Climate change and Asian Monsoon are linked: Scientists



Kathmandu: Changes in the Asian summer monsoon have implications on weather, people's health, agriculture and glaciers of the entire Hindu Kush Himalayan region, scientists here have said.

"The functioning of the Asian monsoon and its connection to air pollution is a major concern in Nepal and the entire Asian region," Dr Rabindra Shakya, Vice-Chair of the Nepal National Planning Commission, said at a four-day regional workshop in Kathmandu from June 9 to 12.

"The summer monsoon plays a key role in life in Nepal, but it also brings destruction in the form of cloudbursts that commonly result in floods and landslides," he said.

"Understanding what is driving changes in the Asian summer monsoon is important," he added.

While the Asian summer monsoon is a part of local life of people in the region, it is also a global climate issue, said experts participating in the workship.

"Asia is witnessing rapid economic development and population growth. As a result, man-made emissions are on the rise," said the meeting's co-chair, Laura Pan, atmospheric scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

"The interaction between these changes and the Asian summer monsoon is affecting the composition of the upper levels of the atmosphere, which in turn can affect the climate of the entire northern hemisphere," Pan said.

With over 100 participants, the workshop on the Atmospheric Composition of the Asian Monsoon was the largest ever gathering of atmospheric scientists.

Researchers also discussed the complex role that black carbon and dust particles are playing in increased glacier and snow melt at high altitudes in the Himalayas.

"Atmospheric issues know no borders and have implications on the health of the people and ecosystems of the entire Hindu Kush Himalayan region," said ICIMOD Director General Dr. David Molden.

"The first step to addressing these issues is to improve understanding of the underlying processes, the sources of emissions, and the chemistry behind changes in the monsoon. We can develop effective ways to work together to develop mitigation measures," he said.

PTI