Climate Change over the Indian Sub-continent

  • D. R. Pattnaik
  • A. P. Dimri
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


The unique geographical locations of India with the Himalaya and vast Asian land mass on the north and the Indian Ocean to the south give rise to unique climatic regimes. The southwest monsoon season from June to September (JJAS) is associated with drought and flood, active and break cycle of monsoon and heavy rainfall over different parts of the country. Similarly, October to December (OND) season is associated with northeast monsoon season over south peninsula and formation of cyclonic storm over North Indian Ocean. The winter season from January to February (JF) brings cold wave, fog and snow fall, whereas the season from March to May (MAM) is associated with heat wave and second peak of cyclonic storms.

Like the increasing trend of global mean temperature during the last 100 years, during 1901–2016, the annual mean temperature over Indian land mass also showed an increasing trend of 0.64 °C/100 years with significant increasing trend in maximum temperature (1.04 °C/100 years) and relatively lower increasing trend (0.25 °C/100 years) in minimum temperature.

During the period from 1901 to 2016, the JJAS monsoon rainfall does not show any significant trend; however, it shows epochal variations. Associated with the observed climate change, it also indicates trend of frequency of heavy rainfall events.

With respect to the climate change projection by IPCC in its Fourth Assessment Report, it indicates warming of the climate system on global as well as on regional scales with most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.


Indian monsoon Extreme weather Climate variability Climate change Drought and flood Heat wave and cold wave 



The first author is very much thankful to the Director General of Meteorology, India Meteorological Department (IMD), for providing all facility to carry out this work. Thanks are also due to the office of Climate Research & Services (CRS), IMD Pune, for making the data available for writing this article. The authors are very much thankful to the scientists, whose research results are documented/reproduced in this review article.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. R. Pattnaik
    • 1
  • A. P. Dimri
    • 2
  1. 1.India Meteorological DepartmentNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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