Impacts of Climate variability on Agriculture in Kerala

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Impacts of Climate variability on Agriculture in Kerala

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Title: Impacts of Climate variability on Agriculture in Kerala
Author: Gopakumar, C S; Dr. Prasada Rao, GSLHV; Dr. Ram Mohan, H S
Abstract: The study revealed that southwest monsoon rainfall in Kerala has been declining while increasing in post monsoon season. The annual rainfall exhibits a cyclic trend of 40-60 years, with a significant decline in recent decades. The intensity of climatological droughts was increasing across the State of Kerala through it falls under heavy rainfall zone due to unimodal rainfall pattern. The moisture index across the State of Kerala was moving from B4 to B3 humid, indicating that the State was moving from wetness to dryness within the humid climate.The study confirms that a warming Kerala is real as maximum, minimum and mean temperatures and temperature ranges are increasing. The rate of increase in maximum temperature was high (1.46°C) across the high ranges, followed by the coastal belt (1.09°C) of Kerala while the rate of increase was relatively marginal (0.25°C) across the midlands. The rate of increase in temperature across the high ranges is probably high because of deforestation. It indicates that the highranges and coastal belts in Kerala are vulnerable to global warming and climate change when compared to midlands.Interestingly, the trend in annual rainfall is increasing at Pampadumpara (Idukki), while declining at Ambalavayal across the highranges. In the case of maximum temperature, it was showing increasing trend at Pampadumpara while declining trend at Ambalavayal. In the case of minimum temperature it is declining at Pampadumpara while increasing in Ambalavalal.The paddy productivity in Kerala during kharif / virippu is unlikely to decline due to increasing temperature on the basis of long term climate change, but likely to decline to a considerable extent due to prolonged monsoon season, followed by unusual summer rains as noticed in 2007-08 and 2010-11.All the plantation crops under study are vulnerable to climate variability such as floods and droughts rather than long term changes in temperature and rainfall.
Description: Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Cochin University of Science and Technology
URI: http://dyuthi.cusat.ac.in/purl/2940
Date: 2011-10


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