Cyclone Tauktae
15/05/2021

Tags:

Context:

  • The first cyclone of 2021, Cyclone Tauktaeformed in Arabian Sea.

About:

  • The current characteristics of the storm indicate rapid intensification. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone that a low-pressure area had formed in the south eastern Arabian Sea close to Lakshadweep on May 13.

Impact of Climate Change:

  • It is a well-known climatological fact that during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons in the North Indian Ocean, more cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal compared with the Arabian Sea.
  • This is due to a newly discovered Phenomenon (2007) El Nino Modoki — which causes warm moist conditions in the Central Pacific and dry cold conditions in Eastern and western pacific. A more familiar phenomenon, El Nino, was found to suppress cyclone formation in the Arabian Sea.
  • The number of cyclones per year show significant differences indicating that El Nino Modoki years are conducive for cyclone formation over Arabian Sea while El Nino is conducive for cyclones over the Bay of Bengal.
  • Other factor of the increasing frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones — a combined named used for hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons- in the Arabian Sea is because of the rapid warming that has made the relatively cooler Arabian Sea (compared to the Bay of Bengal) a warm pool region that can actively support cyclone formation.
  • There could be a five per cent increase in maximum cyclonic wind speeds if the world warms by two degrees celsius by 2100. 
  • Ocean warming has made some new challenges also. Cyclones are now intensifying rapidly since warm ocean waters act as a fuel for them. Extremely severe cyclones like Fani and Amphan intensified from a weak to severe status in less than 24 hours due to warm ocean conditions. State-of-the-art cyclone models are unable to pick this rapid intensification because they do not incorporate the ocean dynamics accurately.
  • Rapid intensification happens when there is an increase of maximum sustained winds of a cyclone by at least 55 kilometres per hour within 24 hours.
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