Global warming could be responsible for unprecendent heavy rains that is being witnessed this summer in Kerala and wreaked havoc there, a top scientist said today.
Expressing fears that heavy rains during this season could weaken the southwest Monsoon, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority member Shekhar Lukose Kuriakose said that last month's prediction of below normal monsoon this year by India Meteorological Department could turn out to be true.
Kerala, the gateway of the monsoon into the mainland of the country, has experienced heavy rains over the last few days, three weeks ahead of the arrival of South Asia's southwesterly monsoon.
According to Kerala Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash, 18 persons have died and losses amounting to Rs 250 crore were reported across the state in heavy summer showers since April.
The crop destruction alone was around Rs 20 crore during the period. A delegation consisting of Prakash, State Revenue Secretary Satyajit Rajan and Shekhar met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde seeking an urgent Rs 110 crore interim relief.
"A deep depression over sea is the reasons for summer rains. I cannot say whether global warming is responsible for deep depression...However, I can say that we can link the intensified summer rains to global warming," Shekhar told reporters here.
Shekhar, who is also an associate professor at Kerala Disaster Management Centre, said that generally the pre-monsoon showers are minimal but this year the state was witnessing unprecedented heavy summer rains.
Asked whether the intensified summer rains will affect monsoon this year, he said intense summer heat is the reason for good monsoon showers but "the current intense summer rains, which is hitting the southern states, are likely to influence temperature pattern causing a below normal monsoon".
India is expected to see below normal monsoon this year with Met department forecasting 95 per cent rainfall because of the El-Nino effect, which is generally associated with the warming of ocean water.