New Delhi (NVI): The year that went by was the eighth warmest on record since 1901, but it was ‘substantially lower’ than the highest warming observed in 2016, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its State of the Climate Report.
The annual mean land surface air temperature averaged over India during 2020 was nearly 0.3 degree Celsius above normal but was lower than the highest warming observed over India during 2016 (+0.710C).
Furthermore, the IMD said the past two decades — 2001-2010 and 2011-2020 — were also the warmest decades on record with anomalies of 0.23 degree Celsius and 0.34 degree Celsius respectively, indicating the overall rising temperature.
According to IMD report, 12 out of the 15 warmest years since 1901 were during the past 15 years — between 2006 and 2020.
Reportedly, the monsoon and post-monsoon seasons contributed to most of the temperature rise this year with mean temperature in winter also above normal.
However, the pre-monsoon season temperature was below normal (-0.030C). India’s 0.3 degree rise was less than the average global temperature rise of 1.2 degree.
In addition to this, 2020’s monsoon rainfall was 9 per cent above its seasonal normal, the weather department stated.
Five cyclones formed over the North Indian Ocean in 2020 including the Super cyclonic Storm AMPHAN, Very Severe Cyclonic Storms NIVAR & GATI, Severe Cyclonic Storm NISARGA, and Cyclonic Storm ‘BUREVI’. Of these, NISARGA & GATI formed over Arabian Sea, while the remaining 3 cyclones formed over the Bay of Bengal.
As per the report, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were the most adversely affected States by natural disasters during the year which claimed more than 350 deaths from each State mainly due to thunderstorm, lightning and cold waves.
The country averaged seasonal mean temperatures were also above the average during all the seasons except pre-monsoon season.
The annual rainfall over the country was 109 per cent of long period average (LPA) of 117.7 centimetres during the Southwest Monsoon season (June-September), which is the principal rainy season of the country.
The 2020 Northeast monsoon season (October-December) rainfall over the country as a whole was normal (101 per cent of LPA).
The IMD also said extreme weather conditions led to the death of more than 1,565 people last year with thunderstorm and lightning claiming the lives of 815 of them.
It further said cyclones killed 115 people and more than 17,000 livestock in the country in 2020.