Monsoon has weakened in the North-Eastern and North-Central India due to large-scale conversion of forest land in to crop land. According to a latest study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, monsoon drifts in absence of forest.
The study undertaken by the IIT's Interdisciplinary Programme in Climate Studies warned that the condition would become "more critical" if deforestation continues at the present rate.
"Changes and variability of Indian monsoon are traditionally linked to large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulations. Their association with local factors, such as, the recent changes of land use land cover (LULC) is largely neglected," an official statement said.
Satellite data revealed large-scale changes of LULC in India, specifically in terms of the conversion of forest land to crop land. These areas with time are unable to hold crops.
Large-scale deforestation has been observed in India when the LULC map derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-Radiometer for 2000s is compared with that derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer for 1980s.
The changes are visible in terms of significant decrease in the leaf area index, a term used to measure the green cover, it said.
Work on the impact of large-scale LULC has significant implication in terms of generating rainfall projections for future to be used for climate change adaptation.
Climate models are mostly forced with increasing Green House Gas emissions, largely ignoring the future possible changes in LULC.
Recent studies show drying of Indian sub-continent due to warming of Western Indian Ocean. This condition would become more critical if deforestation continues at the present rate, the study noted.