Monsoon winds shift to affect climate in Arabian countries
October 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Rains from the monsoon is the backbone of Indian agriculture. Photo-Times of Oman

Muscat: Monsoon winds from India are slowly shifting towards the Arabian Sea, says a study.

A team of scientists at New York University Abu Dhabi have published a paper arguing that monsoon winds that provide rain to India's west coast may shift northward, leaving the southern parts of India drier.

The project was led by Ajaya Ravindran, senior scientist at the Centre for Prototype Climate Modelling, and was published in the journal Climate Dynamics.

"The study deals with the climate changes over the Arabian Sea and its influence on the Indian monsoon. "This change has direct links to the Middle East climate as well, which we are currently investigating," he told Times of Oman.

He said the study established a shift in the Somali Jet in a warming scenario.

 "This can have a major impact on the climate of the Arabian rim countries, including Oman. One specific example is the upwelling along the Arabian coast," he said.

Upwelling is caused by winds moving parallel to the coast.

"This wind action on the sea causes cooler, deeper water to rise to the surface near the coast in a current perpendicular to the wind direction," he added.

According to the paper, the monsoon in India has been showing a tendency to shift north along India's West coast.  This shift has been documented over the past 30 years.

They noted that the shift is happening faster than it occurs in their model.

This shift in the jet could cool the sea-surface temperatures over the North Arabian Sea.

The general shift is also reflected in future projections in a warming scenario, with the magnitude depending on the degree of warming.

This paper was co-authored by S Sandeep and R Ajayamohan of New York University at Abu Dhabi.

Reporter can be reached at [email protected]

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