Saturday July 20, 2019

Sri Lanka to experience more weather anomalies in future: official

Jun 26, 2019 16:56 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

  Sri Lanka Meteorological Department Deputy Director (Research & International Affairs) Shiromani Jayawardena speaking at the Green Conversations on Climate Change forum. EFL Photo

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka will experience extreme weather events in the future and lead to more floods and droughts, a Meteorological Department official said.
“We expect more and more heat waves and warm spells in the future and an increase in extreme rainfall events, storms, cyclones and changes in seasonal monsoon patterns,” Deputy Director (Research & International Affairs) Shiromani Jayawardena said.
She was speaking at the Green Conversations on Climate Change forum organized by the Environmental Foundation (Guarantee) Limited (EFL) and funded by Nation's Trust Bank..
“To forecast future happenings we have run some global modules and recently down-scaled those models to suit Sri Lanka,” Jayawardena said.
“And we found that under both high and moderate emission scenarios, our North-East monsoon is decreasing and South-West monsoon rainfall is increasing.”
“This increase is more over the wet zone which might lead to more floods and landslides. And the reduction in rainfall during the North-East monsoon might lead to more droughts in the dry zone.”
Monsoon activity is currently suppressed, she said.
“Right now we are experiencing a positive IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole) phase which means there is unusual warming/cooling of the western Indian Ocean. This suppresses monsoon activity of the region.”
Extreme weather events are becoming common across the globe due fluctuations in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), she said.
ENSO is the interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean. The El Niño phase leads to abnormal warming over the eastern Pacific Ocean.
The opposite cooling phase is called La Nina. 
When the Eastern Pacific Ocean is generally cooler than Western Pacific Ocean, this area is called cold tongue. 
These factors in turn change the atmospheric circulation pattern which distributes warmth and moisture to the world.
“In addition to that, human-induced factors like greenhouse gas emission and land-use changes also majorly contribute to climate change,” Jayawardena said. 
The Asian Development Bank has said that Sri Lanka is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in Asia, and extreme weather events could erode living standards and restrict growth. (COLOMBO, 26 June, 2019)


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