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Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change could be intensifying dust storms in India, experts say

 Mongabay, by Mayank Aggarwal on 14 May 2018 
In the past couple of weeks, severe dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning have hit several parts of India, resulting in the deaths of more than 150 people and injuries to at least 300 others.
With the rise in global temperatures, the intensity of dust and thunderstorms is expected to increase in the future, experts say.
But even though dust storms and thunderstorms are a common feature in India, there has been no focused work on studying the trends related to it.

India could witness an increase in the severity and frequency of dust storms and thunderstorms due to rising global temperatures, experts say.

“[The] intensity of sandstorms is increasing across the world,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi-based think tank. He cited studies from the U.S. Midwest, the Middle East and the Sahara, all of them linking the phenomenon to sudden increases in surface temperature.

“All of them are saying that as the climate gets warmer the temperature gradient is going to become very steep. This steep increase in temperature gradient will lead to two things — heat waves and sand storms,” Bhushan said.

“There is enough research happening [to predict] that the intensity of sandstorms is going to become more intense as the temperature increases further. It is indeed linked to climate change.”

On May 2, severe dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning hit several parts of India, resulting in the deaths of at least 124 people and injuries to 300 others. More than 10,000 utility poles and hundreds of power transformers were damaged, while farmers suffered losses to their cattle and poultry stocks. Similarly, on May 13, fierce dust and thunderstorms led to the deaths of some 40 people, while several others were injured.

Bhushan said the enormity of losses from dust storms was shocking, but that they would only become more intense in the future. With higher global temperatures, he said, the soil would become drier. That will result in an increase in the amount of dust carried by the wind, and consequently the intensity of dust storms.

“Climate change is intensifying all extreme weather events,” Bhushan said…….https://news.mongabay.com/2018/05/climate-change-could-be-intensifying-dust-storms-in-india-experts-say/

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May 15, 2018 - Posted by | General News

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