indirect impacts on
environment. This is a phenomenon encompassing the whole world. However,
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the degree and intensity vary with country-to-country, location-to-location

depending up on the prevailing natural geology, vegetative & orography conditions.
Gold, copper, diamonds, and other precious metals and gemstones are important
resources that are found in rainforests around the world. Extracting these natural
resources is frequently a destructive activity that damages the rainforest ecosystem
and causes problems for people living nearby and downstream from mining
operations. In the Amazon rainforest most mining today revolves around alluvial
gold deposits. Due to the meandering nature of Amazon Rivers, gold is found
both in river channels and on the floodplains where rivers once ran. Large-scale
operators and informal small-scale miners actively mine these deposits. Both
operators rely heavily on hydraulic mining techniques, blasting away at riverbanks,
clearing floodplain forests, and using heavy machinery to expose potential gold-
yielding gravel deposits. Large-scale mining operations, especially those using
open-pit mining techniques, can result in significant deforestation through forest
clearing and the construction of roads which open remote forest areas to transient
settlers, land speculators, and small-scale miners.
There are several other types of mines, namely coal, granite, raw material
for cement, iron ore, other metals, etc. Some times, forest areas may not be
cleared but this not only causes changes in land use-land cover but introduce
pollutants into the atmosphere. Few general issues relating to mining are given
• The mining dumps appalling amounts of waste into local streams, rendering
downstream waterways and wetlands “unsuitable for aquatic life”;
• Mines disturb large tracts of pristine forests and release harmful toxics,
such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and lead into soil and groundwater;
• The toxic runoffs from mines not only disturb local freshwater fish and
wildlife but can also have a damaging effect on humans;
• Long-term exposure to arsenic is linked to skin cancer and other organ tumors,
while cadmium exposure can cause kidney disease. Lead can stunt normal growth
and development in children and some forms of mercury can cause damage to the
nervous system;
• Mining incursions in road less areas are also dependent on constructing a
large network of access roads;
• Road building damages the terrain and after all the resources are extracted,
abandoned mines require more roads and cleanup teams to prevent toxic waste
from damaging the ecosystem;
• Forests are biologically rich with species of amphibians, birds, mammals and
reptiles, and species of vascular plants. Mining affect the balance of these;
• The mining process generates other toxic compounds including oil and fuel
waste and fine suspended particles that affect river navigation and fish populations
by reducing the availability of oxygen;
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 123 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

• Mining further exposes previously buried metal sulfides to atmospheric oxygen

causing their conversion to strong sulfuric acid and metal oxides, which run off
into local waterways. Oxides tend to more soluble in water and contaminate local
rivers with heavy metals;
• Clandestine miners further damage the riparian environment by tearing up
biologically sensitive areas including alluvial zones and small creek beds, key habitats
for aquatic life. In the forest, they clear under story vegetation, while leaving some
canopy trees to prevent patrol helicopters from landing;
• These sites are difficult to locate with plane or helicopter, suggesting that
mining damage may be underestimated;
• Under story clearing can dry the forest, affecting species distribution and
putting it at greater risk to forest fires;
• In abandoned mining areas, cleared forest can take more than 100 years to
• In the meantime, the vegetation shift changes the entire ecology of the
ecosystem, transitioning from closed tropical rainforest to a weedy, less bio-diverse
• Beyond the environmental effects, mining has also been linked to the spread
of malaria. The influx of prostitutes into mining camps has increased the incidence
of AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases as well. Miners themselves are at
7.7 Impact on Climate
When humans transform land from forests to seasonal crops or from natural
to urban environments, the regional climate system is altered. For example, clear-
cut hillsides are significantly warmer than forests. Urban environments are also
islands of heat produced by industry, homes, automobiles, and by asphalt’s
absorption of solar energy. Changing uses of the land are also associated with
changes in the usage and availability of water, as well as the production of GHGs.
Deforestation can significantly increase the amount of atmospheric CO2. All these
land use changes on a contiguous plot-form are likely to have a large, direct effect
on global average temperature as well local & regional weather & climate in a
complex way.
Land use and land cover affect the global climate system through bio-
geophysical, bio-geochemical, and energy exchange processes. Variations in these
processes due to land-use and land-cover change in turn affect local, regional, and
global climate patterns. Key processes include uptake and release of GHGs by the
terrestrial bio-sphere through photosynthesis, respiration, and evapotranspiration;
the release of aerosols and particulates from surface land-cover perturbations;
variations in the exchange of sensible heat between the surface and atmosphere
due to land-cover changes; variations in absorption and reflectance of radiation as
land-cover changes affect surface reflectance; and surface roughness effects on
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 124 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

atmospheric momentum that are land-cover dependent. Human activity can and
does alter many of these processes and attributes, but weather and climate, as
well as geological and other natural processes, are also important.
For example, land-cover changes such as deforestation and forest fires alter
ecosystems cause short-term release of carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide,
and aerosols to the atmosphere and as well as cause long-term change in the
reflectivity of the land surface, which in turn determines how much of the Sun’s
energy is absorbed and thus available as heat, while vegetation transpiration and
surface hydrology determine how this energy is partitioned into latent and sensible
heat fluxes. At the same time, vegetation and urban structure determine surface
roughness and thus air momentum and heat transport.
Understanding the significance of land-cover changes for climate,
biogeochemistry, or ecological complexity is not possible, however, without additional
information on land use. This is because most land-cover change is now driven by
human use and because land-use practices themselves also have major direct effects
on environmental processes and systems. Evaluating the causes and the
consequences of changes in land use and land cover is becoming an urgent need
for more than the academic research community. At the 1992 UN Conference on
Environment and Development, a framework convention on climate change and a
convention on biodiversity were signed, as was a declaration of principles on
forests; while no formal action was taken on desertification, a broad agreement
was reached to work toward a conference and a convention in the near future.
Changes in land use and land cover are significant components of all the problems
addressed by these agreements, yet we do not have enough knowledge about
such phenomena to decide how these conventions should best be structured and
which of their proposed elements are likely to be effective. At present, we are
unable to answer even the most basic questions.
Recognizing the importance of studies of changes in land use and land
cover in developing our understanding of global environmental change, the
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the Human Dimensions
of Global Environmental Change Programme (HDP) formed an ad hoc working
group in early 1991 to investigate the possibilities of a joint effort by natural and
social scientists to study the issue. The group met in New York City with the
assistance of the Social Science Research Council in May 1991 and in Dalaro,
Sweden in October 1991, with support from the Swedish Council for Planning
and Coordination of Research (FRN). Carolyn Malmstrom represented the IGBP
Seaetariat at the New York meeting. Several additional individuals took part in the
working group’s second meeting. The working group recommended that a joint
IGBP-HDP Core Project Planning Committee be established to develop an
interdisciplinary research programme involving social and natural scientists to project
future states of land cover. This recommendation was based on the following
conclusions of the working group: “Understanding the past and future impacts of
changes in land cover is central to the study of global environmental change and
its human driving forces and impacts, including hydrology, the climate system,
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 125 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

biogeochemical cycling, ecological complexity, and land degradation and its impacts
for agriculture and human settlement”. Additional basic research is required to
understand how these factors interact to drive land cover change or how projections
about them could be used to project future patterns of land use, future rates of
land-cover change, and future states of land-cover.
In light of the recommendation of the working group and the importance of
the subject, the Scientific Committee of the IGBP and the Standing Committee of
the HDP decided to establish a joint Core Project Planning Committee (CPPC),
under the joint chairmanship of B L Turner and D L Skole, with responsibility to
develop a detailed scientific plan for an IGBP-HDP project on changes in land use
and land cover. It was further decided to hold an open scientific meeting to review
the scientific plan that will be proposed by the CPPC. Assuming the subsequent
establishment of the project, a Joint Scientific Steering Committee would then be
formed to coordinate its implementation.
7.7.1 Heat Island Effect
Kenneth Chang presented a report in New York Times, which was reproduced
by San Jose Mercury Nes on August 22, 2000 “Urbanites feel the heat when cities
replace trees and greenery with buildings and blacktop”. — Atlanta is so big and
hot that it makes its own weather, and scientists have the pictures to prove it.
While analyzing weather data that had been collected during the 1996 Summer
Olympics, Dr. Robert Bornstein, a professor of meteorology at San Jose State
University, saw a pattern in the winds. The heat absorbing roofs and pavement
were warming the air, and the hot air was rising, sucking air from all directions into
the city (Figure 7e). Bornstein surmised what was happening next: As the warm air
rose, it cooled, condensing into clouds and rain. Satellite images backed him up,
revealing several instances in which thunderstorms erupted over Atlanta, seemingly
out of nowhere, and dumped rain on the city, usually at its southeast and northeast
edges. The idea that cities generate their own heat, and alter their climates as a
result, is not new. Bornstein observed thunderstorms appearing over New York
City more than two decades ago, but in recent years, scientists using high-tech
sensors have produced a more detailed picture of how human activities change
the weather.
Over the past four years, researchers from the NASA Marshall Space Flight
Centre in Huntsville, Al., have flown jets equipped with infrared cameras over Salt
Lake City, Sacramento, Baton Range, La., and Atlanta, producing block-by-block
temperature maps. Figure 7f reveals surface temperatures on a summer day in
1998 in down town Sacramento – blue areas are vegetated and relatively cool, 77
to 86 degrees; red areas are 120 degrees and above. Figure 7g presents the
surface temperatures in downtown Sacramento at 11 a.m. June 30, 1998. Air
temperatures differ, depending on meteorological conditions. The other important
issue in warming of urban areas is the destruction of water bodies. This is an
important issue all over the world. Parks were cool – plants are full of cooling
water, and trees also provide shade – while asphalting lots were hot. . The hottest
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 126 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 127 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 128 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

buildings often were the newest. In

Salt Lake City, the Scott M. Matheson
Courthouse, a dark-roofed building that
opened a couple of years ago, is a white-
hot splotch in the infrared photograph,
suggesting a roof temperature of about
170 degrees Fahrenheit. Across the
street to the east, the century-old
castle-like City and County Building is
a relative cool reddish color. Figure 7h
presents an example of horizontal
section of heat island. The heat-island
effect is growing with the outward push
of suburbia. Atlanta’s urban heat island
now covers at least 17 square miles.
Luke Howard, an amateur
meteorologist in England, first recorded
the heat-island effect almost 200 years
ago. Beginning in 1807, he started
comparing temperatures from several
sites within London with those
measured a few miles beyond the city’s
edge, and through the years, he noticed
that the city was consistently warmer.
“Thus,” Howard wrote in his book, “The
Climate of London” in
the varying circumstances of different sites,
different instruments, and different positions of
the latter, we find London always warmer than
the country, the average excess of its temperature
being 1.579 degrees”. Today, the effect is more
noticeable. In the largest cities, average
temperatures can range 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit
hotter than surrounding areas. Figure 7i presents
rate of heat island growth in degrees Fahrenheit
per decade over different cities in USA. Similar
studies were carried out all over the world including
in India. Fact Sheet (Down To Earth, March 15,
2008) presents “City centers are physically hotter.
Known as the heat island
effect, urban and suburban
temperatures are 1 to 6 0C
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 129 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

hotter than nearby rural areas, says the US Environmental Protection Agency”.
Globally the meteorological stations, primarily, are located in the “heat island”
zones. Thus, the surface observations, on which global warming theories are built,
is contaminated by the urban heat island effect.
7.7.2 Impact of Changes in Topography
Topography plays the major role on Indian rainfall. For example, Western
Ghats helps in producing wet areas on windward direction (western parts of Ghats)
and dry areas on leeward direction (eastern parts of Ghats) during the Southwest
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 130 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Monsoon season. The opposite pattern is produced during the Northeast Monsoon
season and as well due to cyclonic activity in Bay of Bengal. The box effect of
northeastern zone provides the zone of the highest rainfall in the world. Thus, the
destruction of topography changes the weather around that zone. Very few
studies attempted to quantify these changes.
Colaba and Santacruz within Mumbai show an increasing trend in rainfall
during 1961-1990 with Santacruz rainfall higher than Colaba rainfall by around
300 mm but at Santacruz the increasing trend in rainfall was countered due to
cutting of hillocks in the windward direction of Southwest Monsoon on the eastern
and northeastern side of Santacruz meteorological observatory on the runway
(Figure 7j). The mean annual rainfall at Colaba (1969, mm) and Santacruz (2288,
mm) shows a difference of 318.8 mm. The same during a wet year it is –127 mm
and a dry year it is 396 mm. That is, the change in topography in the windward
area reduced the rainfall by around 150 mm.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 131 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

7.7.3 Cold Island Effect

To meet the food and other needs of the unabated growth in population, in
agriculture large-scale changes in land-use have taken place and this is a continuous
process. In this process there are important changes are noticed, namely changes in
crops & cropping pattern & the duration; and spread of reservoirs – rural ecological
changes. These changes create changed weather system. Figure 7k presents the
trend in 28-year period averages in the three meteorological sub-divisions in Andhra
Pradesh in the two rainy seasons, namely the Southwest Monsoon (SWM) – left
side and the Northeast Monsoon (NEM) – right side. The numbers on the curves
present the % number of years the rainfall less than the average rainfall during the
respective monsoon seasons (SWM/NEM) in each of the three meteorological sub-
divisions of Andhra Pradesh. It is clear from the figure that the trend is significant
and early in Coastal Andhra sub-division in which the changes in agriculture took
place earlier with the two dams, one on Krishna at Vijayawada and the other on
Godavari at Rajahmundry. Rayalaseema sub-division presents a weak-trend as the
land use change is limited to smaller areas only. Table 9 presents the temporal
variation in the area under irrigation in the three meteorological sub-divisions of AP.
However, in Andhra Pradesh, the state government initiated cloud seeding
operations since 2004 along with several other changes in land use and changes in
land cover, which may change the rainfall over different parts of the state in near
future. The state receives rainfall predominantly in association with cyclonic systems.
The cloud seeding operators are seeding invariably such cyclonic systems that
severely affect the rainfall in downwind direction. At present it is not easy to
separate this from the trend in rainfall but the preliminary analysis of the result
clearly indicate a decrease in rainfall in down wind direction (Reddy, 2004).
Table 9: Temporal variation of the irrigated area
in the three sub-divisions of AP
Region Area under irrigation
(lakh hectares)
1955-56 1999-00
Coastal Andhra 17.23 22.01
Telangana 6.43 15.71
Rayalaseema 3.81 6.12

AP 27.47 43.84

7.7.4 Deforestation Effect

Tropical Deforestation Affects US Climate (Mike Bettwy, Goddard Space Flight
Center release September 20, 2005) results are summarized as: Today, scientists
estimate that between one-third and one-half of our planet’s land surfaces have
been transformed by human development. Now, a new study is offering insight
into the long-term impacts of these changes, particularly the effects of large-scale
deforestation in tropical regions on the global climate. Researchers from Duke
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 132 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

University, Durham, N.C., analyzed multiple years of data using the NASA Goddard
Institute for Space Studies General Circulation Computer Model (GCM) and Global
Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) to produce several climate simulations.
Their research found that deforestation in different areas of the globe affects
rainfall patterns over a considerable region.
Deforestation would result in a reduction in precipitation and increase in
temperature in the Amazon basin — This pattern was also revealed in studies
carried out in early 1970s by India Meteorological Department on the impact of
deforestation on Simla rainfall. “Our study carried somewhat surprising results,
showing that although the major impact of deforestation on precipitation is found
in and near the deforested regions, it also has a strong influence on rainfall in the
mid and even high latitudes,” said Roni Avissar, lead author of the study, published
in the April 2005 issue of the Journal of Hydrometeorology. Specifically,
deforestation of Amazonia was found to severely reduce rainfall in the Gulf of
Mexico, Texas, and northern Mexico during the spring and summer seasons when
water is crucial for agricultural productivity. Deforestation of Central Africa has a
similar effect, causing a significant precipitation decrease in the lower U.S Midwest
during the spring and summer and in the upper U.S. Midwest in winter and spring.
Deforestation in Southeast Asia alters rainfall in China and the Balkan Peninsula
most significantly. Elimination of any of these tropical forests, Amazonia, Central
Africa or Southeast Asia, considerably enhances rainfall in the southern tip of the
Arabian Peninsula. However, the combined effect of deforestation in all three
regions shifts the greatest precipitation decline in the U.S. to California during
the winter season and further increases rainfall in the southern tip of the Arabian
Improved understanding of tropical forested regions is valuable to scientists
because of their strong influence on the global climate. The tropics receive two-
thirds of the world’s rainfall, and when it rains, water changes from liquid to vapor
and back again, storing and releasing heat energy in the process. With so much
rainfall, an incredible amount of heat is released into the atmosphere - making the
tropics the Earth’s primary source of heat redistribution. Avissar says, “Deforestation
does not appear to modify the global average of precipitation, but it changes
precipitation patterns and distributions by affecting the amount of both sensible
heat and that released into the atmosphere when water vapor condenses, called
latent heat. Associated changes in air pressure distribution shift the typical global
circulation patterns, sending storm systems off their typical paths”.
The accelerating destruction of the rainforests that form a precious cooling band
around the Earth’s equator, is now being recognized as one of the main causes of
climate change. Carbon emissions from deforestation far outstrip damage caused
by planes and automobiles and factories. The rampant slashing and burning of
tropical forests is second only to the energy sector as a source of greenhouse
gases according to report published by the Oxford-based Global Canopy Programme,
an alliance of leading rainforest scientists. “Tropical forests are the elephant in the
living room of climate change,” said Andrew Mitchell, the head of the GCP. Scientists
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 133 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

