As every year, Indians were eagerly awaiting monsoon rains by the end of May. Instead, they got back-to-back cyclones on the East and West coasts, locust outbreaks in the North, and scorching heat waves throughout the country.
The cyclones hit two of the most populated metropolitan cities in the world – Kolkata and Mumbai. The propensity towards similar climatic events has increased around the Indian Ocean. Unseasonal storms in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, which triggered the locust outbreaks in South Asia and the wildfires in Australia, are part of these unusual events. At the same time, a series of heatwaves led to the bleaching of coral reefs along the Indian coast, which has evolved as a hotspot for climate extremes, rampaging the marine ecosystem.
The North Indian Ocean accounts for only about 7% of the total number of tropical cyclones that occur globally. However, more than 80% of the global fatalities occur in this region, particularly around the Bay of Bengal. Hence, any rise in the frequency or intensity of cyclones in this region is of grave concern – and that is exactly what is happening.
Cyclones draw their energy from the warm ocean waters. As the Indian Ocean is rapidly warming, it is…