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Moisture Supply from the Western Ghats Forests to Water Deficit East Coast of India

by Supantha Paul,  Subimal Ghosh,  K. Rajendran  and Raghu Murtugudde

 

The mountainous western coast of India, known as the Western Ghats [WG], is considered to be a bio‐diversity hotspot but it is under a constant threat due to human activities. The region is characterized by high orographic monsoon precipitation resulting in dense vegetation cover. Feedback of such a dense vegetation on the southwest monsoon rainfall is not yet explored. Here we perform regional climate simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting model and find that Evapo‐Transpiration [ET] from the vegetation of WG contributes 25‐40% of the southwest monsoon rainfall over the water‐deficit state of Tamil Nadu. This contribution reaches 50% during deficit monsoon years or dry spells within a season. Our findings suggest that recent deforestation in this area will not only affect the biodiversity of the region but also the water availability over Peninsular India, which is already impacted by water scarcity. 

 

Source: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2018GL078198

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