say one days’ deforestation is equivalent to the carbon footprint of eight million
people flying to New York. Reducing those catastrophic emissions can be achieved
most quickly and most cheaply by halting the destruction in Brazil, Indonesia, the
Congo and elsewhere.
The rainforests of the Amazon, the Congo basin and Indonesia are thought
of as the lungs of the planet. But the destruction of those forests will in the next
four years alone, in the words of Sir Nicholas Stern, pump more CO2 into the
atmosphere than every flight in the history of aviation to at least 2025. Indonesia
became the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world last week.
Following close behind is Brazil. Neither nations have heavy industry on a comparable
scale with the EU, India or Russia nor yet they comfortably outstrip all other
countries, except the United States and China.
Standing forest was not included in the original Kyoto protocols and stands
outside the carbon markets that the report from the IPCC pointed to this month as
the best hope for halting catastrophic warming. The landmark Stern Report last
year, and the influential McKinsey Report in January agreed that forests offer the
“single largest opportunity for cost-effective and immediate reductions of carbon
The standing forests generate the bulk of rainfall worldwide and act as a
thermostat for the Earth. Forests are also home to 1.6 billion of the world’s poorest
people who rely on them for subsistence. However, forest experts say governments
continue to pursue science fiction solutions to the coming climate catastrophe,
preferring bio-fuel subsidies, carbon capture schemes and next-generation power
stations. Putting a price on the carbon these vital forests contain is the only way
to slow their destruction. Hylton Philipson, a trustee of Rainforest Concern,
explained: “In a world where we are witnessing a mounting clash between food
security, energy security and environmental security - while there’s money to be
made from food and energy and no income to be derived from the standing forest,
it’s obvious that the forest will take the hit.”
Slash-and-burn agriculture elsewhere (in particular in Indonesia, Southeast
Asia and tropical Africa in dry years) may also have a profound effect on climate
(McGuffie, K. and A. Henderson-Sellers in 1997). It can be argued that because
the smoke CCN are short-lived, and because the CO2 emissions involved are relatively
small, the direct effect of the burning on climate is mostly transient and therefore
deforestation is of little importance to climate. However the long-term change in
land surface conditions may have a lasting effect on climate through changes in
surface heat fluxes, rainfall, and greenhouse gas production (e.g. methane).
All these, clearly reflects that ecological changes have both direct and indirect
effects on weather in addition to direct impact on environment & life forms on the
Earth. Unfortunately, the researchers’ haven’t given that much importance as that
given to hypothetical global warming theories as these needs only sophisticated
computers without scientifically validated data sets. There is an urgent need to
change the mind set in this direction to solve the climate change problem as a
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 134 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

long-term solution.
From the above discussions it is also clear that ecological changes not only
influence the radiation balance in the atmosphere but also the greenhouse gases,
principally CO2 balance in the atmosphere. This creates a permanent change in the
greenhouse gases balance in the atmosphere. The principal contributors of
anthropogenic greenhouse gases are fossil fuels such as coal, oil & gas. It was
estimated in 2005 that the total world-wise energy consumption was 138,900
Twh with around 85%± 10% (oil 37%, coal 25% & gas 23%) of primary energy
production in the world come from burning fossil fuels are non-renewable. World
recoverable coal reserve is estimated as 4,416,000 million barrels equivalent. At
the present rate (29 million barrels equivalent per day) of use, it will lost up to 417
years. Oil reserves are 1,317,000 million barrels will lost (84 million barrels per day)
for 43 years and gas 1,161,000 million barrels equivalent lost (19 million barrels
equivalent per day) for 167 years.
It is proposed to use renewable energy sources that are naturally replenishble,
such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat in place of fossil fuels to
reduce the greenhouse gases emissions into the atmosphere. Renewable technologies
include solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, biomass, etc. In 2006, about
18% of global final energy consumption come from renewables, with 13% coming
from traditional biomass such as wood burning. Hydropower was the next largest
with 3%. We need spectacular breakthroughs in technologies to stop or reduce
the use of fossil fuels in energy production. However, in light of the ecological
changes changing the greenhouse gases balance in the atmosphere, there is a
need to re-look into the greenhouse gases vs global warming theories proposed
based on numerical models.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 135 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Chapter 8
Global Warming
8.1 What is Global Warming (GW)?
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s
near-surface air and Oceans since the mid-twentieth century, and its projected
continuation. The average global air temperature near the Earth’s surface increased
by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the hundred years ending in 2005.
The basic question is whether the observed increase in globally averaged
temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is due to the observed increase in
anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gases (GHGs) concentrations via the
greenhouse effect or due to a combination of natural and man made effects like
urban contamination. A report says, “There is a related question of whether warming
is due to human activities or the end of a little ice age. The main external climate
forcings experienced over the last 2,000 years are volcanic eruptions, changes in
solar radiation reaching the Earth, and increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases
and aerosols due to human activities. Proxy records are available for reconstructing
climate forcings over the last 2,000 years, but these climate forcings reconstructions
are associated with as much uncertainty as surface temperature reconstructions”.
The report also says, “Greenhouse gases and tropospheric aerosols varied
little from A.D. 1 to around 1850. Volcanic eruptions and solar fluctuations were
likely the most strongly varying external forcings during this period, but it is currently
estimated that the temperature variations caused by these forcings were much
less pronounced than the warming due to greenhouse gas forcing since the mid
19th century. Climate model simulations indicate that solar and volcanic forcings
together could have produced periods of relative warmth and cold during the pre-
industrial portion of the last 1,000 years. However, anthropogenic greenhouse gas
increases are needed to simulate late 20th century warmth”.
Report from the National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council
QUESTIONS marks the first time a study commissioned by the federal government
has publicly concluded that global warming exists. The study says that global
warming “is real and particularly strong within the past 20 years”. A total of 14
specific questions were addressed by the study, ranging from “Is climate change
occurring? If so, how?” to “What are the specific areas of science that need to be
studied further, in order of priority, to advance our understanding of climate
change?” The report further states “greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s
atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and
subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising”. The
report notes that “changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly
due to human activities,” but the NAS/NRC says, could not rule out the possibility
that a significant part of the climate changes could be the result of natural variability.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 136 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Regardless of the reason for the climate change, global warming is expected to
continue through the 21st century. While in some areas, the rising temperatures
will cause a rise in sea level. Computer model simulations also project “an increased
tendency towards drought over semi-arid regions, such as the U.S. Great Plains”.
The NAS/NRC also looked for substantive differences between the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report and its published
summary. According to the NAS/NRC, the IPCC summary “largely represents the
consensus scientific views and judgments of the committee members, based on
the accumulated knowledge that these individuals have gained – both through
their own scholarly efforts and through formal and informal interactions with the
world’s climate change science community.” One of the specific questions asked
of the NAS/NRC was “By how much will temperatures change over the next 100
years and where?” The highest estimate of the atmospheric temperature increase
is 10.4oF. While this may not seem to be a particularly large change when looking
on the short term, the long-term impact of such a change is significant.
According to their report, “Higher evaporation rates would accelerate the
drying of soils following rain events, resulting in lower relative humidities and
higher daytime temperatures, especially during the warm season”. There is evidence
to suggest that droughts as severe as the “dust bowl” of the 1930’s were much
more common during the 10th and 14th centuries than they have been in recent
record. Another major question the study addressed was, “What will be the
consequences (e.g., extreme weather, health effects) of increases [in temperature]
of various magnitude?” The study concludes “Hydrologic impacts could be
significant over the western United States, where much of the water supply is
dependent on the amount of snow pack and the timing of the spring runoff.” This
is a small example, how global warming theory is running on “ifs and buts” that
needs clear-cut solutions!!!
National Research Council of USA in its’ 2006 report presented smoothed
reconstructions of large scale (Northern Hemisphere and global mean) surface
temperature using different paleoclimatological proxy data sets. The data sets
present large differences among different reconstructed temperature pattern with
time. The basic question is how realistic is to compare present trend with past
obtained from such proxy data series?
8.2 Global Climate Models
With the advent of modern fast and sophisticate computers, use of models
in solving problems has increased multifold in all areas of science. However, models
have significant limitations basically because they carryout as per the creation by
the human brain that may not take into account all physical process involved in
the nature. But, computers can handle huge quantity of data that human brain
can’t handle. Thus people started meddling with models and they became a special
class in scientific community. Thus models become “Survival Research” tools
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 137 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 138 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

without proper understanding of physical process in right perspective, this is more

so in climate & weather studies and thereby ground based studies took back-seat.
Let me present an example from my experience in late 70’s of a crop growth model
(SORGF model), developed under extra-tropical conditions and tried to implement
the same in tropical conditions. Temperature is the limiting factor in ex-tropical
conditions and moisture is the limiting factor under tropical conditions for the
crop production. Because of this, the model failed in the tropical conditions. The
model gave root mean square errors and correlation coefficients for dry matter and
grain yields respectively: 27.58 and 17.39 q/ha, and 0.35 and 0.37. By changing
the moisture parameters, estimated using a model (Reddy, 1983c) developed under
tropical conditions, gave 15.06 and 8.49 q/ha, and 0.85 and 0.81, respectively
(Reddy, 1983-84). However, the authors of the SORGF model refused to change
the model structure. Thus, with the changed management came another model
developed in the extra-tropical conditions by another group of scientists; and
again this is also replaced. The process continued to meet the survival research
needs. The same tendency is seen in the study of McKenny & Rosenberg (1993)
“Sensitivity of some potential evapotranspiration estimation methods to climate
change”. The fact is that the authors tried to estimate potential evapotranspiration
using highly erroneous models. Thus, the study of senstivity of such estimates has
no meaning.
Computer models of the Earth’s climate system are known as general
circulation models (GCMs). The validity of such models depends upon soundness
in their physical basis, and their skill in representing observed climate and past
climate changes. Though, the models are based on physical principles of fluid
dynamics, radiative transfer, and other processes, started using with simplifications,
as the climate system is complex. All modern climate models include an atmospheric
model that is coupled to the Ocean model and models for ice cover on land and
sea. Some models also include treatments of chemical and biological processes.
These models predict that the effect of adding GHGs is to produce a warmer
climate. However, even when the same assumptions of future GHG levels are used,
there still remains a considerable range of climate sensitivity, as it is not clear how
and in what way the GHGs increase temperature.
Prior to 2001 the estimates of global warming were made from a range of
climate models under the IPCC Special Report on Emissions [SRES] A2 emissions
scenario, which assumes no action is taken to reduce emissions. Figure 8a presents
an example of global warming projections by different models. They present
temperatures at the end of 2100 varying between 2 and 5 °C. The geographic
distribution of surface warming during the 21st century calculated by the HadCM3
climate model if a business as usual scenario is assumed for economic growth and
GHG emissions. In this the globally averaged warming corresponds to 3.0 °C (5.4 °F).
Including uncertainties in future GHG concentrations and climate modeling, the
IPCC anticipates a warming of 1.1 °C to 6.4 °C by the end of the 21st century,
relative to 1980–1999.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 139 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

8.3 Factors Contributing GW

8.3.1 The Natural Heating & Cooling
Greenhouse gases and greenhouse effect: The greenhouse effect was discovered
by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante
Arrhenius in 1896. It is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared
radiation by atmospheric gases warm a planet’s lower atmosphere and surface.
Existence of the greenhouse effect as such is not disputed. Naturally occurring
GHGs have a mean warming effect, without which the Earth would be
uninhabitable. On the Earth, the major GHGs are water vapour, which causes
about 36–70% of the greenhouse effect (not including clouds); carbon dioxide

(CO2), which causes 9–26%; methane (CH4), which causes 4–9%; and ozone,
which causes 3–7%. The issue is how the strength of the greenhouse effect
changes when human activity increases the atmospheric concentrations of some
It is reported that “Human activity since the industrial revolution has increased
the concentration of various GHGs, such as CO2, methane, tropospheric ozone,
CFCs and nitrous oxide. It is stated that molecule for molecule, methane is a more
effective GHG than carbon dioxide, but its concentration is much smaller so that
its total radiation exchange capacity is only about a fourth of that from carbon
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 140 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

dioxide. Some other naturally occurring gases contribute very small fractions of
the greenhouse effect; one of these, nitrous oxide (N 2O), is increasing in
concentration owing to human activity such as agriculture. It is also stated that
the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4 have increased by 31% and 149%
respectively since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the mid-1700s –
though in percentage-wise it looks high with methane over carbon dioxide but in
terms of volume it is the carbon dioxide higher than methane. These percentages
are relative to non-instrumental observations. From less direct geological evidence
it is believed that CO2 values this high were last attained 20 million years ago.
Fossil fuel burning has produced approximately three-quarters of the increase in
CO2 from human activity over the past 20 years. Most of the rest is due to land
use change, in particular deforestation”. The exactness of this is in question!!!
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) compiled data relating to carbon dioxide
and stations recording it. The fact remains that the GHG concentrations for the
past are built on indirect methods of estimation. Figure 8b [Source: Siegen Thaler
& Oeschger, Tellus, 39B: 140-154, 1987] presents the atmospheric carbon dioxide
increase in the past 200 years as indicated by measurements on air trapped in old

ice from Siple station, Antarctica, by infrared laser spectroscopy (full triangles) &
by gas chromatography (open squares) and the annual mean values from Mauna
Loa Observatory (crosses). That means, only in the last five decades it is measured
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 141 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

and that too at few selected locations (Figure 8c), which are unevenly distributed
over different parts of the globe [Source: WMO Fact Sheet No. 4, August 1989].
Figure 8d presents (Robinson et
al., 1988 – Review in Geophysics,
1988) monthly mean CO 2
concentrations at the NOAA-
Geophysical Monitoring for
Climate Change Laboratory at
South Pole and Barrow, Alaska
Observatories, 1973-1987. The
monthly CO 2 measurements
display seasonal oscillations in
an overall yearly up trend; each
year’s maximum is reached
during the Northern
Hemisphere’s late spring, and
declines during the Northern
Hemisphere growing
season as plants
remove some CO2
from the
Under the changed CO2 sinks scenarios, the balance must change!!!
Reports say, “Recent data indicate that carbon dioxide is accumulating in
the atmosphere at a greater
rate than in the past. In 2005
the concentration of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere
increased by 2.5 parts per
million (ppm), the third
largest annual increase ever
recorded. Although there is
considerable inter-annual
variability in the rate of
increase in atmospheric
carbon dioxide, the rise has
been more than 2 ppm in 3
of the last 4 years. Prior to
1995, an annual increase of
more than 2 ppm was seen
only 4 times since the record
began in
1959. As a
result of
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 142 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

recent jumps, the current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is now

over 380 ppm. This is an increase of more than 100 ppm since the start of the
Industrial Revolution, and ice core records show that it is the highest concentration
of atmospheric carbon dioxide for at least the last 650,000 years”.
Figure 8e presents the total fossil fuel consumption, which is identified as
the main source of the observed CO 2 increase, in Southern and Northern
Hemispheres. The projections for the year 2000 compared with those of 1960
indicate that consumption will have more than quadruples in the Southern
Hemisphere while that in the Northern Hemisphere will have more than doubled in
relative terms but in magnitude the Northern Hemisphere consumed more over the
Southern Hemisphere. From the WMO Fact Sheet No. 4 (August 1989), it is clear
that very few stations are measuring changing composition [Figure 8c] of the
atmosphere, including the increases of GHGs (CO2, CH4, N2O, tropospheric O3,
CFCs) especially in tropics (by that time no data) and the Southern Hemisphere
(by that time only three sites]. With such a data sets, presenting un-believably
smooth curve, scientists are filling the literature with highly hypothetical inferences.
Tropospheric Ozone: Tropospheric ozone (see Chapter 2) is created by chemical
reactions from automobile, power plant and other industrial and commercial source
emissions in the presence of sunlight. It is estimated that O3 has increased by
about 36% since the pre-industrial era, although substantial variations exist for
regions and overall trends (IPCC, 2007). Besides being a GHG, ozone can also be a
harmful air pollutants at ground level, especially for people with respiratory diseases
and children and adults who are active outdoors.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) & Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs): CFCs & HCFCs
are used in coolants, foaming agents, fire extinguishers, solvents, pesticides and
aerosol propellants. These compounds have steadily increased in the atmosphere
since their introduction in 1928. Concentrations are slowly declining as a result of
their phase out via the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the ozone
layer [see Chapter 2). Fluorinated gases such as Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),
Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) are frequently used as
substitutes for CFCs and HCFCs and are increasing in the atmosphere. It is noted
that these various fluorinated gases are sometimes called “high global warming
potential greenhouse gases” because, molecule for molecule, they trap more heat
than CO2 .
Aerosols: The burning of fossil fuels and biomass (living matter such as vegetation)
has resulted in aerosol emissions into the atmosphere. Aerosols absorb and emit
heat, reflect light and, depending on their properties, can either cool or warm the
atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols are emitted when fuel-containing sulfur, such as
coal and oil, is burned. Sulfate aerosols reflect solar radiation back to space and
have a cooling effect. These aerosols have decreased in concentration in the past
two decades resulting from efforts to reduce the coal fired power plant emissions
of sulfur dioxide in the United States and other countries. Black carbon (or soot)
results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass burning (forest
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 143 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

fires and land clearing) and is believed to contribute to global warming (IPCC,
2007). Though global concentrations are likely increasing, there are significant
regional differences. Other aerosols emitted in small quantities from human activities
include organic carbon and associated aerosols from biomass burning. Mineral
dust aerosols (e.g., from deserts and lake beds) largely originate from natural
sources, but their distribution can be affected by human activities.
Fossil Fuels & Land use changes: The present atmospheric concentration of CO2
is about 385 parts per million (ppm) by volume. Future CO2 levels are expected to
rise due to ongoing burning of fossil fuels and land-use change. The rate of rise
will depend on uncertain economic, sociological, technological, and natural
developments & technological inventions but may be ultimately limited by the
availability of fossil fuels. The IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios gives a
wide range of future CO2 scenarios, ranging from 541 to 970 ppm by the year
2100 – this range indicates, no body knows the reasonable level of carbon dioxide
by 2100. Fossil fuel reserves are sufficient to reach this level and continue emissions
past 2100. Research by NASA climate scientist James Hansen indicates mainly
GHGs other than carbon dioxide have driven the 0.75 °C rise in average global
temperatures over the last 100 years. Though he is the first few to claim linking
CO2 to global warming in 1981. With this the politics of global warming has
taken a new twist, conflict between developing and developed countries.
CO2 Produces CO2: It is reported that the heating or cooling of the Earth’s surface
can cause changes in GHG concentrations. That is, when global temperatures
become warmer, CO2 is released from the Oceans. When changes in the Earth’s
orbit trigger a warm (or interglacial) period, increasing concentrations of CO2 may
amplify the warming by enhancing the greenhouse effect. When temperatures
become cooler, CO2 enters the Ocean and contributes to additional cooling. During
at least the last 650,000 years, CO2 levels have tended to track the glacial cycles
(IPCC, 2007). That is, during warm interglacial periods, CO2 levels have been high
and during cool glacial periods, CO2 levels have been low. This means, the high
year-to-year variations in temperature must contribute significant changes in CO2
levels, which is not seen in Figure 8b, though there are significant seasonal changes
(Figure 8d). The curve in Figure 8b presents a smooth curve without much variation.
However, one thing is clear from the above discussions that during glacial and
interglacial periods, the changes in temperatures of the Ocean changed the CO2
levels and not vice-versa.
8.3.2 Radiative Forcing
Radiation forcing (RF) is the change in the balance between solar radiation
entering the atmosphere and the Earth’s radiation going out. On an average, a
positive RF tends to warm the surface of the Earth while negative RF tends to cool
the surface. It is reported that GHGs have a positive RF because they absorb and
emit heat. Aerosols can have a positive or negative RF, depending on how they
absorb and emit heat and/or reflect light. For example, black carbon aerosols -
which have a positive factor - more effectively absorb and emit heat than sulfates,
which have a negative factor and more effectively reflect light.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 144 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

