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Dessler Blames India Monsoon On Climate Change

August 9, 2020
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood

Andrew Dessler is Prof of Atmospheric Sciences & climate scientist at Texas A&M, so we learnt long ago to take what he says with a large pinch of salt!


Meanwhile back in the real world, India’s monsoon rainfall has been running just above average this year, but within the normal range (regarded as 10% +/-):

daily evolution of All India Summer Monsoon Rainfall, cumulative, 2020

All India Daily Rainfall

Annual trends do not support Dessler’s little theory. Furthermore it is usually La Nina conditions which determine whether monsoon rainfall is extreme or not:

 All India Summer Monsoon Rainfall based on IITM/IMD homogenous Indian monthly rainfall data 

As with most years, rainfall patterns vary across India, with some parts getting extra, and others less than normal. Those who know about these things call it “WEATHER”.

And unfortunately this variability often leads to bad floods somewhere or other in the country, where they are regarded as a fact of life.

And as Reuters reported in July, heavy rain is regarded as a boon, not a disaster, as Dessler in his ivory tower seems to believe:

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Monsoon rains in India are expected to be 104% of a long-term average in August and September, the weather office said on Friday, indicating bumper harvests and helping to alleviate the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Crop-nourishing monsoon rains are expected to be 97% of a long-term average in August, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.


Dessler is one of that growing breed of politicised climate scientists, who think they have the right to tell us how to live our lives. As we find so often in these cases, it is the truth which suffers most.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    August 9, 2020 11:15 am

    “Heaviest rain in 47 years”

    • bobn permalink
      August 9, 2020 11:56 am

      Yeah, maybe he measured a very big raindrop.

  2. Graeme No.3 permalink
    August 9, 2020 12:02 pm

    In one way he might be right, in that colder weather results in less rain from the Indian ocean monsoon. “Icelandic temperature records correlate well with monsoon rainfall in NW India. Famine often came to India when Iceland was cold or the process of cooling”. Brinkman Uni of Wisconsin-Madison 1975.
    Also there seems to be a relationship between colder weather in the north Atlantic and lower Nile flooding. But that was in the days when rain was thought to be good for the farmers.

    It is interesting in the chart above that in 1921-1939 there were no drought in India when it warmed up so much in Iceland that they were able to grow barley again after 400 years without.

  3. Up2snuff permalink
    August 9, 2020 12:09 pm

    Andrew Dessler ought to know that the very fact that India is having a monsoon is proof that the climate has not changed.

    How old is he? I’m old enough to remember news brought to me by the BBC and newspapers of the terrible problems caused when the monsoon rains failed in India and the neighbouring countries.

  4. Gerry, England permalink
    August 9, 2020 1:01 pm

    Meanwhile…..the coldest ever temperature has been set in Tasmania and the heaviest snow in a century has fallen on a city there. The celebrated hottest place in the Arctic Circle is currently sub-zero and some of the earliest snow has fallen at another place in Russia which also has 80C temperature range. Many Norwegian temperature stations have recorded their lowest ever July readings. And in today’s Mail Friday was the hottest August day since 2003 – yes, 17 years ago. And of course we are having a ‘heatwave’ although not according the WMO rules or even the MetO as it all ends tomorrow as the paper also warns of flooding from the thunderstorms.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 9, 2020 6:34 pm

      Definitely a heatwave in the SE by any definition, we will have at least 6 days 8-12C above ‘normal’. A gnat’s of 30C chez moi Friday, ~32+C yesterday, about ~33+C today, another 3 days forecast at 30C give or take.

      I can’t actually remember recording over 30C chez moi (may have done very occasionally), but certainly never 2 days running.

      Do I blame ‘global heating’ – no. Partly it’s just random weather. But urbanization is a double hit, hot plumes can now find routes up from N.Africa with little cooling modification (may even be warmed on the way) because there is such reduced natural landscape, and the UK itself has enormously built up in the last 30-50 years and the London etc. conurbations now heat the entire country.

      We exceeded 30C right on the South Coast purely because the super-heated London air from the last few days got pushed down over us when the wind switched around.

      It does reach a tipping point when the impermeable landscape and vegetation is increased/reduced so much – published research acknowledges the effect. Even a small % increase in impermeable landscape has been shown to cause a large increase in average land surface temperatures and that has got to significantly affect the 2m temperature.

      • olddigger permalink
        August 10, 2020 10:16 am

        Rest assured Mr Grimnasty, your heat is not reaching the northern Pennines! The hottest in this spell up here has been 23 with 14 or less at night, Surely there was a warm spell in July 2018 that we experienced in the south east at a wedding that achieved the same if not warmer?
        When I heard a ” climate scientist” yesterday talking about tropical days ( Mediterranean really) and her dates mentioned “since 1990” I thought of 1976 with its 14 consecutive days of days over 30C, drought,stand pipes, water bowsers! Denis Howells was made Minister for Drought as the reservoirs were so empty. By mid October so much rain fell the reservoirs were overflowing and he became Minister for Floods!
        Since as a boy I was fooled by the impending ice age scare I have studied all sides of the debate and tried to show I am a realist about the climate and worry for the future of my children and grandchildren, especially their free will being removed in the future by the influence of non-journalists and unscientists

      • Up2snuff permalink
        August 12, 2020 12:26 pm

        Olddigger, “Since as a boy I was fooled by the impending ice age scare” … You may not have been fooled at all.

        I can quite well believe that our planet home has a built in mechanism that adapts to population increase and the use of its consumables, including coal, oil and gas. I can also quite well believe that the planet might not enjoy our recent tinkering and bringing a sudden halt to CO2 emissions and may repay us with that Ice Age that we thought about at school in the late 1960s.

  5. Broadlands permalink
    August 9, 2020 1:07 pm

    Quite remarkable that Dr. Dessler (a climate scientist?) could be so seemingly unaware that the monsoons are part of the ENSO and neither is controlled by the human addition of CO2. The chart posted above supports that. Both have been operating naturally and unpredictably for thousands of years.

  6. Philip Mulholland permalink
    August 9, 2020 1:20 pm

    Professor Dessler needs to follow the work of an accredited hydrologist.
    Koutsoyiannis, D.: Revisiting the global hydrological cycle: is it intensifying?, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 3899–3932,, 2020.

  7. Geoff B permalink
    August 9, 2020 1:40 pm

    Do not confuse me with facts based on history. I am right, my model says so.

  8. August 9, 2020 10:28 pm

    This is how economic development based on an abundant reliable and affordable energy supply can help modify any weather extremes like regular annual monsoon floods:

    Tokyo’s Futuristic Underground Flood System
    ‘Tokyo has built a giant network of underground tunnels and caverns all to keep the city safe during torrential downpours and floods’:

    • