Prelims level : Climate Change Mains level : Environmental impact assessment
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Why in News:

  • Indian meteorological department has said the average maximum temperatures are likely to be warmer than normal by 0.5C-1C in several places in central and northwest India.

Indian Meteorological Department:

  • The IMD is the national meteorological service of the country and it is the chief government agency dealing in everything related to meteorology, seismology and associated subjects formed in 1875. IMD is under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.

Functions of IMD:

  • Taking meteorological observations and providing current information for the operation of weather-dependent activities such as irrigation, agriculture, aviation, shipping, offshore oil exploration and so on.
  • Offering warning against severe weather phenomenon such as tropical cyclones, dust storms, nor westers, heat waves, cold waves, heavy rains, heavy snow, etc.
  • Providing met-related statistics needed for agriculture, industries, water resources management, oil exploration, and any other strategically important activities for the country. Engaging in research in meteorology and allied subjects.
  • Detection and location of earthquakes and evaluation of seismicity in various parts of the country for developmental projects.


  • The El NINO is an anomalous heating of the central Pacific Ocean that occurs once in three to five years. Its impact usually lasts for 9-12-18-24 months. It weakens the trade winds and changes in Southern Oscillation, thereby affects the rainfall pattern across the world. Warmest sea surface temperature anomalies in central equatorial Pacific are more effective in focusing drought-producing subsidence over India. IMD has found that whenever monsoons failed, the sea surface temperature was high in the central Pacific Ocean.

Global warming:

Global warming, the phenomenon of increasing average air temperatures near the surface of earth over the past one to two centuries.

Earth’s climate has changed over almost every conceivable timescale since the beginning of geologic time and that the influence of human activities has been deeply woven into the very fabric of climate change.

In 2013 the IPCC reported that the interval between 1880 and 2012 saw an increase in global average surface temperature of approximately 0.9 °C (1.5 °F).

International panel on climate change:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) established in 1988 is a scientific and intergovernmental body under United Nations, dedicated to the task of providing the world with an objective, scientific view of climate change and its political and economic impacts.

World meteorological organisation:

WMO is the specialised agency of the UN for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences, established in 1950.

India is a member of WMO

Its mandate covers weather, climate and water resources.

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