IPCC (2007) presented estimates of the change in RF in the year 2005

relative to 1750 for different components of the climate: “It is reported that the
RF contribution (since 1750) from increasing concentrations of well-mixed GHGs
(including CO2 , CH4, N2O, CFCs, HCFCs, and fluorinated gases) is estimated to
be +2.64 Watts per square meter - over half due to increases in CO2 (+1.66
Watts per square meter), strongly contributing to warming relative to other climate
components; The RF contribution from increasing tropospheric ozone, an unevenly
distributed GHG, is estimated to be +0.35 Watts per square meter (on average),
resulting in a relatively small warming effect. This factor varies from region to
region depending on the amount of ozone in the troposphere at a particular location.
The RF contribution from the observed depletion of stratospheric ozone is estimated
to be -0.05 Watts per square meter, resulting in a relatively small cooling effect.
While aerosols can have either positive or negative contributions to RF, the net
effect of all aerosols added to the atmosphere has likely been negative. The best
estimate of aerosols’ direct cooling effect is -0.5 Watts per square meter; the best
estimate for their indirect cooling effect (by increasing the reflectivity of clouds)
is -0.7 Watts per square meter, with an uncertainty range of -1.8 to -0.3 Watts per
square meter. Therefore, the net effect of changes in aerosol RF has likely resulted
in a small to relatively large cooling effect”. For well-mixed GHGs, mathematical
equations are used to compute RF based on changes in their concentration relative
to 1750 (or 1990 for NOAA’s AGGI) and the known radiative properties of the
gases. IPCC claim “high confidence in these calculations due to reliable current
and historic concentration data and well-established physics”. The uncertainty
factor clearly demonstrates that these estimates are highly unreliable.
Due to limited measurements and regional variation, changes in tropospheric
ozone, aerosols, land use (see Chapter 7) and the Sun’s intensity are much more
uncertain. In the case of aerosols, uncertainty is increased due to an incomplete
understanding of how aerosols interact with clouds and the effects the interactions
have on aerosol RF. That means, the whole theory behind RF effects of different
components are of hypothetical in nature and there is nothing to prove their
accuracy, though in GHGs they claim high confidence. The calculated data
presented above of combined effect of GHGs and aerosols appear to be negligible;
may be a little “heating or cooling”.
8.3.3 Feedback Factors
Evaporation: Various feedback processes complicate the effects of individual factors
on the climate. One of the most pronounced feedback effects relates to the
evaporation of water. It is stated that the warming by addition of long-lived GHGs
such as CO2 will cause more water to evaporate into the atmosphere. Since water
vapor itself acts as a GHG, the atmosphere warms further; this warming causes
more water vapor to evaporate (a positive feedback), and so on until other processes
stop the feedback loop. The result is a much larger greenhouse effect than that
due to CO2 alone. Although this feedback process causes an increase in the
absolute moisture content of the air, the relative humidity stays nearly constant or
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 145 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

even decreases slightly because the air is warmer. It is argued that “this feedback
effect can only be reversed slowly as CO2 has a long average atmospheric lifetime”.
Clouds: Clouds emit infrared radiation back to the surface, and so exert a warming
effect; seen from above, clouds reflect sunlight and emit infrared radiation to
space, and so exert a cooling effect. Whether the net effect is warming or cooling
depends on details such as the type and altitude of the cloud. It is argued that
“these details are difficult to represent in climate models, in part because clouds
are much smaller than the spacing between points on the computational grids of
climate models. Nevertheless, cloud feedback is second only to water vapor feedback”
and is positive in all the models that were used in the IPCC Fourth Assessment
Report. This is more seasonal and regional contrary to water vapour. But both vary
with the years. However, it is an important factor in the net radiation intensity at
local-regional- national levels.
Lapse Rate: A subtler feedback process relates to changes in the lapse rate as the
atmosphere warms. The atmosphere’s temperature decreases with the height in
the troposphere. Since emission of infrared radiation varies with the fourth power
of temperature, long-wave radiation emitted from the upper atmosphere is less
than that emitted from the lower atmosphere. Most of the radiation emitted from
the upper atmosphere escapes to space, while most of the radiation emitted from
the lower atmosphere is re-absorbed by the surface or the atmosphere. Thus, the
strength of the greenhouse effect depends on the atmosphere’s rate of temperature
decrease with height: if the rate of temperature decrease is greater the greenhouse
effect will be stronger, and if the rate of temperature decrease is smaller then the
greenhouse effect will be weaker. Both theory and climate models indicate that
warming will reduce the decrease of temperature with height, producing a negative
lapse rate feedback [inversion effect] that weakens the greenhouse effect. The
rate of temperature change with height is very sensitive to small errors in
observations, making it difficult to establish whether the models agree with
observations. The lapse rates are influenced by localized factors as well on solar
Albedo: Another important feedback process is ice-albedo feedback. When global
temperatures increase, ice near the poles melts at an increasing rate. As the ice
melts, land or open water takes its place. Both land and open water are on average
less reflective than ice, and thus absorb more solar radiation. This causes more
warming, which in turn causes more melting, and this cycle continue. The ecological
changes such as land use – land cover change (see Chapter 7) plays major role on
Thermal inversions: This plays an important role in winter period, particularly in
high latitude belt under pollution.
Changes in the Ocean Currents: It is a fact that the heating or cooling of the
Earth’s surface can cause changes in the Ocean currents. As the Ocean currents
play a significant role in distributing heat around the Earth, changes in these
currents can bring about significant changes in climate from region to region. The
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 146 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

long-term systematic variations in temperature, such as glacial and interglacial

periods, play an important role on this.Positive feedback due to release of CO2
and CH from thawing permafrost, such as the frozen peat bogs in Siberian, is an
additional mechanism that could contribute to warming. Similarly a massive release
of CH from methane clathrates in the Ocean could cause rapid warming, according
to the clathrate gun hypothesis. The Ocean’s ability to sequester carbon is expected
to decline as it warms. This is because the resulting low nutrient levels of the
mesopelagic zone (about 200 to 1000 m depth) limit the growth of diatoms in
favor of smaller phytoplankton that are poorer biological pumps of carbon.
8.3.4 Other Factors
Solar Variations: Changes occurring within (or inside) the Sun can affect the
intensity of the sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface. The intensity of the
sunlight can cause either warming (for stronger solar intensity) or cooling (for
weaker solar intensity). According to NASA Research, reduced solar activity from
the 1400s to the 1700s was likely a key factor in the “Little Ice Age” which
resulted in a slight cooling of North America, Europe and probably other areas
around the globe. Some studies related to solar variations are summarized in
Chapter 6. The impact of solar related factors on weather were significantly
reported in a number of research papers published prior to 1980.
A paper by Peter Stott and other researchers suggests that climate models
overestimate the relative effect of GHGs compared to solar factor; they also suggest
that the cooling effects of volcanic dust and sulfate aerosols have been
underestimated. A different hypothesis is that variations in solar output, possibly
amplified by cloud seeding via galactic cosmic rays, may have contributed to
recent warming. It suggests magnetic activity of the Sun is a crucial factor, which
deflects cosmic rays that may influence the generation of cloud condensation
nuclei and thereby affect the climate. One predicted effect of an increase in solar
activity would be a warming of most of the stratosphere, whereas GHG theory
predicts cooling there. The observed trend since at least 1960 has been a cooling
of the lower stratosphere. Reduction of stratospheric ozone also has a cooling
influence, but substantial ozone depletion did not occur until the late 1970s. Solar
variation combined with changes in volcanic activity probably did have a warming
effect from pre-industrial times to 1950, but a cooling effect since.
In 2006, Peter Foukal and other researchers from the United States, Germany,
and Switzerland found no net increase of solar brightness over the last thousand
years. Solar cycles led to a small increase of 0.07% in brightness over the last
thirty years. This effect is far too small to contribute significantly to global warming.
A paper by Mike Lockwood and Claus Fröhlich found no relation between global
warming and solar radiation since 1985, whether through variations in solar output
or variations in cosmic rays. Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen, the main
proponents of cloud seeding by galactic cosmic rays, disputed this criticism of
their hypothesis. A 2007 paper found that in the last 20 years there has been no
significant link between changes in cosmic rays coming to Earth and cloudiness
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 147 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

and temperature. Here, we must not forget that the effects associated solar variation
have not only direct effects but also indirect effects. By integrating these two
impacts that vary with the situation to situation only it is possible to determine
the quantitative impact of solar variations on weather. This is clearly demonstrated
in the case of solar flares impact on lower tropospheric weather.
Causes of Change Prior to the Industrial Era (pre-1780): Known factors of past
climate change include: Changes in the Earth’s orbit: changes in the shape of the
Earth’s orbit (or eccentricity) as well as the Earth’s tilt and precession affect the
amount of sunlight received on the Earth’s surface. These orbital processes —
which function in cycles of 100,000 (eccentricity), 41,000 (tilt), and 19,000 to
23,000 (precession) years — are thought to be the most significant drivers of ice
ages according to the theory of Mulitin Milankovich, a Serbian mathematician
(1879-1958). Studies of the Earth’s previous climate suggest periods of stability
as well as periods of rapid change. Long string of widespread, large and abrupt
climate changes were associated with glacial periods (NRC, 2002). It is also reported
that abrupt or rapid climate changes tend to frequently accompany transitions
between glacial and interglacial periods (and vice versa) and thus, abrupt climate
changes have occurred throughout the Earth’s history. It was noted that human
civilization arose during a period of relative climate stability. During the last 2,000
years, the climate has been relatively stable. The issue of whether the temperature
rise of the last 100 years crossed over the warm limit of the boundary defined by
the Medieval Climate Anomaly has been a controversial topic in the science
community. The National Academy of Sciences recently completed a study to
assess the efforts to reconstruct temperatures of the past one to two millennia
and place the Earth’s current warming in historical context (NRC, 2006).
Volcanic eruptions: Volcanoes can affect the climate because they can emit aerosols
and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Volcanic aerosols tend to block sunlight
and contribute to short term cooling. Aerosols do not produce long-term change
because they leave the atmosphere not long after they are emitted. According to
the US Geological Survey (USGS), the eruption of the Tambora Volcano in Indonesia
in 1815 lowered global temperatures by as much as 5ºF and historical accounts in
New England describe 1816 as “the year without a summer.” Volcanoes also emit
carbon dioxide (CO2 ). For about two-thirds of the last 400 million years, geologic
evidence suggests CO2 levels and temperatures were considerably higher than
present. One theory is that volcanic eruptions from rapid sea floor spreading elevated
CO2 concentrations, enhancing the greenhouse effect and raising temperatures.
However, the evidence for this theory is not conclusive and there are alternative
explanations for historic CO2 levels (NRC, 2005). While volcanoes may have raised
pre-historic CO2 levels and temperatures, according to the USGS Volcano Hazards
Program, human activities now emit 130 times as much CO2 as volcanoes (whose
emissions are relatively modest compared to some earlier times). These climate
change factors often trigger additional changes or “feedbacks” within the climate
system that can amplify or dampen the climate’s initial response to them (whether
the response is warming or cooling). How? Is there any evidence on such? These
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 148 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

are valid only when issues are dealt with practical data rather than theoretical/
hypothetical presumptions.
Tropospheric Temperature Change: Measurements of the Earth’s temperature
taken by weather balloons (also known as radiosondes) and satellites from the
surface to 5-8 miles into the atmosphere also reveal warming trends. According to
NOAA’s National Climate Data Centre: For the period 1958-2006, temperatures
measured by weather balloons warmed at a rate of 0.22°F per decade near the
surface and 0.27°F per decade in the mid-troposphere. The 2006 global mid-
troposphere temperatures were 1.01°F above the 1971-2000 average, the third
warmest on record. For the period beginning in 1979, when satellite measurements
of troposphere temperatures began, various satellite data sets for the mid-troposphere
showed similar rates of warming — ranging from 0.09°F per decade to 0.34°F per
decade, depending on the method of analysis (?). This range itself put doubts on
the warming of troposphere.
Stratospheric Temperature Change: Weather balloons and satellites have also
taken temperature readings in the stratosphere. This level of the atmosphere has
cooled. The cooling is consistent with observed stratospheric ozone depletion
since ozone is a GHG and has a warming effect when present. It’s also likely that
increased GHG concentrations in the troposphere are contributing to cooling in
the stratosphere as predicted by radiative theory. It is an illogical interpretation.
The major cooling effect at Antarctica zone is primarily related to the circumpolar
vertex formation that obstructs the mixing of warm middle latitude air with cool
polar air. That is system effect. This is clearly evident from the seasonal effects
and latitudinal effect on ozone depletion, observed over both Northern & Southern
Hemispheres (Chapter 2).
Recent Scientific Developments: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program
(CCSP) recently published a report, which addresses some of the long-standing
difficulties in understanding changes in atmospheric temperatures and the basic
causes of these changes. According to the report: There is no discrepancy in the
rate of global average temperature increase for the surface compared with higher
levels in the atmosphere. This discrepancy had previously been used to challenge
the validity of climate models used to detect and attribute the causes of observed
climate change. Errors identified in the satellite data and other temperature
observations have been corrected. These and other analyses have increased
confidence in the understanding of observed climate changes and their causes.
Research to detect global warming and attribute its causes using patterns of
observed temperature change shows clear evidence of human influences on the
climate system due to changes in GHGs, aerosols and stratospheric ozone. An
unresolved issue is related to the rates of warming in the tropics. Here, models and
theory predict greater warming higher in the atmosphere than at the surface.
However, greater warming higher in the atmosphere is not evident in three of the
five observational data sets used in the report. Whether this is a result of
uncertainties in the observed data, flaws in climate models, or a combination of
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 149 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

these is not yet known. The information presented above clearly demonstrate the
fact that a part of global warming is associated with human influence but this
does not mean, it is associated with GHGs. The realistic estimate of the contribution
of increasing GHGs on the warming is still a big question mark?
Ocean Acidification: A variety of issues are often raised in relation to global
warming. One is the Ocean acidification. Increased atmospheric CO2 increases the
amount of CO2 dissolved in the Oceans. CO2 dissolved in the Ocean reacts with
water to form carbonic acid, resulting in acidification. The Ocean surface pH is
estimated to have decreased from 8.25 near the beginning of the industrial era to
8.14 by 2004, and is projected to decrease by a further 0.14 to 0.5 units by 2100
as the Ocean absorbs more CO2. Since organisms and ecosystems are adapted to a
narrow range of pH, this raises extinction concerns, directly driven by increased
atmospheric CO2 , that could disrupt food webs and impact human societies that
depend on marine ecosystem services.
Global Dimming: The gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance
at the Earth’s surface may have partially mitigated global warming in the late
twentieth century. From 1960 to 1990 human-caused aerosols likely precipitated
this effect. Scientists have stated with 66–90% confidence that the effects of
human-caused aerosols, along with volcanic activity, have offset some of the global
warming, and that GHGs would have resulted in more warming than observed if
not for these dimming agents. The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history.
From glacial periods (or “ice ages”) where ice covered significant portions of the
Earth to interglacial periods where ice retreated to the poles or melted entirely -
the climate has continuously changed. Scientists have been able to piece together
a picture of the Earth’s climate dating back decades to millions of years ago by
analyzing a number of surrogate, or “proxy,” measures of climate such as ice cores,
boreholes, tree rings, glacier lengths, pollen remains, and ocean sediments, and by
studying changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun.
8.4 Mitigation of Global Warming
The IPCC’s Working Group III is responsible for crafting reports that deal with the
mitigation of global warming and analyzing the costs and benefits of different
approaches. In the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, they conclude that no
one technology or sector can be completely responsible for mitigating future
warming. They find there are key practices and technologies in various sectors,
such as energy supply, transportation, industry, and agriculture that should be
implemented to reduce global emissions. They estimate that stabilization of carbon
dioxide equivalent between 445 and 710 ppm by 2030 will result in between a
0.6% increase and 3% decrease in global gross domestic product. According to
Working Group III, to limit temperature rise to 2 0C, “developed countries as a
group would need to reduce their emissions to below 1990 levels by 2020 (on the
order of –10% to 40% below 1990 levels for most of the considered regimes) and
to still lower levels by 2050 (40% to 95% below 1990 levels), even if developing
countries make substantial reductions.”
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 150 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

