Arabian Sea Cyclones Have Seen A 52% Increase In Frequency In 2 Decades

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The normally calm Arabian Sea is transforming at an amazing rate as the intensity, frequency, and duration of the cyclones have increased alarmingly. In the past two decades, the Arabian Sea cyclones have seen a huge upswing, while the normally tumultuous Bay of Bengal has calmed down relatively.

The trend points to a worsening of the situation as the western coast of India is set to bear the brunt of an increasing number of cyclones in the coming years.  The period from 2001 to 2019 has seen a 52% surge in the Arabian Sea cyclones when matched with the 19-year-period from 1982 to 2002. There has been only a change of 8% over the Bay of Bengal over a similar period.

Every year around 4 to 5 storms form in the northern part of the Indian Ocean comprising the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. But 80% of them form over the latter. But all that has been changing rapidly over the first two decades of the 21st century.

The figures have been particularly alarming in the past few years. 5 out of 9 cyclones over the Northern Indian Ocean formed off the western coast of India in the Arabian Sea. And in 2018, 3 out of the 7 cyclones formed in the Arabian Sea.

Arabian Sea Cyclones Are Also More Intense Now And Last Longer

Other than an alarming rise in the number of Arabian Sea cyclones, there has been an upsurge in the intensity and the length of the storms. This was revealed in a paper that was published in the journal Springer’s Climate Dynamics, which was published this Saturday.

Consecutive cyclonic storms of extreme severity that had wind speeds between 167 kmph and 220 kmph formed over the Arabian Sea in a single month in 2015. This worrying trend of Arabian Sea cyclones indicates that India has to take stronger measures to protect its west coast.

Read: Cyclone Tauktae Rings Warning Bells For An Impending Climate Change

There is an immediate Co-author Roxy M. Koll, a climate scientist at IITM says that there is an immediate call for risk assessment on the western coast. It should take into account the continuous impact of the storm surges, the rising sea levels, and the increased intensity of rainfall.

The findings have given credence to the theory that Arabian Sea cyclones would increase as a result of abnormal warming and lead to deadlier cyclones than previously seen.

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