Do CMIP5 models hint at a warmer and wetter India in the 21st century?

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This study diagnoses the spatio-temporal variation of three major hydroclimatic variables (temperature, precipitation and evaporation) estimated from four general circulation models participating in the Fifth Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparision Project (CMIP5). Changes in climate regime are analyzed across India for the historical scenario (1850–2005) and for the RCP8.5 scenario (2006–2100). The study provides a relative assessment of projected changes in climatic pattern over different zones in India, broadly divided as southern, Eastern, Western, Central, North-Eastern and Himalayan regions. Monthly data for both the scenarios were obtained, and all the data were re-gridded to a common resolution. All the models show a stronger warming in the future as compared to the historical period. The North-Eastern, Northern and Himalayan regions are likely to be severely affected. Though inconsistencies have been observed among the models, the majority of them predict an increase in precipitation in future, with a major increment in southern cities. The Himalayan belt is expected to receive heavy rainfall in the summer season, with little change in the winter season. Most of the regions are not expected to experience change in evaporation in pre-monsoonal months, but substantial change is expected in some regions during monsoonal and post-monsoonal months.

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