According to Hansen, et al. in 2007, paleoclimate data show that climate

sensitivity is ~3°C for doubled CO2 , including only fast feedback processes.
Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is ~6°C for
doubled CO2 for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and ice-
free Antarctica. Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began
50 million years ago, large scale glaciations occurring when CO2 fell to 450 ±
100 ppm, a level that will be exceeded within decades, barring prompt policy
changes. If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization
developed and to which life on the Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and
ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current
385 ppm to at most 350 ppm. The basic weakness in this argument is, during the
glacial and interglacial periods, the changes in carbon dioxide was due to changes
in sea/ocean surface temperatures and vice-versa is not the case as stated above.
He further states that the largest uncertainty in the target arises from possible
changes of non-CO2 forcings. An initial 350-ppm CO2 target may be achievable by
phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and adopting agricultural and
forestry practices that sequester carbon. If the present overshoot of this target
CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects. A
probabilistic analysis concluded that the long-term CO2 limit is in the range 300-
500 ppm for 25 percent risk tolerance, depending on climate sensitivity and non-
CO2 forcings. Stabilizing atmospheric CO2 and climate requires that net CO2
emissions approach zero, because of the long lifetime of CO2 . We use paleoclimate
data to show that long-term climate has high sensitivity to climate forcings and
that the present global mean CO2 , 385 ppm, is already in the dangerous zone.
Despite rapid current CO2 growth, ~2 ppm/year, we show that it is conceivable
to reduce CO2 this century too less than the current amount, but only via prompt
policy changes. A global climate forcing, measured in W/m2 averaged over the
planet, is an imposed perturbation of the planet’s energy balance. Increase of
solar irradiance (So) by 2% and doubling of atmospheric CO2 are each forcings of
about 4 W/m2.
Charney defined an idealized climate sensitivity problem, asking how much
global surface temperature would increase if atmospheric CO2 were instantly
doubled, assuming that slowly changing planetary surface conditions, such as ice
sheets and forest cover, were fixed. Long-lived GHGs, except for the specified
CO2 change, were also fixed, not responding to climate change. The Charney
problem thus provides a measure of climate sensitivity including only the effect of
‘fast’ feedback processes, such as changes of water vapor, clouds and sea ice.
Classification of climate change mechanisms into fast and slow feedbacks is useful,
even though time scales of these changes may overlap. We include as fast feedbacks
aerosol changes, e.g., of desert dust and marine dime thylsulfide that occur in
response to climate change. Charney used climate models to estimate fast-feedback
doubled CO2 sensitivity of 3 ± 1.5°C. Water vapor increase and sea ice decrease
in response to global warming were both found to be strong positive feedbacks,
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Climate Change: Myths & Realities 152 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

amplifying the surface temperature response. Climate models in the current IPCC
assessment appears to agree with Charney’s estimate.
Climate models alone are unable to define climate sensitivity more precisely,
because it is difficult to prove that models realistically incorporate all feedback
processes. The Earth’s history, however, allows empirical inference of both fast
feedback climate sensitivity and long-term sensitivity to specified GHG change
including the slow ice sheet feedback. However, here one must be cautious in
deciding “cause and effect” factors. Large fluctuations in the size of the Antarctic
ice sheet have occurred, possibly related to temporal variations of plate tectonics
and outgassing rates. The relatively constant atmospheric CO2 amount of the past
20 My implies a near balance of global outgassing and weather rates over that
Knowledge of Cenozoic CO2 is limited to imprecise proxy measures except
for recent ice core data. There are discrepancies among different proxy measures,
and even between different investigators using the same proxy method. Nevertheless,
the proxy data indicate that CO2 was of the order of 1000 ppm in the early
Cenozoic but <500 ppm in the last 20 My – we must keep in mind that these are
indirectly derived!!! The entire Cenozoic climate forcing history is implied by the
temperature reconstruction, assuming a fast-feedback sensitivity of ¾°C per
W/m2. Subtracting the solar and surface albedo forcings, the latter from ice sheet
area vs. time
8.5 Global Warming!!!
Climate model projections summarized by the IPCC indicate that average
global surface temperature will likely rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C during the twenty-
first century. The range of values results from the use of differing scenarios of
future GHG emissions as well as models with differing climate sensitivity. From
these they expressed that warming and sea level rise are expected to continue for
more than a thousand years even if GHG levels are stabilized. The delay in reaching
equilibrium is a result of the large heat capacity of the Oceans. They further
postulated that increasing global temperature will cause sea level to rise, and is
expected to increase the intensity of extreme weather events and to change the
amount and pattern of precipitation; changes in agricultural yields, trade routes,
glacier retreat, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors.
Global average temperature has increased by 0.75 °C (1.35 °F) relative to
the period 1860–1900. It is also reported that since 1979, land temperatures have
increased about twice as fast as the Ocean temperatures (0.25 °C per decade
against 0.13 °C per decade). Temperatures in the lower troposphere have increased
between 0.12 and 0.22 °C (0.22 and 0.4 °F) per decade since 1979, according to
satellite temperature measurements. Temperature is believed to have been relatively
stable over the one or two thousand years before 1850, with possibly regional
fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age.
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The observed surface global & hemispheres average temperature patterns

(Figure 8f) show cooler in the Southern Hemisphere with less land area compared
to Northern Hemisphere. Figure 8g presents the satellite & upper air balloon
global average temperature data series. The satellite data series cover both land
and Ocean areas as presented by NASA for the past two decades did not indicate
rise in the global surface temperatures & the upper air balloon observational data
followed in between the satellite and surface observations (Reddy, 2007a). It appears
that the satellite data series were modified latter!!! The average global surface
observed data presented a rise that too in a modulated form presenting ups-and-
downs (Figure 8f), which is not seen in model predicted temperature pattern
(Figure 8a) or in carbon dioxide data series (Figures 8b). This means, the current
climate models neither produce a good match to observations of global temperature
changes over the last century nor simulate all aspects of climate. These models do
not unambiguously attribute the warming that occurred from around 1910 to
1945 to either natural variation or human effects; however, they suggest that the
warming since 1975 is dominated by man-made GHG emissions but far from
observed pattern, which means the models lack clarity on the influence of GHGs
on temperature raise.
A recent report issued by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
concluded that over the 25-year satellite record, the surface and mid-troposphere
have both warmed by approximately 0.15°C per decade – contrary to earlier
presentation (Figure 8g) —. Global warming deniers had frequently challenged the
reality of human-induced global warming and the reliability of climate models by
citing previously reported discrepancies between the amounts of warming at the
surface compared to the amount of warming higher in the atmosphere. The original
discrepancies were reported by John Christy, Roy Spencer and their team at the
University of Alabama-Huntsville based on microwave emissions from the atmosphere
recorded by satellites. But this argument is invalidated once errors in satellite and
radiosonde data have been identified and corrected; and new temperature time
series for the surface and atmosphere are consistent with each other. The University
of Alabama-Huntsville team also acknowledged their previous errors in late 2005.
This reconciliation of previous discrepancies led to an article in Science titled “No
Doubt About It, the World is Warming.” At an international tropical meteorology
conference in India, such a scene was repeated – the group engaged in the collection
of satellite data said that we are still in the process of working out to put the data
in right perspective but another group presented results in practical perspective
inferring great things. In the conference I put the question, then who is correct
and who is wrong but both the groups kept quite. That is if it is not serving their
purpose or not fitting into their models, they manipulate data. It is very difficult to
prove who is correct!!! This is rarely possible in the observed surface data. Any
manipulations can be easily detected.
A study by David Douglass, John Christy, Benjamin Pearson and Fred Singer
comparing the composite output of 22 leading global climate models with actual
climate data finds that the models do not accurately predict observed changes to
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 155 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

the temperature profile in the tropical troposphere. The authors note that their
conclusions contrast strongly with those of publications based on essentially the
same data. It is argued that the detailed causes of the recent warming
remain an active field of research.
IPCC is simply thrusting on the world community some thing that is not
scientifically proved beyond doubt. Some other hypotheses departing from the
consensus view have been suggested to explain most of the temperature increase.
One such hypothesis proposes that warming may be the result of variations in
solar activity. None of the effecting factors are instantaneous. As with any field of
scientific study, there are uncertainties associated with the global warming. This
does not imply that scientists do not have confidence in many aspects of climate
science. Some aspects of the science are known with virtual certainty, because
they are based on well-known physical laws and documented trends. Current
understanding of many other aspects of climate change ranges from “very likely”
to “uncertain”. Remaining scientific uncertainties include the amount of warming
expected in the future, and how warming and related changes will vary from
region to region around the Globe; most national governments have signed and
ratified the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing GHG emissions. It was noted that
even if GHGs were stabilized at 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.5 °C
would still occur!!! Important scientific questions remain about how much warming
will occur, how fast it will occur, and how the warming will affect the rest of the
climate system including precipitation patterns and storms.
Answering these questions will require advances in scientific knowledge in
a number of areas, namely improving understanding of natural climatic variations,
changes in the Sun’s energy, land-use changes, the warming or cooling effects of
pollutant aerosols, and the impacts of changing humidity and cloud cover;
determining the relative contribution to climate change of human activities and
natural causes; projecting future GHG emissions and how the climate system will
respond within a narrow range; improving understanding of the potential for rapid
or abrupt climatic change; etc. Finally it is essential to present the realistic numerical
impact of GHGs on temperature!!!
Additionally (from IPCC, 2007) that “The warming trend is seen in both
daily maximum and minimum temperatures, with minimum temperatures increasing
at a faster rate than maximum temperatures. Land areas have tended to warm
faster than the Ocean areas and the winter months have warmed faster than
summer months. Widespread reductions in the number of days below freezing
occurred during the latter half of the 20th century in the United States as well as
most land areas of the Northern Hemisphere and areas of the Southern Hemisphere.
Average temperatures in the Arctic have increased at almost twice the global rate
in the past 100 years”. These observations, when looked in the meteorological
context present a different cause for the increase in night temperatures (minimum
temperature) such as heat island effect..
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It is reported that the sea temperatures increase more slowly than those on
land both because of the larger effective heat capacity of the Oceans and because
the Ocean can lose heat by evaporation more readily than the land. The Northern
Hemisphere has more land than the Southern Hemisphere, so it warms faster. The
Northern Hemisphere also has extensive areas of seasonal snow and sea-ice cover
subject to the ice-albedo feedback. More GHGs are emitted in the Northern
Hemisphere than Southern Hemisphere. It is stated that this does not contribute
to the difference in warming because the major GHGs persist long enough to mix
between hemispheres. However, the network and accuracy of surface data are
quite different in the two hemispheres and yet not many differences are noted in
the temperature trend.
Based on estimates by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2005
was the warmest year since reliable, widespread instrumental measurements became
available in the late 1800s, exceeding the previous record set in 1998 by a few
hundredths of a degree. Estimates prepared by the WMO and the Climate Research
Unit concluded that 2005 was the second warmest year, behind 1998. Temperatures
in 1998 were unusually warm because the strongest El Nino in the past century
occurred during that year. It is also reported that since the mid 1970s, the average
surface temperature has warmed about 1°F. The Earth’s surface is currently warming
at a rate of about 0.32ºF/decade or 3.2°F/century. The eight warmest years on
record (since 1850) have all occurred since 1998, with the warmest year being
Anthropogenic emissions of other pollutants—notably sulfate aerosols—
can exert a cooling effect by increasing the reflection of incoming sunlight. This
partially accounts for the cooling seen in the temperature record in the middle of
the twentieth century, though the cooling may also be due in part to natural
variability. James Hansen and colleagues have proposed that the effects of the
products of fossil fuel combustion—CO2 and aerosols—have largely offset one
another, so that warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2
GHGs. Paleoclimatologist William Ruddiman has argued that human influence on
the global climate began around 8,000 years ago with the start of forest clearing
to provide land for agriculture and 5,000 years ago with the start of Asian rice
irrigation. Ruddiman’s interpretation of the historical record, with respect to the
methane data, has been disputed. The methane vs carbon dioxide issue in global
warming took political overtones of developed vs developing world.
From these it is clear that the global warming theory put forth by IPCC
under the disguise of “majority” theory needs re-look. IPCC must come up with
the facts that how much of the global warming is due to anthropogenic greenhouse
gases and how much is due to causes in built in nature & others. This does not
mean that we must encourage release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
But it is to say that we must not look at western system of lopsided argument but
look at developing countries stand point where the direct impact of these pollutants
on life-forms. Give top priority in controlling pollution that have direct impact on
health of life-forms. This has serious repercussions on the poverty eradication
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system in developing countries with high population pressure with low infrastructure
8.6 Exploitation on the name of GW!!!
This is dealt in terms of agriculture as an example, which is vital issue in
developing countries to meet their food & other needs. Using global warming as a
means to exploit developing countries agriculture is in a critical stage. Unless the
exploitation is stopped now, this may through the developing countries economy
in doldrums. Let us see how to stop this.
Each agricultural species has an area of geographical adaptation where its’
climatic requirements are best met. The limits vary according to individual species.
Individually or in combination the environmental factors produce significant changes
in a biological cycle, which may be either detrimental or beneficial. The two biological
processes that are influenced by weather parameters are crop development and
growth. Sometimes these processes are hindered by unusual factors such as
insects/pests/diseases on the one hand and frost, hail, floods, strong winds, excess
radiation or temperature, cyclones, manmade factors on the other. These by their
intensity may cause death of the species and their frequency renders its cultivation
uneconomical. The former type again relates to weather/climate on the one hand
and the soil on the other. That is, weather influences the degree of interaction
between crop and insects/pests/diseases.
Reddy (1993) presented a review of models related to the estimation of
crop development and crop growth. The two important continuous and periodic
elements that affect development are temperature and photoperiod. In addition to
these two, relative humidity — atmospheric dryness, soil humidity – soil dryness
(related to soil moisture, soil temperature, soil type), soil fertility, plant – population
& agronomic practices, etc —, affect the crop development and thereby crop
growth. Here through proper selection/breeding the temperature and photoperiod
factors can be manipulated to a maximum extent (Reddy, et. al., 1984].
The basic weakness in whole of this exercise is in relation to expected
global warming and its’ consequent impacts but failed to take note of “even if
there is no global warming there is an absolute high risk to life farms on the Earth
due to direct impact of the pollution & pollutants, that costs billions of US# even
at short-term, leave alone the long-term impacts”. Unfortunately, IPCC is engaged
in this destructive mode and it is the duty of individual nations to look in to this
angle of climate change. Under these circumstances the middlemen-the corporate
giants are exploiting the third world countries. Gene Giants Grab “Climate Genes”:
Amid Global Food Crisis, Biotech Companies are exposed as Climate Change
Profiteers. A report released by Canadian-based civil society organization, ETC
Group, reveals that the world’s largest seed and agrochemical corporations are
stockpiling hundreds of monopoly “patents” on genes in plants that the companies
will market as crops genetically engineered to withstand environmental stresses
associated with climate change - including drought, heat, cold, floods, saline
soils, and more. ETC Group’s report warns that - rather than a solution for confronting
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 158 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

