Global warming and the Indian Ocean

The rapid increase in global warming is affecting the rainfall by creating heatwaves and intense cyclones in the Indian ocean.

The Indian monsoon is controlled by various oceanic and atmospheric conditions. These conditions support various ecosystems and agriculture. But the change in climatic conditions is worsening the dynamics of the Indian ocean. The strong heatwave present over the surface of the Indian ocean is causing central India to remain dry during the monsoon season. The extreme global warming on the ocean’s northern portions is resulting in extreme cyclones. Due to these disturbances in climate, some sectors such as fisheries, agriculture is greatly damaged.

Climate change not only affects the ocean but also affect the glacier-covered mountains, clean water rivers to plateau regions of the country. During summers, the sea surface increases because of the melting of ice. The heatwaves affect life in the ocean like coral reefs getting bleached and also harming the people living near the coasts.

According to stats, the Indian ocean faced a total of 66 heatwaves in these years and the Bay of Bengal faced a total of 94 heatwaves. These heatwaves occurred once in a while but now exists yearly. El Ninos is the major cause for the increase in sea level and thus, it affects the Indian monsoon. The strong monsoon winds enter the Indian ocean, these winds get weakened because of the presence of heatwaves and resulting in less rainfall over central India and extreme rainfall over southern India.  Strong monsoon winds weaken when they interact with marine heatwaves in both the western Indian Ocean and the northern Bay of Bengal, resulting in dry spells over central India. The heatwaves over the Bay of Bengal cause extreme rainfall in the parts of southern India.

Intense cyclones

The ocean is rapidly warming day by day and the water vapour content is also increased more than average in the troposphere. When the ocean became warm, the heat and moisture released from such a warm ocean give birth to cyclones. These cyclones are accompanied by very violent storms and bad weather and destroy the flora and fauna of the area. Studies show that extreme cyclones occur more on the Bay of Bengal as compared to the Arabian sea. The disturbances in atmospheric conditions like a heatwave, rising sea levels are major causes for reoccurring cyclones. These cyclones are causing endless threats to the coastal regions and affecting the fishing industry. It is high time that we understand the risk of increasing global warming and do something to stop global warming.

Major impacts

India is an agricultural country and is still dependent on heavy rainfall. Thus, dry or no rainfall directly affects agriculture productivity. The strong winds move the surface of the ocean which reduces the amount of oxygen in the water and facts fisheries.

The intense cyclones destroy the coastal region through flooding, storms, high winds. In recent times intense cyclones have been increased. The recent cyclone Tauktae originated in the Arabian sea and cause havoc in the coastal area of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra for three consecutive days and also cause heavy unseasonal rainfall in western ghats and Himalayas.

Better climate models

To develop better climatic models, we need to predict such extreme weather conditions accurately. In recent years India has improved its forecasting ability but still need more perfection. There are various climate models which covers either a climatic region of a particular area or the conditions of mountains, ice, oceans, lands.

These climate models are made from some laws and equations studied by various scientists.

Improving climate models:

The climate model can be improved by considering the following problems:

  • Taking a higher resolution to the priority
  • A better understanding of cloud patterns
  • Better observation through satellites.


The improved versions of climate models are giving more clear predictions of climate change. Indian ocean is becoming warmed more than an average level. Global warming is the topic of concern as it not only affects the atmosphere but also makes the glaciers melt and the deltas sink and thus, the sea level is rising rapidly. The living organism in oceans and the people living near the coastal areas are at risk of death due to reoccurring cyclones and floods.

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