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Pre-monsoon rain betrays NE, could be a climate-change effect

GUWAHATI, May 22: Most of the northeastern States have experienced less pre-monsoon rainfall during the last three years, which could be a portent of climate change in the region. Known for spellbinding biodiversity, with a gamut of flora and fauna embellishing the region, attracting tourists as well, both domestic and international, any negative development owing to climate change could have grave ramifications here.

Even though sources at the Regional Meteorology Centre (RMC) at Borjhar on the outskirts of Guwahati refuse to link the development with decreased rain-producing thunderstorm activities, experts said less pre-monsoon rainfall is a clear sign of climate change and global warming. The pre-monsoon season starts from March 1 and lasts till May 31.

This year, Mizoram has recorded 58 per cent less (actual 129.3mm, normal 311.2 mm) rainfall followed by 40 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, 28 per cent rainfall in Meghalaya, 26 per cent in Nagaland, 22 per cent in Assam and 15 per cent in Manipur. Only Tripura has recorded nine per cent above-the-normal (actual 459.1 mm, normal 421.6mm) rainfall. The decreased pre-monsoon rainfall was recorded between March 1 and May 8.

In 2017, though Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland recorded normal rainfall, Manipur and Meghalaya recorded less rainfall during the pre-monsoon season that year.

During the pre-monsoon period in 2016, Manipur and Nagaland recorded 78 per cent less rainfall followed by 72 per cent less rainfall in Mizoram, 30 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh and 20 per cent in Meghalaya. Assam.

Sources in RMC said that rainfall-producing thunderstorm activities were more in Assam and Tripura in 2016, while the rest of the region did not witness any such increased activities during that year. While the situation remained more or less the same in 2017 too, the region did not witness much rain-producing thunderstorm activities till the third week of April.

Experts, however, said the development is a clear sign of the effects of climate change and global warming in the northeastern region.