climate change - the promise of so-called “climate-ready” crops will be used to

drive farmers and governments onto a proprietary biotech platform. “In the face of
climate chaos and a deepening world food crisis, the ”Gene Giants” are gearing up
for a PR offensive to re-brand themselves as climate saviors,” says Hope Shand,
Research Director of ETC Group. “The companies hope to convince governments
and reluctant consumers that genetic engineering is the essential adaptation
strategy to insure agricultural productivity. Monopoly control of crop genes is a
bad idea under any circumstances - but during a global food emergency with
climate change looming - it’s unacceptable and must be challenged.” According
to ETC Group’s report, Patenting “Climate Genes”...And Capturing the Climate
Agenda, Monsanto, BASF, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow - along with biotech
partners such as Mendel, Ceres, Evogene and more - have filed 532 patent
documents on genes related to environmental stress tolerance at patent offices
around the world. A list of 55 patent families (subsuming the 532 patent grants
and applications) is appended to the report. “The emphasis on genetically
engineered, so-called ‘climate-ready’ crops will divert resources from affordable,
decentralized approaches to cope with changing climate. Patents will concentrate
corporate power, drive up costs, inhibit independent research and further undermine
the rights of farmers to save and exchange seeds,” explains Shand. “Globally, the
top 10 seed corporations already control 57% of commercial seed sales. This is a
bid to capture as much of the rest of the market as possible.”
ETC Group calls on governments at the UN Biodiversity Convention (CBD) in
Bonn, Germany to suspend immediately all patents on so-called “climate ready”
crop genes and traits. We also call for a full investigation, including the social and
environmental impacts of these new, un-tested varieties. Further, governments
meeting in Bonn should identify and eliminate policies such as restrictive seed
laws, intellectual property regimes, contracts and trade agreements that are barriers
to farmer plant breeding, seed saving and exchange. “The world has already
recognized that we are in a food crisis and a climate ‘state of emergency,’” notes
Pat Mooney, ETC Group’s Executive Director. “In this ‘state of emergency’ farmers
must be given all the freedom and resources they need to get us through this
crisis,” Mooney adds.
According to ETC Group, many of the patent claims are unprecedented in
scope because a single patent may claim several different environmental (abiotic)
stress traits. In addition, some patent claims extend not just to abiotic stress
tolerance in a single engineered plant species - but also to a substantially similar
genetic sequence in virtually all engineered food crops. The corporate grab extends
beyond the U.S. and Europe. Patent offices in major food producing countries
such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico and South Africa are
also swamped with patent filings. Monsanto (the world’s largest seed company)
and BASF (the world’s largest chemical firm) have entered into a colossal $1.5
billion partnership to engineer stress tolerant plants. “Together,” adds Kathy Jo
Wetter of ETC Group, “the two companies account for nearly half of the patent
families related to engineered stress tolerance identified by ETC Group. If we
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include their smaller biotech partners like Ceres and Mendel, Monsanto and BASF
have a part in almost two-thirds of the so- called ‘climate-ready’ germplasm”.
“Technological silver bullets - especially patented ones - will not provide the
adaptation strategies that small farmers need to survive in the face of climate
change,” says ETC Group’s Jim Thomas. Climate scientists predict that marginalized
farming communities in the global South - those who have contributed least to
global greenhouse emissions - are among the most severely threatened by climate
chaos created by the world’s richest countries. “The South is already being trampled
by the North’s super-sized carbon footprint. Will farming communities now be
stampeded by the Gene Giants’ climate change profiteering? “ asks Thomas.
For the Gene Giants, the focus on “climate genes” is a golden opportunity
to push genetically engineered crops as “green” and climate-friendly. Biotech seeds
will no longer be marketed as a choice, but as a necessity. Given the state of
emergency in food and agriculture, governments will be pressured to overlook bio-
safety regulations and to accept dangerous technologies such as Terminator that
have been rejected by the international community. (Despite a U.N. moratorium on
Terminator seeds, the biotech industry argues that genetic seed sterilization will
make biotech crops safer by containing gene flow from engineered crops and
The basic question now to be answered is: What to be the solution to
counter this trend of Geni-Gaints conspiracy of “patenting”? Here are some points
that were submitted to Hon’ble Prime Minister of India: This year the country is
facing unprecedented shortages in food supply. The basic question that arises is:
Why? And how to stop such recurrences in future? Around 60% of the population
in India still depends upon “directly or indirectly” on agriculture. More than 60%
of Indian agriculture is at the mercy of “Rain God”. Lacks of acres of fertile
agriculture lands are/were affected by pollution & indiscriminately allocation to
SEZs, as against the laws. The “floods and droughts” are common every year in
one part of the country or the other integrated with climatic cycles in Indian
rainfall. With the ever-increasing population, disproportionate to our agricultural
production, the food needs are increasing with new lifestyle in which dry-land
crops suffered a lot, which are the staple food of millions from centuries. Farmers
are looking at high risk-cash crops, which is a bad “cropping pattern practices”
against the local prevailing conditions. This year, due to un-seasonal rains farmers
suffered severe monetary losses as well thus, causing shortages in food grains due
to lack of storage & drying facilities.
The 1960s green revolution technology was based on few years experience
of a few scientists, interwoven with the vested interests of few Western MNCs
created new problems hitherto unknown and thus affecting environment – soil &
human, animal, plant life and health – and increased the cost of production. All
these factors were not accounted into production costs. Though the Indian
agriculture has grown by leaps and bounds in quantity but failed to achieve the
quality of traditional food. To understand this fallacy in green revolution technology,
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it took forty years. This technology was successful under irrigation, projects
developed at huge costs. The main beneficiaries of this system were the MNCs
involved in the chemical inputs trade under high subsides, the other major input in
to the technology. Even with all these ill affects, the production growth curve has
flattened after around 1984. This is basically because; Western/MNCs interests
cloud our scientists and scientific institutions. Our Academies of sciences are
under the control of the same groups. The top bosses, after retirement joining
them. Most unfortunately, the farmers’ federations also joined this bandwagon
harming the agriculture environment through helping the illegal testing of un-
approved hazardous technologies in farmers’ fields. In this, our bureaucrats are
also not far behind the scientific community (Reddy, 2006a).
The success of green revolution was possible with irrigation, as the diffusion
of Technologies was possible only through irrigation. Because of this the rainfed
agriculture has not recorded the success as that was recorded in irrigated agriculture
with the stagnation in irrigation potential but increased the level of risk. Thus, the
gulf between the irrigated agriculture and rainfed agriculture is increasing and this
is amplified through step motherly treatment for rainfed food grains under subsidized
schemes of PDS, where rice is supplied neglecting coarse grains produced under
rainfed condition. This is one other reason for food shortages. Area under bio-fuel
is not an important issue like in Mexico, as fertile lands are not used for this
purpose but aquaculture is an important issue in India as fertile lands are under
destruction. The other important issue is the destruction of forestlands is in rampant
and cause the reduction in rainfall with increased temperature regimes. Thus,
water requirements of crops are increasing. We are not utilizing available water
resources effectively due to inter-state disputes along with vested interest groups
creating legal disputes.
The four main Western MNCs minted billions of US$ through the sale of
chemical inputs under the disguise of green revolution technology have come up
with a new technology, known as genetically modified seed technology that works
under the same conditions as that of green revolution as they are no more gaining
with green revolution technology. Scientists like Noble prize winner Dr. Norman
Borlaugh, who is behind the green revolution technology, now writes letters to
Indian scientists in support of genetically modified crops stating that this is the
technology to over come the poverty as an agent of Western MNCs, Indian retired
scientists who have the clout with government in turn planted these letters in
Indian media. When the entire world was against the Terminator Technology, the
former D.G. of ICAR, Dr. R. S. Paroda said that it is a good technology to eradicate
Parthanium, entered India with PL-480 Wheat. This is like “Scratching the head
with Fire”. Biotechnology companies often claim that GM organisms are essential
scientific breakthroughs needed to feed the World, protect the environment, and
reduce poverty in developing countries. Unfortunately, our own agriculture top
boss, the ICAR D.G., Dr. Mangal Roy, echoes this at a biotechnology meet organized
by FICCI in New Delhi on 16th September 2007. At the same time he argues that
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GM food has more resistance power in humans against diseases as well require
less chemical fertilizers & less water. This is exactly opposite to what the scientific
out come in India and elsewhere in the world including in USA. Most of the
innovations in agricultural biotechnology have been profit-driven rather than need
driven. The real thrust of the GM industry is not to make third world agriculture
more productive, but rather generate profits. These technologies respond to the
need of biotechnology companies to intensify farmers’ dependence upon seeds
protected by the so-called “IPR”, which conflict directly with age-old rights of
farmers to reproduce or store seeds. Still there are many unanswered ecological
questions – bio-safety, food safety, ethical, etc aspects — regarding the impact of
transgenic crops.
The green revolution technology created health hazards to life forms hither
to unkown through food, water, soil & air pollution. To cure these diseases
established highly polluting [soil, air & water] industries that created new diseases.
The vicious circle is moving with increased population & changed life style. This
area of creating GHGs is not received as much as that of power production. Here,
developed countries are polluting developing countries by encouraging out sourcing
production. Here think globally and act locally plays the major role but
unfortunately, the slogan adopted is “think locally and act globally”. Some powerful
MNCs are vigorously trying to bring in corporate agriculture. As a prelude to this
they are behind the price rise through encouraging hording, illegal export, etc.
Opposition political parties also joined this bandwagon. A media report says that
thousands of tons of rice is exported illegally; farmers are not able to get Rs. 3 per
kg for onions but in the market they are fetching Rs. 17 per kg. That is artificial
shortage is another part of the price rise game.
The research priorities of government sponsored agriculture research institute
such, as CSIR must change to meet the local needs of the farmers and to make
Indian Agriculture Sustainable. At present they are carrying out the tasks what
their Western bosses/MNCs wanted them to do!!! Because of this tendency of our
research Institutions in India made the glut in Indian Agriculture. Prior to green
revolution the farmers used indigenous technologies evolved over hundreds and
thousands of years experience and passed it on to generation after generation.
These technologies were weather & soil based farming systems that include crops
& cropping pattern, agricultural practices, land & water management practices.
These are said to be “Golden Days” in the history of Indian farming. No pollution,
no worry about seed adulteration, fertilizer adulteration as they used the good
grain as seed and compost of farmyard manure as fertilizer. Though the yields are
low, the quality of food was excellent. However, progressive farmers over different
parts of the country have shown that they can achieve yields better than the high
cost green revolution yields with traditional agriculture. Also, all over India different
research groups working with farming community have shown that this is possible
with organic farming.
(1) Firstly, our research institutions must collect the inventions of progressive
farmers and integrate them in to the agriculture system and propagate;
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Co-operative farming: In Indian agriculture conditions, more than 90% of farmers

are within the 5 ha of cultivated area group and constitute more than 60% of the
cultivated area. Only around 40% of cultivated area receives irrigation and in this,
15 to 20% area gets water from dwindling groundwater sources by which the
cultivated area per pump has gone down dramatically and will continue as recharging
venues are being destroyed. These farmers face the major problem of adulteration
of seed, chemical inputs, loans, selling & storing the outputs, etc. Now, to improve
the condition of such farmers, the only way left under the present socio-economic-
political-bureaucratic scenario, is to group the farmers into co-operative farming
groups. Such system help in the effective utilization of water & energy resources,
input resources, subsidies/loans by government agencies and develop an effective
mechanism for sale and storage agriculture outputs. They can produce their own
seed and organic inputs and thus the cost of production could be reduced drastically
and thus improve the economy of the farmers and eliminate farmers suicides. Here
the groups can control the crops/cropping system or farming system that better
suits the prevailing conditions. In fact under the present conditions lacks of crores
given every year under loans, subsidies, and loans viewer system are going into
drain. To utilize them effectively, the only solution is co-operative farming. Also
this is the only way to stop farmers’ suicides. The problem must be talked in an
integrated manner rather than in isolation. This is possible under co-operative
(2) Secondly, adapt, under marginal, small and semi-medium farming sectors,
the system of co-operative farming under rainfed as well under well irrigation with
micro-irrigation system. This can be implemented through local MLAs & MPs;
Corporate agriculture is not a solution: Our bureaucracy is influenced by the
rich multinational companies and put forward the corporate farming as a solution
to food production to meet the growing population forgetting that the agriculture
is providing employment to more than 65% of population, directly and indirectly.
In fact the foundations were laid for such a system during the previous regime
itself. At present to some extent prices are under the control of government and
once the corporatism enter the scene the prices will be at their mercy that leads
severe poverty and mass suicides.
(3) Avoid Corporate Farming, which is a bad practice to the Indian agriculture
• Adapt farming systems practices to reduction of weather related risks and
those that better utilization of water resources;
• In the public distribution system (PDS) encourage giving coarse cereals at
the same level of subsidies as that of rice;
• Tank irrigation: To get a balanced growth at local and regional levels under
the prevailing climate & weather conditions top priority must be given to protect
and restore the areas under tank irrigation. This shall not only help the direct
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 163 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

irrigation but also improve indirect irrigation through wells/ bore-wells through
recharging-dwindling ground water. Watersheds and cloud seeding are futile
exercises and waste of public money in dry-areas of India with erratic &
undependable rainfall patterns. However, the government must complete irrigation
projects by clearing inter-state/judicial tangles. In agriculture sector the wasteful
expenditure to exchequer is too many that are sufficient to complete the irrigation
[4]. Give the responsibility of protecting and maintaining of tanks to the local
MLAs & MPs;
• Seed village programmes could be effectively implemented through
establishment of commodity boards for region specific important crops by linking
this with State Seed Corporation.
It is clear that the basic approach used in the global warming is to help
multinational western companies to mint money. To achieve this goal, IPCC became
a pawn in the hands of MNCs & Western rich nations. Developing countries must
not enter into this trap and should focus “think globally and act locally” to minimize
the health hazards and through which pollution & GHG could be minimized. This
is the best solution for developing countries to sustain the agriculture growth.
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Climate Change: Myths & Realities 165 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Chapter 9
Extreme Weather & Climate Events
9.1 Introduction
A 2001 report by the IPCC suggests that glacier retreat, ice shelf disruption
such as that of the Larsen Ice Shelf, Sea Level Rise, changes in rainfall patterns,
and increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, are being
attributed in part to global warming. One study predicts 18% to 35% of a sample
of 1,103 animals and plant species would be extinct by 2050, in relation to future
climate projections. Based on such reports, “India Today” magazine in its’ August
12, 2002 issue under cover story by Raj Chengappa reports mind boggling headlines,
such as: “This year’s wayward monsoon over India and freaky weather elsewhere
portend devastating climate changes as a result of global warming; Glaciers in the
Himalayas will recede by 2020 causing floods and then deserts; By 2015 rise in sea
levels will drown parts of Mumbai. Loss is Rs. 2,28,700 crore; Productivity of rice
and wheat crops will drop by 15 per cent in the next decade; Warmer climate will
cause major health problems such as the spread of dengue; All nations will be hit.
The US will be a dust bowl and Bangladesh will be swamped; etc”. By this way
fear psychosis is built in human mind and get hype.
9.2 Glacier Melting
It is a well-known fact that in the Hydrological Cycle (Figure 9a), the evaporated
water from Oceans that occupies two-thirds of globe and water bodies comes
back as rain & snow. Some of the processes involved in this cycle are briefly given
• Evaporation is the change of state of water (a liquid) to water vapour (a
gas). On an average, about 47 inches (120 cm) is evaporated into the atmosphere
from the Ocean each year;
• Transpiration is evaporation of liquid water from plants and trees into the
atmosphere. About 90% of all water that enters the roots transpires into the
• Sublimation is the process where ice and snow (a solid) change into water
vapour (a gas) without moving through the liquid phase;
• Condensation is the process where water vapour (a gas) changes back in to
water droplets (a liquid). This is when we begin to see clouds;
• Transportation is the movement of solid, liquid and gaseous water through
the atmosphere. Without this movement, the water evaporated over the Ocean
would not precipitate over land;
• Precipitation is water that falls to the Earth. Most precipitation falls as rain
but includes snow, sleet, drizzle, and hail. Around 313,000 mi3 (515,000 km3) of
water falls each year, mainly over the Ocean;
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 166 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

• Runoff is the variety of ways of which water moves over the Earth’s surface.
This comes from melting snow & rain;
• Infiltration is the movement of water into the ground from the surface.
Groundwater flow is the flow of water underground aquifers. The water may
return to the surface in springs or eventually seep into the Oceans. Plant uptake is
water taken from the ground water flow and soil moisture.
Reports suggest that each year about 8 mm of water from the entire surface
of the Oceans goes into the Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets as snowfall. If
no ice returned to the Oceans, sea level would drop by 8 mm every year. Although
approximately the same amount of water returns to the Ocean in icebergs and
from ice melting at the edges, scientists do not know which is greater – the ice
going in or the ice coming out. Reports also present that if all glaciers and ice
caps melt, the projected rise in sea level will be around 0.5 m. If the melting
includes the Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets, then the rise is more drastic
68.8 cm. Climate changes during 20th Century are estimated from modeling studies.
Estimates suggest that Greenland and Antarctica have contributed 0.0 to 0.5 mm/
year over the 20th Century as a result of long-term adjustment to the end of the
last ice age. It is reported, “sparse records indicate that glaciers have been retreating
since the early 1800s”. In the 1950s measurements began that allow the monitoring
of glacial mass balance.
The Times of India on March 22, 2008 presented two reports with the
headings “Himalayan tragedy awaits India and China, says study: Food crisis looms
large as rivers like Ganga & Yangtze may dry up” and “Gangotri shall live from here
to Eternity: Leading Indian scientists take a dim view of doomsayers who predict
the glacier that feeds the sacred Ganga will disappear due to global warming in
the next 40 years”.
The first report is based on an article of Lester Brown, who said “Mountain
Glaciers in the Himalayas and on the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau are melting and could
soon deprive the major rivers of India and China of the ice melt needed to sustain
them during the dry season. In the Ganges, the Yellow River and the Yangtze river
basins, where irrigated agriculture depends heavily on rivers, this loss of dry season
flows will shrink harvests”. Brown also referred in his article the IPCC report that
Himalayan Glaciers are receding rapidly and that many could melt entirely by
2035. If the giant Gangotri Glacier that supplies 70% of the Ganges flow during
the dry season disappears, it warned, the Ganges could become a seasonal river,
flowing during the rainy season but not during the summer dry season when
irrigation water needs are greatest”. The Ganga is the largest source of surface
water irrigation in India and the leading source of water for the 407 million people
living in the Gangetic basin, a population larger than any other single country
other than China. The Yellow River and Yangtze basins hold a similar position in
In the second report, contrary to what prophets of doom contend, that
Gangotri will disappear in the next 30 to 40 years, some of India’s leading scientists
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 167 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

