Thar desert may turn green by end of this century
August 17, 2023  13:04
India's Thar Desert, known for its arid expanse, could undergo a transformative shift due to the effects of climate change, a study suggests. While many deserts across the globe are predicted to expand with rising temperatures, the Thar Desert might defy this trend and actually turn green within the next century, the researchers said. 

 The Thar Desert is located partly in Rajasthan, and partly in the Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan, covering over 200,000 square kilometres of territory. 

It is the world's 20th-largest desert and the world's 9th-largest hot subtropical desert. Several studies have projected the growth of Earth's deserts under the influence of global warming. 

For instance, experts have estimated that the Sahara Desert could increase in size by over 6,000 square kilometres annually by 2050. However, the newly published study, published recently in the journal Earth's Future, offers an unexpected perspective on the Thar Desert. 

 By employing a combination of observations and climate model simulations, the research team found that the mean rainfall over the semi-arid northwest regions of India and Pakistan witnessed an increase of 1050 percent between 1901 and 2015. 

 Under moderate greenhouse gas scenarios, this rainfall is anticipated to surge by 50200 percent, they said. Remarkably, the study indicates that an eastward shift of the Indian monsoon has been a pivotal factor contributing to the arid conditions in the west and northwest regions of India. Historically, these areas were thriving during the monsoon season, supporting the Indus Valley civilizations. -- PTI
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