28 July 2020 – monsoons are significant for South Asia, as they contribute 80 per cent of annual rainfall in South Asia. But monsoon season is becoming increasingly unpredictable because of global warming. Extreme precipitation is rising in South Asia interspersed with periods of drought and flooding.
To understand the long term variation in atmospheric and precipitation patterns causing a shift in monsoon pattern and its implications for South Asia the COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS) hosted a Webinar on “Impacts of Climate Change on South Asian Monsoon” on 28th of July, 2020.
The webinar brought together experts from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to present their assessments on the variability of the monsoon and its relationship with the changing global climate system and to share the adverse implications of climate-mediated changes for their respective countries and the South Asian region.
Speakers participating in the Webinar included Dr. Mohammad Ismail, Associate Professor, Dhaka University, Bangladesh, Dr. Madan Sigdel, Associate Professor, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, Dr. Zaheer Ahmad Babar, Director, Meteorological Department, Pakistan, Ms. Anusha Rashanti Warnasooriya, Director, Department of Meteorology, Sri Lanka and Dr. Vanisa Surapipith, Senior Researcher, National Astronomical Research Institute, Thailand. Professor Lin Zhaohui, Director International Centre for Climate and Environment Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China also attended the webinar. Ambassador Shahid Kamal, Head of CCCS opened the Webinar and moderated the sessions.
Dr. Mohammad Ismail highlighted the causes of climate change and its impacts on Bangladesh and mitigation actions being taken by the government to tackle climate-related challenges. Dr. Madan Sigdel spoke about vulnerabilities for Nepal due to changing climate as weather-induced disasters were increasing due to increasing monsoon variability. Dr. Zaheer Ahmad Babar presented current trends and future projections about the shifting patterns of monsoon in Pakistan because of climate change marked by increased monsoon rainfall except for Balochistan where the trend was decreasing. Ms. Anusha Rashanti Warnasooriya, explained the increasingly extreme weather conditions in Sri Lanka due to climate change with summer monsoon causing more loss and damage than the winter monsoon marked by flooding and drought. Dr. Vanisa Surapipith pointed out how atmospheric aerosols are contributing to climate change and how poor air quality by the burning of fossil fuels was causing alterations in precipitation patterns leading towards new research in Thailand.
The Webinar fostered regional cooperation in promoting sharing of knowledge and experience by experts from South Asia on climate induced shifts to the monsoon system in the region and measures being adopted to address the challenges of the changing South Asian monsoon as it has significant impacts on environmental and socio-economic conditions in South Asia.
The webinar helped to enrich understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities South Asian countries are facing because of the variability in monsoon rainfall patterns due to climate change. There was mutual learning about the actions each country was taking to tackle the challenges of extreme weather hazards. Mitigation and adaptation measures to counter the negative impacts of climate change were recognized as being essential to better manage the effects of monsoon. There was a realization of the need to enhance the capacity for reliable forecasting of the South Asian monsoon. Need to allocate greater resources to strengthen science and research capacity was emphasized. Cooperation among South Asian countries in addressing monsoon challenges was appreciated. Finally, the webinar was a tangible expression of the significance of South-South Cooperation in promoting exchanges in information, experiences and expertise on issues of climate change and sustainable development.
COMSATS Centre for Climate & Sustainability (CCCS) is a virtual and physical network of centres, institutions and organizations working on environmental risks for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CCCS focuses on the nexus between climate change and sustainable development in developing-country settings. The Centre promotes, coordinates and facilitates South-South & Triangular Cooperation for climate action and attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in line with the policy and practices of developing countries and their international obligations. Click here to learn more and connect with CCCS.