believe there’s no immediate or even medium term threat to the glacier that feeds
on of India’s greatest river, Ganga. India has 9575 glaciers, of which around 50 are
being monitored by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) on a regular basis. None
of these show a particularly high rate of retreat. Gangotri’s draw down – 20
meters per annum in the ‘70s – is now mere six meters a year. Bhagirath Khadak in
the Himalayas was retreating at 12 m annually but last year it didn’t retreat at all.
Machol in Jammu & Kashmir has showed no change since 1957. It is true of
Siachen and Kagriz in Ladakh, according to Geological Survey of India (GSI), V.K.
Raina, Chairman, Monitoring Committee on Himalayan Glaciology, Government of
India, at a conference in Lucknow University recently says that there was no
reason to press panic button based on Western analysis of melting Arctic glaciers.
He also further states that the Western estimates are true for regions around the
North Pole – but these glaciers open into the sea. In India, glaciers are situated
over 3500 m above the sea level. The Himalayas, in fact, are conductive for the
preservation of glaciers. Even if Gangotri retreats at 20 m per annum, it will last for
1,500 years. He further states that the doomsayers have based their claims of a
much shorter life of Gangotri on the basis of reduction in discharge of water from
the glacier into the Ganga, but glacier contributes only 25% to river discharge –
the remaining 75% depends on snowfall and rain water. In fact the discharge in to
Ganga increased in 2001 when there was heavy snowfall. Same is the case for this
Dhruv Sen Singh, who teaches geology at Lucknow University and who was
part of India’s first scientific expedition to the Arctic in 2007 said, “Not only the
rate of retreat of Gangotri has decreased, in Leh, 123 years of temperature data
shows a cooling of 0.04 degrees per decade”. He adds that the 20 m rate of
retreat of Gangotri in the ‘70s wasn’t because of warming but because of the
cracking in the linear structure of the glacier at the snout. Then some of its
tributaries had become inactive and were contributing water instead of ice. These
factors keep changing in the natural course leading to fluctuation in the rate of
retreat of high mountain glaciers.
In March 2006, Science magazine led with the cover “Climate Change —
Breaking the Ice.” The edition included articles covering important new research on
warming at both poles that is leading to changes in the ice system. These changes
are occurring faster than previously observed or expected, therefore indicating
that both the Arctic and Antarctic may be approaching a “tipping point” after
which dangerous transformations will become unavoidable. Markers of such changes
are visible in Greenland and in the Antarctic ice sheet, both of which are melting
and thinning more rapidly than in the past. Velicogna and Wahr found that the
mass of the Antarctic ice sheet has decreased significantly since 2002. A similar
rapid loss of ice mass has been shown in the Arctic, where Rignot and Kanagaratnam
found that the loss of mass from the Greenland ice sheet doubled between 1996
and 2005 to 224 ± 41 cubic kilometers (54 ± 10 cubic miles) per year. For
comparison, the city of Los Angeles uses 1 cubic kilometers (0.23 cubic miles) of
water per year.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 168 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Records of past ice-sheet melting indicate that the rate of future melting
and the related sea-level rise could be faster than widely thought, according to
Overpeck et al. This recent study found that during the last interglacial period
approximately 130,000 to 127,000 years ago, sea level ranged from 4 meters to
more than 6 meters higher than today. Climate models project that by 2100, the
high northern latitudes will be as warm, or warmer, than they were during the last
interglacial period. Unless we curb heat-trapping emissions, temperatures in the
late 21st century would be warm enough to melt at least large portions of Greenland
and quite probably portions of West Antarctica. Millions of people would be
vulnerable to flooding and displacement from the resulting sea level rise, and the
economic loss associated with coastal inundation would be devastating.
Another study looked at the link between melting ice fields and rising sea
levels. Otto-Bliesner et al. quantified what melting from Greenland and other Arctic
ice fields contributed to sea level rise during the last interglacial period. They
evaluated ice cap retreat by analyzing results from a global climate model, a dynamic
ice sheet model and paleoclimatic data. They found that melting in the western
Arctic ice fields and Greenland contributed between 2.2 meters and 3.4 meters of
sea level rise during the last interglacial period. While this was due to natural
variations in global climate, human-induced global warming over the next century
could lead to similar, substantial impacts on the polar environment.
Another report says, “But it’s not just the ice system that is changing.
Changes in the permafrost, or the permanently frozen ground, also reflect a warming
trend in the Arctic”. Recent runs of the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s
Community Climate System Model project that under business-as-usual greenhouse
gas emission scenarios, there will be an up to 80 percent decline in near-surface
permafrost by 2100. Even if the extent of permafrost melt is not as large as projected
by this scenario and model, these results imply that large-scale changes in permafrost
will occur in the future. If large-scale permafrost melting occurs, it may result in
the rapid release of large quantities of methane, a potent global warming pollutant.
A report says, “Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center released
results showing that March 2006 had the lowest Arctic wintertime sea ice coverage
since 1979, the beginning of the satellite record. March sea ice represents the
maximum cover for the year, and the record low in 2006 is particularly significant
since it illustrates that for two years running, Arctic sea ice has failed to recover to
its previous maximum levels during the winter months. The long-term mean March
sea ice extent is 6.06 million square miles, whereas 2005 and 2006 set two new
“record” lows at 5.72 million square miles and 5.60 million square miles, respectively.
Compared to the long-term average wintertime sea ice level, the 2006-drop is
approximately equivalent to three times the area of California. Although the decline
in winter sea ice — the annual maximum — is not as pronounced as that of
summer sea ice decline — the annual minimum — low winter sea ice means that
the ice is freezing later in the fall and growing at a slower pace during the winter.
We can expect this summer to continue the trend of all-time lows in sea ice
extent. In fact, a study by Stroeve et al. recently found that four out of the five
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 169 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

lowest years of sea ice coverage have occurred since 2002. This accelerated decline
in summertime sea ice led Overpeck and his colleagues to conclude that the Arctic
could be completely free of summer sea ice well before the end of this century, a
state that has not occurred over at least the last million years”.
New research from multiple groups suggests that current climate models
may underestimate global warming projections because of a failure to account for
positive feedback. For instance, higher temperatures may lead to increased releases
— or reduced uptake of — carbon dioxide and/or methane by the Ocean, forests
and soils. This self-reinforcing cycle may not be fully accounted for in climate
models, and until recently, few studies tried to quantify it. Torn and Harte have
now found that by incorporating the carbon dioxide and methane positive feedback,
the warming associated with doubling of carbon dioxide due to human activities
is amplified from the range of 1.5 - 4.5°C to 1.6 - 6.0°C. Similarly, Scheffer and
his colleagues found that the century-scale positive feedback of rising temperatures
on atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will further enhance warming by an
extra 15 to 78 percent. Although both groups of researchers recognize the
limitations and uncertainties of their projections, their independent results, which
use different methods, suggest that warming over the coming century may in fact
be greater than recent trends and could be larger than that projected by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Additional studies found evidence
that feedback mechanisms have amplified warming in the past. The Arctic Coring
Expedition analyzed sediments from the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum and
found that polar temperatures during this period were more than 18°F warmer
than those predicted by current climate models and that the Arctic is capable of
warming to over 73°F and becoming ice free. This illustrates that higher-than-
modern greenhouse gas concentrations must have operated in conjunction with
additional feedback mechanisms, currently unaccounted for in climate models, to
intensify warming. Sluijs and his colleagues suspect that polar stratospheric
clouds and hurricane-induced ocean mixing could have lead to the high-
latitude warming and tropical cooling found in the records.
However, with all these contradicting findings, the glacier melt theory do
not, in fact, take into account the intensity of stress created by human activities
undertaken at these sources in the name of research, pilgrimage, tourism, sports
and other visits as well due to war related activities in addition to natural calamities
and natural rhythm that is present in nature, impact of Earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions, landslides, impact of outer space objects falling, etc. Thus the research
in this area is biased/flawed towards global warming giving minimal importance to
other factors. This needs rectification to get correct picture on glacial retreat due
to global warming by separating the effect of other factors on glacial retreat. This
aspect is researched very little!!! Also during glacial and interglacial periods the
increase or decrease in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere as revealed
from the paleoclimatological studies, primarily an after effect of increase or decrease
in temperature pattern and not vice-versa like the anthropogenic theory.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 170 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

9.3 Sea Level Rise

As per the IPCC (2007), “sea levels are raising worldwide and along much
of the U.S. coast. Tide gauge measurements and satellite altimetry suggest that
sea level has risen worldwide approximately 4.8-8.8 inches (12-22 cm) during the
last century. A significant amount of sea level rise has likely resulted from the
observed warming of the atmosphere and the Oceans. The primary factors driving
current sea level rise include: the expansion of Ocean water caused by warmer
Ocean temperatures melting of mountain glaciers and small ice caps (to a lesser
extent) melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Other
factors may also be responsible for part of the historic rise in sea level, including
the pumping of ground water for human use, impoundment in reservoirs, wetland
drainage, deforestation, and the melting of polar ice sheets in response to the
warming that has occurred since the last ice age”.
Considering all of these factors, scientists still cannot account for the last
century’s sea level rise in its entirety. It is possible that some contributors to sea
level rise have not been documented or well quantified. The rate of sea level rise
increased during the 1993-2003 period compared with the longer-term average
(1961-2003), although it is unclear whether the faster rate reflects a short-term
variation or an increase in the long-term trend. While the global average sea level
rise of the 20th century was 4.4-8.8 inches, the sea level has not risen uniformly
from region to region. Sea level has been rising 2.0-3.0 mm per year along most of
the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The rate of sea level rise varies from about 10
mm per year along the Louisiana Coast (due to land sinking), to a drop of a few
inches per decade in parts of Alaska (because land is rising).
Globally, Indonesia, Thailand, and Bangladesh are experiencing above-average
sea level rise. Northwestern Australia is experiencing below-average sea level
rise, a trend that is evident in much of the Ocean between western Australia and
East Africa. Most of the Pacific and Atlantic basins are experiencing average to
above-average sea level rise. Many coastal areas outside of the U.S., Europe and
Japan have too few tide gauges to be sure about long-term trends in regional sea
level rise. Studies of Roman wells in Caesarea and Roman piscinae in Italy indicate
that sea level stayed fairly constant from few hundred years. At TROPMET
Symposium held in Hyderabad, Dr. P.K. Das at the end of his award ceremony
delivered a lecture in which to my question he answered that out of the 12 sea
level observations along the Indian Coasts that at four locations the sea level
lowered and at the other 8 stations no change was noticed.
The IPCC (2007) expresses high confidence that the rate of observed sea
level rise increased from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century. During the 20th
century, sea level raised at an average rate 1.2-2.2 mm/year. Tide gauges show
little or no acceleration during the 20th century. Satellite measurements
estimate that sea level has been rising at a rate of 9 to 15 inches per century (2.4-
3.8 mm/yr) since 1993, more than 50% faster than the rate that tide gauges
estimate over the last century. According to the Free Encyclopedia (WIKIPEDIA],
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 171 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

“the sea level has risen more than 120 m since the peak of the last ice age about
18,000 years ago. However, only – 4 meters of this increase has occurred in the
last 6,000 years. From 3,000 years ago to the 19th Century the long-term change
was roughly 0.5 m at a rate of 0.1 to 0.2 mm/year. Since 1850, sea level has risen
again at 1 to 2 mm/year. Since 1992 satellite altimetry from TOPEX/Poseidon
suggests a rate of about 3 mm/year. Based on this they postulated that the
increased rates may indicate accelerating sea level change as a result of global
warming. During the 21st Century global warming models predict a sea level rise
of about 0.5 m”. Since 1992 the TOPEX and JASON Satellite programmes have
provided measurements of sea level change. The current data show a mean sea
level increase of 2.9 ± 0.4 mm/year. However, because of significant short-term
variability in sea level can occur, this recent increase does not necessarily indicate
a long-term acceleration in sea level changes. It is unclear whether this represents
an increase over the last decades; variability; or problems with Satellite calibration.
However, none of these studies looked into changes due to tectonic movements
inside the Earth.
IPCC predicts in sea level rise using models that by 2100 global warming will
lead to a sea level rise of 110 to 800 mm. Rejecting some of IPCC assumptions,
Morner (2004) has argued that sea level rise will not exceed 200 mm, within a
range of either + 100 to – 100 mm or +50 to ± 150 mm depending upon
assumptions. This means, the rise varies between 0 to 200 mm and –100 to 200
mm. Shall we accept such wide range of data as realistic or reject it? In science
the acceptable range is ± 10%, at the maximum. Most of these speculative increases
in sea level are beyond the observational error ranges. Because of this the ranges
present different groups under different measurement modes presents un-realistic
high variations that are not statistically or scientifically significant.
There are several types of information on sea level rise, which includes model
estimates, tide-gauze system observations, satellite altimetry observations, etc.
There are several issues involved in resolving the findings because they may be
short-term rise or adjustment of long-term ice ages, etc. Thus it became a puzzle
and unclear whether the so-called increase over the last decades is variability or
problems with tide-gauge/satellite calibration, lacunae in model formulations, etc
or due to tectonic movements. Thus sea level rise also traveling in the same boat
as global warming! That is, sea level may be rising, lowering and no change at all.
9.4 Extreme Events in Rainfall & Cyclone
9.4.1 Precipitation
IPCC (2007) proposes, “Increasing temperatures tend to increase evaporation,
which leads to more precipitation. As average global temperatures have risen,
average global precipitation has also increased”. IPCC also presented that
“Precipitation has generally increased over land north of 30°N from 1900-2005,
but has mostly declined over the tropics since the 1970s. Globally there has been
no statistically significant overall trend in precipitation over the past century,
although trends have widely by region and over time. It has become significantly
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 172 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

wetter in eastern parts of North and South America, northern Europe, and northern
and central Asia, but drier in the Sahel, the Mediterranean, southern Africa and
parts of southern Asia. Changes in precipitation and evaporation over the Oceans
are suggested by freshening of mid- and high-latitude waters (implying more
precipitation), along with increased salinity in low-latitude waters (implying less
precipitation and/or more evaporation).
The results summarized in Chapter 6 counters some of these observations.
There are significant systematic patterns in rainfall data series over different parts
of the globe. They also present a system in their variations with latitude, longitude,
land-sea, etc. These patterns clearly indicate that the rainfall is currently high over
certain parts of the glove and it is lower in certain other parts. However, these are
modified in association with the degree of ecological changes in a given region.
On the contrary, there is no evidence to prove that the changes in precipitation are
associated with global warming. See the Figure 6h standardized time series of
rainfall anomalies for the 20th century and a century period of the GFDL model
simulation containing the driest episode. The increased evaporation causes increased
rainfall is a false theory/logic – it is like wall is white and cow is white and
therefore wall is cow. Evaporation is not only relates to temperature factor but
also several other meteorological, orographic/topographic, land-sea-elevation factors
along with relative humidity (soil & atmosphere), wind, etc (Penman, 1948).
Evaporation changes with irrigation/spread of water bodies, as well. Also change
with land-use/land-cover changes. That is evaporation changes drastically with
“ecological changes” (Reddy, 1983c).
Generally, evaporation changes with precipitation but not vice-versa. Also
less than 1-degree change in temperature far smaller than the seasonal change
observed over different parts as well El-Nino/La-Nino factor that change evaporation.
Therefore, there is an urgency to look into the patterns presented in Chapter 6 by
adding the latest data of recent decades. This needs as a first step collect all such
information from local, regional, national studies world over. They play critical role
in agricultural policy decisions at national and global level (Reddy, 1993, 2002,
2006b & 2007].
9.4.2 Cyclonic storms
There is large natural variability in the intensity and frequency of mid latitude
storms and associated features such as thunderstorms, hail events and tornadoes.
To date, there is no long-term evidence of systematic changes in these types of
events over the course of the past 100 years (IPCC, 2007). It also says, “Analyses
of severe storms are complicated by factors including the localized nature of the
events, inconsistency in data observation methods, and the limited areas in which
studies have been performed. The frequency and intensity of tropical storm systems
have also varied over the 20th century on annual, decadal and multi-decadal time
scales. For example, in the Atlantic basin, the period from about 1995-2005 was
extremely active both in terms of the overall number of tropical storm systems
including hurricanes as well as in storm intensity. However, the two to three decades
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 173 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

prior to the mid-1990s were characterized as a relatively inactive period. Following

the Atlantic hurricane season of 2005, which set a record with 27 named storms,
a great deal of attention has focused on the relationship between hurricanes and
climate change”.
Numerous studies were published on possible linkages, with a range of
conclusions. To provide an updated assessment of the current state of knowledge
of the impact of global warming on tropical systems, the World Meteorological
Organization’s hurricane researchers published a consensus statement. Their
conclusions include (WMO, 2006): “Though there is evidence both for and against
the existence of a detectable anthropogenic signal in the tropical cyclone climate
record to date, no firm conclusion can be made on this point. There is general
agreement that no individual events in [2004 and 2005] can be attributed directly
to the recent warming of the global Oceans… it is possible that global warming
may have affected the 2004-2005 group of events as a whole. It is only a
presumption but not substantiated by facts”. All these highlight “Cat on the Wall”
The newer IPCC Fourth Assessment summary reports says, “There is
observational evidence for an increase in intense tropical cyclone activity in the
North Atlantic Ocean since about 1970, in correlation with an increase in sea
surface temperature, but that the detection of long-term trends is complicated by
the quality of records prior to routine satellite observations”. The summary also
states that there is no clear trend in the annual worldwide number of tropical
cyclones. Unfortunately no scientist questions such inferences as year to year
variations in temperature are far higher [ten to twenty times] than the global
temperature raise by that time (less than 0.4 0C).
Reports say, “Accumulating evidence suggests that hurricanes are becoming
more intense due to global warming”. Research by Michael Mann from Penn State
and Kerry Emanuel from MIT suggests that warming of the tropical Atlantic due to
human activity is responsible for the recent increase in tropical cyclone activity.
They also concluded that there is no statistically significant evidence for natural
cycles, such as the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), playing a role in
long-term tropical North Atlantic sea-surface-temperature variations, which are
well correlated with tropical cyclone intensity. Mann and Emanuel found that the
dependency of tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature on the AMO is not
statistically robust, and that any trend recently accredited to the AMO may actually
be a result of global warming in conjunction with cooling associated with
tropospheric aerosol pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.
Two researchers from Purdue University also independently concluded that
mean annual tropical temperatures directly regulate the total power unleashed by
tropical cyclones. By using observational data from the European Centre for Medium-
Range Weather Forecasts Reanalysis Project, Sriver and Huber found that the
power dissipation of tropical cyclones (a measure of maximum wind speeds over
the duration of the storm) correlates with both air temperature and mean annual
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 174 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

tropical sea surface temperature, and that a substantial portion of variance in

globally integrated power dissipation can be attributed to changes in mean tropical
Analysis of the record-breaking 2005 hurricane season also reveals that
higher than usual global sea surface temperatures, a signature of global warming,
were responsible for the majority of the record high sea surface temperatures
documented in the tropical North Atlantic during the summer of 2005. Trenberth
and Shea attributed approximately half of the record warmth in the tropical North
Atlantic to global sea surface temperatures, whereas only a third of the warmth
was caused by the AMO and El Niño combined. As the background levels of
global sea surface temperatures continue to climb, we can expect greater hurricane
activity in future.
On the contrary, the history of cyclones/typhoons/hurricanes presents a
system in their occurrence patterns of severity and frequency (Reddy, 2007). In
USA according to NASA data, Hurricanes were severe in intensity during 1940s,
1950s and 1960s; they were less severe in intensity during 1970s, 1980s and
1990s. Now again they are severe in intensity similar to the period in 1940s-60s
(Figure 9b). This pattern is similar to the pattern observed in the All-India Southwest
Monsoon Rainfall (Reddy, 2003a, 2006b). The all-India Southwest Monsoon 60-
year cyclic pattern (Figure 6s) is presented by a sine curve along the horizontal
axis in Figure 9b.
Rajeevan, et al. (1999) observed, in 1959 to 1991 data, significant Inverse
relationship between Northwest Pacific activity as measured by typhoon days
during Summer months (June to September) and Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall
(Table 12). That means the cyclonic activity in the Northwest Pacific are in opposition
to the Hurricane activity. Similar but opposite pattern of Hurricanes is evident in
the case of frequency of the cyclonic storms and depressions during Northeast
Monsoon season (October to December) in India during 1951-81(Indira, 1999) –
the frequency is less than 6 in the 1940s-60s and more than 6 in the 1970s-90s.
Table 12: Number of years under different groups of Typhoon days vs all-India
Summer Monsoon Rainfall during 1959-1991 [26-years]
Typhoon Days Number of years
Groups All-India Summer Monsoon Rainfall groups
Drought Normal Flood
Deficit 1 3 4
Normal 2 7 1

