The Impact of Urbanization on Indian Monsoon Rainfall
Kishtawal, C.M., Niyogi, D., Tewari, M., Pielke Sr., R.A. and Shepherd, J.M. 2010. Urbanization signature in the observed heavy rainfall climatology over India. International Journal of Climatology 30: 1908-1916.
In a study of the Indian subcontinent (8.2°N to 35.35°N, 68.5°E to 97°E), Kishtawal et al. (2010) assessed the impacts of urbanization on the region's rainfall characteristics during the time of the Indian summer monsoon by analyzing in situ and satellite-based precipitation and population datasets.
The five researchers say their study showed "a significantly increasing trend in the frequency of heavy rainfall climatology over urban regions of India during the monsoon season," adding that "urban regions experience less occurrences of light rainfall and significantly higher occurrences of intense precipitation compared to non-urban regions."
In their book entitled Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming, Mann and Kump (2008) write that most climate model simulations of global warming indicate that "increases are to be expected in the frequency of very intense rainfall events." Throughout most of the world, however, such has not been found to have been the case to this point in time; and in places where there may have been a tendency for such to occur, the results of Kishtawal et al. (2010), and the papers they cite in the introduction to their study, suggest that urbanization may have been the cause of the observed increases in intense rainfall events, while the study of Hossain et al. (2009) suggests that the proliferation of large dams may also be causing the same to occur. Thus, it is becoming ever more difficult to be able to distinguish what could be the primary cause of any net increase in the global frequency of intense rainfall events that might yet be detected over land.
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