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India’s five hottest years since 1901 came in past 15 years, IMD data shows

India’s five hottest years since 1901 came in past 15 years, IMD data shows

  • Latest data released by India Meteorological Department (IMD) reveals that 2016 was the warmest year for India in the last 116 years since 1901.
  • IMD’s “Statement on Climate of India during 2016” reveals that India’s top five warmest years since 1901 have been recorded only in the last 15 years.
  • 2016: The climate of India was significantly warmer than normal during 2016 in line with the warmer-than-normal global climate observed during the period. The annual mean land surface air temperature for 2016 was around 0.91 degree Celsius above the 1961-1990 average, thus making the year 2016 the warmest year on record since 1901.
  • The strong El-Nino event of 2015-16, which continued till early March 2016, and the global warming trend likely caused significantly warmer temperature during winter and pre-monsoon seasons. Also, the northeast monsoon season rainfall over the country as a whole was the fifth-lowest since 1901.
  • 2009: The year 2009 was the second warmest year after 2016 with annual mean land surface air temperature of about 0.84 degree Celsius above 1961-1990 average. This was in line with the warmer-than-normal global climate during the period.
  • 2009 recorded third-worst rainfall since 1901, behind 1918 when there was 25% deficiency and 1972 when deficiency was 24% of long-period average.
  • 2009 was an El-Nino year and India faced severe drought with rainfall being 22% below the 50-year average.
  • 2010: It was third warmest year after 2016 and 2009 with annual mean land surface air temperature of about 0.81 degree Celsius above 1961-1990 average. The country, however, received normal rainfall which was 2% above the 50-year average.
  • 2015: The year 2015 was the fourth warmest year after 2016, 2009 and 2010 with annual mean land surface air temperature of about 0.72 degree Celsius above the 1961-1990 average.
  • Southwest monsoon was erratic in 2015 and was recorded at 14% below the 50- year average. The drought-like condition was on account of El-Nino, which was the strongest since 1997 and 1998.
  • 2002: The year 2002 was the fifth warmest year with annual mean land surface air temperature of about 0.67 degree Celsius above the 1961-1990 average. The year experienced a severe drought, owing to El-Nino. Total rainfall activity was 19% below the 50-year average.

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