Excess 6 2 0

Note: Normal = 8 typhoon days; deficit/excess = <8/>8

typhoon days; Drought/Flood = < 10%/> 10% of normal rainfall
The frequency of occurrence of cyclones per year in Bay of Bengal during 1945 to
2000 (May to November) as presented by joint Typhoon Warning Centre shows a
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 175 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

drastic reduction around 1975s (Reddy, 2006b) — (Figure 9c). This followed the
Southwest Monsoon rainfall pattern in Andhra Pradesh. The Southwest Monsoon
rainfall 56-year cyclic pattern (Figure 6t) is presented by a sine curve along the
horizontal axis in Figure 9c.
Srivastava, et al. (2004) also presented this trend in the annual frequency of
cyclonic storms over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal for the period 1961-2002.
Bay of Bengal storm activities presented a decreasing trend – in association with
this the Orissa rainfall presented a decreasing trend. This period coincides with
below the average rainfall cycle of Southwest Monsoon season of Andhra Pradesh
[1973 to 2001]. Andhra Pradesh rainfall is more associated with the frequency of
occurrence of the depressions/storms in the Bay of Bengal.
Jadhav (2004) computed the total number of low-pressure systems and
Depressions/storms for the monsoon months June to September for the period
1891-2000 – Rajendra Kumar (2004) data also followed this pattern.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 176 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

However, the low-pressure systems are not confined to Andhra Pradesh

alone but are spread all over India while the majority of depressions/storms
influences the Andhra Pradesh rainfall. Though low-pressure systems do not present
a systematic variation, the depressions/storms followed the Southwest Monsoon
rainfall pattern of Andhra, wherein during the 1973 to 2001 presented lower number
compared to the previous 28-year period. Previous to this 28-year period again
presented lower number of depressions/storms. Though during 1973 to 2001
depressions/storms present a steep fall (Srivastava et al., 2004), the total number
of low pressure systems present no such fall. The steep fall in storms/depressions
present fall in rainfall along the East Coast but because of low-pressure systems
the rainfall over other parts haven’t sown such fall.
These clearly point out one thing that there is significant relationship among
cyclonic activity over different oceans-seas and rainfall patterns. There is a need to
look into this aspect by taking into account the solar-planetary system.
9.4.3 Un-usual events in Precipitation & Temperature
Precipitation: IPCC (2007) presented that “There has been an increase in the
number of heavy precipitation events over many areas during the past century, as
well as an increase since the 1970s in the prevalence of droughts—especially in
the tropics and subtropics. Observations compiled by NOAA’s National Climatic
Data Center show that over the contiguous U.S., total annual precipitation increased
at an average rate of 6.1 percent per century since 1900, although there was
considerable regional variability. The greatest increases came in the East North
Central climate region (11.6 percent per century) and the South (11.1 percent).
Hawaii was the only region to show a decrease (-9.25 percent). In the Northern
Hemisphere’s mid- and high latitudes, the precipitation trends are consistent with
climate model simulations that predict an increase in precipitation due to human-
induced warming. By contrast, the degree to which human influences have been
responsible for any variations in tropical precipitation patterns is not well understood
or agreed upon, as climate models often differ in their regional projections”.
Sharma & Sharma (2007) presented that “Barmer in Rajasthan, recorded
302 mm on September 1968 almost double the 160 mm rainfall of 22 August
2006. There was heavy rainfall in Jodhpur in 1979 and 1981”. Andhra Pradesh
(AP) comprises three meteorological sub-divisions, namely Coastal Andhra,
Rayalaseema and Telangana. Andhra Pradesh presents a typically unique pattern,
varying from wet to dry climates. The State receives rainfall from both the Southwest
and the Northeast Monsoons. With the cyclonic activity in both the monsoon
seasons, the rainfall over different parts of the State present highly variable patterns
both in time & space. In fact predominantly the rainfall is mainly associated with
cyclonic disturbances. With all these the climate presents dry or arid Anantapur to
Wet Adilabad.
As it is seen from Table 11 (Reddy, 2000a) that Andhra Pradesh receives
rainfall in two monsoon seasons, namely Southwest Monsoon (June to September]
and Northeast Monsoon [October to December].
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 177 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Table 11: Average rainfall amounts & C.V.s in the three meteorological
sub-divisions of AP during 1871-1990
Region Parameter SWM NEM Annual
India Mean, mm 852(78) 120(11) 1090
C.V., % 9.9 29.0 19.5
CA Mean, mm 507(52) 375(39) 971
C.V., % 22.2 38.8 19.8
T Mean, mm 722(80) 107(12) 899
C.V., % 23.5 60.3 21.7
R Mean, mm 422(60) 204(29) 709
C.V., % 28.8 41.9 21.6
Note: CA = Coastal Andhra, T = Telangana, R = Rayalaseema,
SWM = Southwest Monsoon, NEM = Northeast Monsoon, C.V.
coefficient of variation, number within the brockets refer to % of
SWM & NEM to Annual rainfall
The contribution of rainfall during these two monsoon seasons in three
sub-divisions is quite different. During SWM Telangana region received 80% of
the annual rainfall. These are reduced to 60% in Rayalaseema region and 52% in
Coastal Andhra region. They are respectively 12, 29 & 39% during the NEM. The
spatial variation of drought risk presents 5 to 60% of the years, with the highest
risk in Anantapur region (Reddy, 1993).
The year-to-year variations in rainfall & onset dates of Southwest Monsoon
are very high (Reddy, 2000a), which can be seen from the rainfall extremes
(Table 12).
Table 12: Extreme events of rainfall & onset dates in AP during 1871-1994
Period L H E D
(mm/year) (mm/year)
Coastal Andhra 28/5/1925 24/6/1959
Annual 532/1891 1501/1990
SWM 309/1888 780/1978
NEM 88/1909 703/1994
Telangana 28/5/1925 24/6/1959
Annual 489/1920 1485/1893
SWM 371/1877 1186/1988
NEM 2/1988 310/1987
Rayalaseema 24/5/1933 24/6/1959
Annual 226/1876 1228/1874
SWM 192/1904 791/1878
NEM 12/1876 455/1946
Note: SWM = Southwest Monsoon, NEM = Northeast Monsoon, L = the
Lowest rainfall, H = the highest rainfall; and E = the earliest date &
D = delayed date of onset of monsoon rains
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 178 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

It is seen from Table 12, the highest and the lowest rainfall amounts received
during 1871 to 1994 [124 years] in the three meteorological sub-divisions of Andhra
Pradesh that in Telangana Sub-division the highest annual rainfall was received
during 1893 and the lowest annual rainfall was received during 1920; in the case
of Coastal Andhra they are during 1990 & 1891; and in the case of Rayalaseema
they are during 1874 & 1876. The figures for Southwest Monsoon and Northeast
Monsoon are quite different when compared to annual rainfall. In the last one-
decade the lowest values have not crossed the mark presented in Table 11 & 12
but the highest values crossed the mark as there is an increasing trend in rainfall
due to large changes in land-use pattern.
Munot (2004) presented an analysis of all-India Summer Monsoon rainfall in
terms of deficit and excess rainfall years during 1871-2001. The highest rainfall of
1020.3 mm, which is 19.9% above the mean rainfall of 850.8 mm, was received in
1961; after this, 18.0% was received in 1917; 16.6% in 1892; 15.6% in 1956; etc.
The lowest rainfall of 604.3 mm, which is 29.0% below the mean rainfall of 850.8
mm, was received in 1877; after this, 26.1% was received in 1899; 23.5% in 1918;
23.3% in 1972, etc.
Let us see the four years data of rainfall received in three Andhra Pradesh
sub-divisions (Reddy, 2003b) as % of average rainfall in Southwest Monsoon and
Northeast Monsoon (Table 13). In the case of Coastal Andhra the rainfall during
Southwest Monsoon varied between 59% and 143% and in the case of Northeast
Monsoon varied between 35% and 177%. The same in Telangana are 81% and
146%; 46% and 290% while they are 87% and 146%; 31% and 159% in
Rayalaseema. Quite large differences though followed the same pattern.
Table 13: % average rainfall in the three sub- Divisions of AP during 1987-1990
Year Rainfall in % of average
1987 59 81 90 177 290 159
1988 143 146 146 45 48 31
1989 142 139 145 35 46 47

1990 90 113 87 130 193 132

Note: SW = Southwest Monsoon; NE= Northeast Monsoon;

CA = Coastal Andhra; T = Telangana; and R = Rayalaseema
In the State of Andhra Pradesh in India during summer, heat waves are
common reaching as high as 50 oC. During 2008 May the heat wave prevailed for
several days along the South Coastal belt & Telangana, reaching as high as 45 oC
and above. Some of these conditions are associated with cyclonic disturbances in
the southern Bay of Bengal. During winter, when the Western Disturbances in
northwest India were pushed southward, Andhra Pradesh also experiences severe
cold weather or cold waves conditions. In Andhra Pradesh, the State Government
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 179 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

initiated cloud seeding programme in drier areas. Though the organizers of the
programme claimed in their reports submitted to the government that rainfall has
increased but in reality the rainfall has presented strong decrease in downwind
direction. I brought this to the notice of government with examples taken from the
seeding experiments. The technical committee advised the organizers not to seed
intensive synoptic systems even otherwise they give copious rainfall in areas in the
windward direction. But, the company executing the operation, invariably seed
such systems only, saying that “it is not binding on us as it is not the part of our
contract”. Therefore, if this programme continues there is a high possibility of
rainfall pattern may present drastic changes. This may have severe negative impact
on agriculture & water resources in the state in coming years.
In Andhra Pradesh both government sponsored and private and communists
sponsored destruction of forests are going on in several thousands of acres that
may also severely increase the temperatures and decrease the rainfall – researchers
showed there is considerable increase in rainfall & decrease in temperature in areas
where considerable area was brought under reforestation. Though, these are
countered somewhat by some of the irrigation projects and associated “increased
area” under water reservoirs & greenery, land use change from dry-land to wet-
Mohan Lal Sahu (2004) data for Chattisgarh presents a mean summer
monsoon rainfall of 1232.2 mm. The highest rainfall of excess 47.8% of average
was recorded in 1961; following this in 1925 received 31.3%, 30.0% was received
in 1936, 27.4% in 1980, 24.0% in 1994. The lowest rainfall of deficit 29.1% was
received in 1987; following this 28.9% was received in 1941, 26.76% in 1974,
24.46% in 1966, 22.08% in 2000. The Cochin highest rainfall data along with
their year of occurrence in different months at daily & monthly interval presented
by Bindu & Rajan (2004) for the period 1901 to 2000 do not give the impression
that the unusual falls are associated with a particular period (Table 14).
Table 14: Monthly and daily highest rainfall of Cochin
Month 1 2 3 4 5 6
January 21.1 1921 13.3 1921 10 2.4
February 17.0 1984 9.0 1952 11 2.8
March 24.5 1960 12.6 1960 7 4.8
April 34.3 1908 16.2 1956 11 11.9
May 107.6 1933 25.3 1933 24 31.8
June 121.6 1912 34.7 1959 29 72.4
July 145.4 1968 21.4 1910 31 63.3
Augus 119.9 1931 15.6 1947 31 37.8
September 68.4 1988 11.6 1959 29 26.5
October 90.6 1932 23.2 1951 30 31.0
November 47.6 1966 15.4 1966 12 16.9
December 28.0 1972 15.5 1946 6 5.1
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 180 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Note: 1 = average highest rainfall of the month, mm; 2 = year of the highest; 3
= average highest rainfall of the day, mm; 4 = year of the highest; 5 = average
rainy days of the month; 6 = average rainfall of the month, cm
Thapliyal, et al. (2004) observed that the magnitude and persistence of
changes are not large enough to conclude that the increase of extreme reflects a
non-stationary climate. As the skew-ness increases in the rainfall data the limits of
variation (% variations) also present higher values. These can’t be attributed to
unusual events. The skew-ness in the data series increases from a region to a
location, from annual to seasonal to monthly to weekly to daily to hourly data.
However, rainfall presents an increasing/decreasing trend over different parts of
the country based on the changes in local environment in addition to systematic
Temperature: The author developed concepts to estimate radiation over different
parts of the globe since 1971 (see Chapter 3). In this venture he found rainfall is
more associated with radiation (Reddy, 1987). In line with this, the global
temperature pattern presents a similarity with the Andhra Pradesh Southwest
Monsoon Rainfall cycle. Figure 9d presents the global annual & five-year average
temperature series. On the horizontal axis presented the 56-year cycle (sine curve)
observed in the Southwest Monsoon Rainfall of Andhra Pradesh. The period with
steep raise during around 1910 to around 1945 present below the average rainfall
cycle, then the period around 1945 to around 1975 period of little variation present
the above average rainfall cycle, and the period with steep rise around 1975 to
around 2005 present below the average rainfall cycle. During the third cycle (1973
to 2028) in the dry 28-year cycle the temperatures gone up – during this part
Gangotri Glacier presented higher retreat. A report appeared in media says
that the coming 10-years temperatures will not go up!!! This aspect must be
thoroughly studied at global level, as after increasing the temperature during the
below average rainfall cycle the temperature is not coming back during the above
average rainfall cycle, though it is not showing an increasing or decreasing trend.
Why? This needs an answer.
During 1971 to 2000, West Rajasthan experienced the longest heat wave
spell of duration 16 days and most of the longest spells were experienced in 1972
and during this period the number of sub-divisions affected by cold wave and heat
wave spells presented an increasing trend (Pai & Rajeevan, 2004) but both of
these are confined mainly to their traditional zones only (Reddy & Rao, 1978).
Alwar, on the fringes of the Thar Desert, registered a temperature of 50.6 °C
(123 °F), India’s highest. India’s lowest recorded temperature reading was -45 °C
(-49 °F) in Dras, Ladakh, in eastern Jammu and Kashmir; however, the reading
was taken with non-standard equipment. Further south, readings as low as -
30.6 °C (-23 °F) has been taken in Leh, also in Ladakh. However, temperatures on
the Indian-controlled Siachen Glacier near Bilafond La (5,450 meters (17,881 ft))
and Sia La (5,589 meters (18,337 ft)) have fallen below -55 °C (-67 °F), while
blizzards bring wind speeds in excess of 250 km/h (155 mph), or hurricane-force
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 181 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 182 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

winds ranking at 12 (the maximum) on the Beaufort scale. It was those conditions,
not actual military engagements that were responsible for more than 97% of the
roughly 15,000 casualties suffered by India and Pakistan over the course of conflict
in the region. The highest reliable temperature reading was 50.6 °C (123 °F) in
Alwar, Rajasthan in 1955. This mark was also reached at Pachpadra in Rajasthan.
Recently, claims have been made of temperatures touching 55 °C (131 °F) in
Orissa; the IMD, which has questioned the methods used in recording such data,
has met these with some skepticism.
From these presentations it is clear that unusual events in weather & climate
are not associated with a specified period to attribute them to global warming
phenomenon but they are seen at random – like “anything may happen at any
time” similar to earthquakes, forest fires, etc. There is a close relation in observed
fluctuations in different weather parameters such as temperature, cyclones/
hurricanes, precipitation.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 183 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Weather is what we experience daily and climate is the average of such
weather over a long period of time. The climate is highly variable with space and
time. The climate defines the life forms on the Earth.
Natural variations: Climate consists of irregular variations and systematic variations.
The systematic variations are known as cycles. They are of long-term and short-
term fluctuations. The long-term fluctuations are termed as ice ages, mainly
present in temperature. These are derived through proxy data, which vary with
author to author. The short term fluctuations are studied using ground based
observed meteorological data. This aspect is studied primarily with reference to
precipitation data series, as it is the prime factor in the success and failure of
agriculture. Where such fluctuations are present, climatic-normal play a misleading
role. Precipitation data analyzed taking into account the climatic fluctuations, the
results provide better planning tool for successful agriculture (see Reddy, 1993).
However, to make the results more reliable, the observed meteorological data series
must be homogenized at base level through studies to separate the
- Errors due to change in unit of measurements;
- Errors due to changes in place of measurement;
- Errors due to changes in war related disturbances;
- Errors associated with the changes in and around meteorological observatory;
- Now, in majority of developing countries the meteorological stations are in
dilapidated condition due to wars & poverty; etc.
Man-induced changes: With the unabated population growth under changed life
style & technology, weather & climate are affected severely by the changes in
atmospheric composition, land-use & land-cover changes. These changes are known
as trend – both increasing and decreasing.
The observed surface temperature presents an increasing trend with several
ups & downs during the last 100-years. Some claim it is the result of increased
concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The
temperature pattern derived through models using anthropogenic greenhouse gases
as input present smooth non-linear increase and that vary with model to model. It
is clear from these that the increased temperature is not a result of anthropogenic
greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere but it is the result of combination
of several factors.
The anthropogenic greenhouse gases observed data is available from the
last five decades only and that too at few unevenly distributed network of stations
over the globe. Prior to this period the data series are constructed through proxy
data. Unlike in observed surface temperature, the carbon dioxide data presents a
smooth non-linear increase.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 184 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

Urban contamination: The observed surface temperature series are contaminated

by “urban-heat-island effect” – a warming effect. The observed surface temperature
data series represent measurements made mostly in urban-areas, as majority of the
meteorological observatories are located in urban centers. The observed temperature
must also be homogenized at base level like in precipitation. However, the rural
temperatures on the contrary are contaminated by “rural-cold-island effect” – a
cooling effect — with the changed land-use & land-cover.
Land & Sea effect: The land area covers one-third of the globe and oceans by
two-thirds. The observed meteorological data over the oceans is insignificant when
compared to on land meteorological observations network. For the last two decades,
with the help of satellites the temperature data was derived over the land & oceans.
The temperature pattern derived from satellites is far lower than the observed
surface temperature data. Unfortunately, later, the satellite data series were revised
to fit with the observed surface temperature pattern. This created doubt in the
use of satellite data series after seeing the observed surface temperature data
series in Southern Hemisphere with less land area & more ocean area presenting
lower temperatures when compared with the Northern Hemisphere!!!
Ozone depletion: The fact is that both the ozone “creation & destruction” and
“cooling & warming” of temperature are in built in nature. There is an absolute
one-to-one relation in ozone depletion theory and thus, though in the initial stages
there was a stiff opposition from industry, it became easy to replace ozone depleting
substances by non-ozone depleting substances. The reverse trend in ozone depletion
is already evident. The stratospheric cooling effect is more in association with
weather related formation of circum-polar vortex, which is more frequent in the
South Pole zone & less frequent in the North Pole zone. This is reflected in the
ozone depletion patterns at the two poles zones.
Unfortunately, there is no such one-to-one relation in global warming theory,
as there are several process involved. The issue is not moving in the right direction,
as political interests are inter-woven in the issue of global warming, which is
leading no where.
Glaciers retreat & sea level raises: In the glaciers retreat phenomena, some
powerful groups started suppressing the facts. They are not looking glaciers
retreat as a long-term cyclic pattern & part of hydrological cycle as well physical
impacts associated with several phenomena in nature & human injected.
Some scientists noted decreasing temperature in parts of South Pole zone
and Himalayan Glaciers zones.
The observed sea level changes present decreasing trend in certain parts of
the globe; increasing trend certain other parts with majority of the parts presenting
no change. However, the speculators of sea-level rise, using the model based
simulations, flooding the literature with speculations of abnormal rise in sea levels
with wide ranges that are far beyond model error ranges.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 185 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

We are well aware that physical impact as a result of research, sports,

tourism, pilgrimage activities (that is, human activity), impact of outer space objects
falling, in addition to earthquakes, volcanoes, land-slides, tectonic movements
under the Earth, etc needs careful study in terms of rise in temperatures and or
melting of ice-sheets – sea level rise. This aspect is researched very little!!!
The fact is that during glacial & interglacial periods the increase & decrease
in temperature was responsible for increase & decrease in carbon dioxide
concentrations in the atmosphere. That is, it is an after affect. The present global
warming theory presents the vice-versa process.
Systematic variations & Unusual events: Unusual events in weather & climate are
not associated with a specified period to attribute them to global warming
phenomenon but they are seen at random – like “anything may happen at any
time” similar to earthquakes, forest fires, etc.
The precipitation data from both Southern & Northern Hemispheres present
systematic variations. The observed cycles varied between 66 to 22 years along
with their sub-multiples.
The ups-and-downs observed in global average observed surface temperature
data series present a positive relation with the fluctuations in precipitation. Similar
type of relationship was noted in cyclonic/hurricane activity with the fluctuations
in precipitation. However, the pattern is not uniform all over the globe but present
variable patterns according to zones/regions. That is, averages have no meaning
but must be studied region-wise to get correct picture.
The precipitation & weather present a relationship with the changes in
solar & planetary system. The influence of these changes, change with the prevailing
local synoptic conditions. In some cases, the patterns present reversals. These
must be studied in relation to the prevailing fluctuations at a given region/zone to
get better picture. We must not forget that the sea/ocean tides follow a rhythmic
pattern with phases of the Moon.
In conclusion, as long as our governments sub-serve the interests of Western
Multinational Companies and their propaganda agents, we achieve little in this
direction. They put foot in the energy projects & major irrigation projects to
obstruct to get the fruits of development by rural poor but they are going ahead
un-hindered with the chemical inputs in agriculture under heavy subsidies as usual
to benefit MNCs. This is the root cause of all ills in the society in developing
countries. In this bandwagon entered the genetically modified technology of MNCs
that have severe repercussions on ecology & agriculture of developing countries
like India. Even IPCC is putting its’ stamp of approval on such tendency!!! Majority
of the conclusions in relation to global warming hypothesis are either follow the
proverb “Cat on the Wall” or put forth false logic “wall is white and cow is white,
therefore wall is cow”. Therefore, we must come out from this phobia to understand
the climate change in its’ totality by giving weight to “science” over the “number”
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 186 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

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43. Penman, H.L., (1948). Natural evaporation from open water, bare soil and
gross. Proc. Roy. Soc., London, A193: 120-125.
44. Raj Chengappa, (2002). What’s Wrong With the Weather?, India Today,
August 12, 2002: 42-46.
45. Rajeevan, M., Seetha Ram, K., Sinha Ray, K.C. and Srivastava, H.N., (199).
Relationship between Northwest Pacific Typhoon activity and Indian Summer
Monsoon. Advanced Technologies in Meteorology, Eds. R.K. Gupta and S.
Jeevananda Reddy, Tata McGraw-Hill Publ. Comp. Ltd., New Delhi, pp. 271-
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 189 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

46. Rajendra Kumar, J., (2004). Abnormal behavior in characteristics of various

intraseasonal components of monsoon of recent drought year over India.
Pre-symposium Proc. “International Symposium on natural hazards
(INTROMET-2004)”, Hyderabad, pp. 215-217.
47. Rao, K. N. and Reddy, S. J., (1972a). Lunar atmospheric tides in surface
winds at six Indian stations. Indian J. Met. Geophys., 23: 189-194.
48. Rao, K. N. and Reddy, S. J., (1972b). Solar and lunar atmospheric tides in
rainfall at Poona. Indian J. Met. Geophys., 23:535-536.
49. Reddy, S. J., (1971a). An empirical method for the estimation of total solar
radiation. Solar Energy (USA), 13:289-290.
50. Reddy, S. J., (1971b). An empirical method for the estimation of net radiation
intensity. Solar Energy (USA), 13:291-292.
51. Reddy, S.J., (1973). An empirical method for estimation of sunshine from
total cloud amount. Solar Energy (USA), 15: 281-285.
52. Reddy, S.J. and Rao, K. R., (1973). An empirical method for the estimation
of evaporation from the free surface of water. Indian J. Meteorol. Geophys.,
24: 137-152.
53. Reddy, S.J. and Jayanti, S., (1974). Effect of air pollution on radiation and
human comfort over six Indian stations. Indian J. Met. Geophys., 25: 445-
44. Effect of air pollution on radiation and human comfort over six Indian
stations. Indian J. Met. Geophys., 25: 445-448.
54. Reddy, S.J., (1974a). Lunar and Solar atmospheric tides in surface winds
and rainfall. Indian J. Met. Geophys., 25: 497-502.
55. Reddy, S.J., (1974b). Effective pollution potential over ten Indian stations.
Indian J. Met. Geophys., 25: 441-444.
56. Reddy, S.J. and Rao, K.R., (1976). Radiation and evaporation distribution
over India. Nat. Geogr. J. India, XXII: 54-63.
57. Reddy, S.J., (1976a). A simple formula for the estimation of wet bulb
temperature and precipitable water. Indian J. Met. Hyd. Geophys., 27: 163-
58. Reddy, S.J., (1976b). Wet bulb temperature distribution over India. Indian J.
Hyd. Geophys., 27: 167-171.
59. Reddy, S.J. and Rao, K.R. (1976). Radiation and evaporation distribution
over India. Nat. Geogr. J. India, Vol. XXII (1&2), pp.54-63.
60. Reddy, S.J., (1977). Forecasting the onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala.
Indian J. Meteorol. Hydrol. Geophys., 28:113-114.
61. Reddy, S.J. & Rao, K.R., (1977). Effect of solar flares on lower tropospheric
temperature and pressure. Indian J. Radio Space Phys., 6:44-50.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 190 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

62. Reddy, S.J. & Lahori, S.N., (1977). Power spectral analysis of lower
stratospheric met data of H, T, U, and V. Indian J. Radio Space Phys., 6:51-
63. Reddy, S.J., Juneja, O.A. and Lahori, S.N., (1977). Power Spectral Analysis
of Total & Net Radiation Intensities. Indian J. of Radio & Space Physics,
64. Reddy, S.J. and Rao, G.S.P., (1977). A simple method of forecasting
thunderstorms. Indian J. Met. Hyd. Geophys., 28: 255-258.
65. Reddy, S.J. and Rao, G.S.P., (1978). A method of forecasting the weather
associated with western disturbances. Indian J. Met. Hyd. Geophys., 29:
66. Reddy, S.J. & Singh, S., (1981). Climate and soils of the semi-arid tropical
regions of the world. Proc. Summer Institute on Production Physiology of
dry-land Crops, APAU/ICAR, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, A.P., India.
67. Reddy, S.J., (1981). Estimation of global solar radiation. Solar Energy (USA),
26: 279.
68. Reddy, S.J., (1983a). Climatic classification: The semi-arid tropics and its
environment – a review. Peq. Agropec. Bras., (Brasilia), 18: 823-847.
69. Reddy, S.J., (1983b). Agroclimatic classification: Numerical taxonomic
procedures – a review. Peq. Agropec. Bras., (Brasilia), 18: 435-457.
70. Reddy, S.J., (1983c). A simple method of estimating soil water balance.
Agric. Meteorol., 28: 1-17.
71. Reddy, S.J., (1983-84). Agroclimatic classification of the semi-arid Tropics:
I, II, III & IV —. Agrc. Meteorol., 30: 185-219 & 269-325.
72. Reddy, S.J., (1984). Climatic fluctuations and homogenization of northeast
Brazil using precipitation data. Pesq. Agropec. Bras. (Brasilia), 19:529-543.
73. Reddy, S.J., Amorim, N.M. da S. and Gloria, da S.E.M., (1984). A simple
method for the estimation of global solar radiation over northeast Brazil.
Pesq. Agropec. Bras. (Brasilia), 19: 391-405.
74. Reddy, S.J., (1986). Climatic fluctuations in the precipitation data of
Mozambique during the period of meteorological record. Communicacao
No. 39, Serie Terra e Agua, INIA, Maputo, Mozambique, 40p.
75. Reddy, S.J., (1987). The estimation of global solar radiation and evaporation
through precipitation. Solar Energy, 38: 97-104.
76. Reddy, S.J. & Mersha, E., (1990). Results: climatic fluctuations in the
precipitation data of Ethiopia during the period of meteorological record.
Agrocl. Series 4, ETH/86/021-WMO/UNDP, NMSA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 191 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

77. Reddy, S.J., (1993). Agroclimatic /Agrometeorolocal Techniques: As applicable

to Dry-land Agriculture in Developing Countries. JCT, Hyderabad, 205p —
Book Review appeared in Agric. For. Meteorol., [original name Agric. Meteorol.]
67:325-327 [1994].
78. Reddy, S.J., (1995). Discussion: Over-emphasis on energy in crop yield models.
Agric. For. Meteorol., 77: 113-120.
79. Reddy, S.J., (2000a). Andhra Pradesh Agriculture: Scenario of the last four
decades, Jeevan Charitable Trust, Secunderabad, A.P., India, 104p.
80. Reddy, S.J., (2000b). The concept of prophysing: Myths & Realities. Jeevan
Charitable Trust, ICRISAT Colony, Secunderabad, A. P., India, 100p.
81. Reddy, S.J., (2002). Dry-land agriculture of India: An agroclimatological
and agrometeorological perspective, BS Publications, Hyderabad, India, 429p.
82. Reddy, S.J., (2003a). The impact of climate change on water resources
availability. Edited by B. Venkateswara Rao, et. al., Proc. Of International
Conference on Hydrology and Watershed Management: With a focal theme
on water quality and conservation for sustainable development, BS
Publications, Hyderabad, A.P., India, pp. 227-238.
83. Reddy, S.J. (2003b). Rainfall deficit and drought intensity. Drought
Management: Present & Future (with special reference to Andhra Pradesh),
Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram, Hyderabad, pp.29-44 & 164-167.
84. Reddy, S.J., (2004). Cloud Seeding: Myths & Realities. Proc. of AP Akademi
of Sciences, 8: 109-117.
85. Reddy, S.J., (2005). Rainfall prediction for agriculture: Past, Present, and
Future.Edited by Y. L. Nene, Agricultural Heritage of Asia: Proceedings of
the International Conference, Asia Agri-History Foundation, Secunderabad,
A.P., India, pp. 147-154.
86. Reddy, S.J., (2006a). Is Biotechnology a Gateway to Environmental
Destruction? National seminar of Recent Advances in Biotechnology and
Bioinformatics, School of Biotechnology of MGNIRSA, Domalguda,
Hyderabad, A.P., India, pp.133-147.
87. Reddy, S.J., (2006b). Effect of climate change on water & environment.
Proc. of International Conference on Hydrology and Watershed Management
with a focal theme on Improving water productivity in the agriculture, 5-8
December 2006, JNTU, Hyderabad, India.
88. Reddy, S.J., (2006c). Environment and People. Jeevan Charitable Trust,
Hyderabad, A. P., India, 360p.
89. Reddy, S.J., (2007). Agriculture & Environment. Hyderabad, A.P., India 112p.
90. Roan, Sharon, (1990). Ozone Crisis, the 15 Year Evolution of a Sudden
Global Emergency. Wiley.
Climate Change: Myths & Realities 192 Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy

91. Rosenfeld, D. and I.M. Lensky, (1998): Satellite-based insights into

precipitation formation processes in continental and maritime convective
clouds. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 79, 2457-2476.
92. Sharma, H.S. and Sharma, Ganesh, (2007). Climate Change and preparing
for adaptive strategies – A Commonwealth initiative. Proc. A.P.Akademi of
Sciences, Hyderabad, Special Issue on Climate Change, Vol. 11(4): 240-249.
93. Singh, R.B. and Subodhkumar, (2007). Climate change vulnerability,
Hydrological extremes and risk mitigation in the Himalayan-Ganga basin.
Proc. A.P.Akademi of Sciences, Hyderabad, Special Issue on Climate Change,
Vol. 11(4): 280-290.
94. Soumya Dutta, (2008). What is climate change? Presented at Symp. Climate
Change, Sustainability & Equity: A Civil Society Approach, held in Hyderabad.
95. Srivastava, A.K., Dikshit, S.K. and Mhasawade, S.V., (2004). Variability in
the frequency of cyclones over the Indian seas vis-à-vis corresponding changes
in the thermodynamic and dynamical parameter in recent four decades. Pre-
symposium Proc. “International Symposium on natural hazards (INTROMET-
2004)”, Hyderabad, pp. 334-336.
96. Thapliyal, V., Praksh Rao, G.S., Krishna Murthy, M. and Joshi, V.A., (2004).
Climate change over India as revealed by the analysis critical extreme maximum
temperature analysis. Pre-symposium Proc. “International Symposium on
natural hazards (INTROMET-2004)”, Hyderabad, pp. 157-160.
97. Tyson, P.D., 1978. Rainfall changes over South Africa during the period of
meteorological record. In “Biography of Ecology of South Africa”, W.J.A.
Werger & A.C. van Bruggosa (Eds.), Dr. W. Junk b.v. Publ., The Hague,
98. Webb, R.H., McCabe, G. & Hereford, R., (2005). Climatic fluctuations, drought,
and flow in the Colorado River. USGS Circular 1282.
99. Wikipedia on Internet
100. Weatherhead, E.C. and Andersen, S.B., (2006). “The search for signs of
recovery of the ozone layer”. Nature 441:39–45.
101. World Meteorological Organization (WMO), (1966). Climatic Change.
Technical Note No. 79 (Report of a working group of the Commission for
Climatology prepared by J.M>Mitchell, Jr., Chairman; B.Dzerdzeevskii; H.
Flown; W.L.Hofmeyr; H.H.Lamb; K.N.Rao; C.C.Wallen, (WMO-No.195,
TP.100), Geneva, Switzerland, 81p.
About the Author
JCT, Hyderabad
Plot No. 277, Road No. 78,
Jubilee Hills Phase-III, near Padmalaya Studio
Hyderabad – 500 033, A.P., India
Tel. (040) 23550480/23540762

Dr. Sazzala Jeevananda Reddy had his M.Sc. (Tech.) in Geophysics and Post-Graduate
Diploma in Applied Statistics from the Andhra University – Vishakapatnam, Advanced
Training in Meteorology & Oceanography from the Training School of India Meteorological
Department – Pune, Ph.D. in Agricultural Meteorology from the “The Australian National
University”, Canberra. Published around 500 scientific articles. Dr. Reddy was formerly
Chief Technical Advisor — WMO/UN and Expert – FAO/UN. Presently serving the cause
of Environment. The following are the other books of the author.
• An agroclimatic classification of the semi-arid tropics: An agroclimatic approach for
the transfer of dry-land agricultural technology. Ph.D. Thesis, The Australian National
University, Canberra, Australia, (1985), 260p.
• Agroclimate of Mozambique: As relevant to dry-land agriculture. Comunicacao No.
47, Serie Terra e Agua, INIA, Maputo, Mozambique, (1986), 70p.
• Agroclimatic/Agrometeorological Techniques: As applicable to dry-land agriculture
in developing countries. JCT, Hyderabad, A.P., India, (1993), 205p – Book Review
appeared in Agric. For. Meteorol., 67:325-327 [1994].
• Vastu: A Practical Guide (in English) & Vastuvyamoham: Bramalu-Vastavalu (in Telugu).
JCT, Hyderabad, A.P., India, (1997), 106/140p – Book Review appeared in The Hindu
and several other dailies.
• Andhra Pradesh Agriculture: Scenario of the last four decades. JCT, Hyderabad,
A.P., India, (2000), 104p.
• The concept of prophesying: Myths & Realities. JCT, Hyderabad, A. P., India, (2000),
• Dry-land agriculture of India: An agroclimatological and agrometeorological
perspective. BS Publications, Hyderabad, A.P., India, (2002), 429p.
• Advanced Technologies in Meteorology. Edited by R. K. Gupta & S. Jeevananda Reddy,
Tata McGraw-Hill Publ. Comp. Ltd., New Delhi, India, (1999), 549p.
• Environment and People. JCT, Hyderabad, A. P., India, (2006), 360p.
• Agriculture & Environment. JCT, Hyderabad, A.P., India, (2007), 112p.
Price: Rs. 200/-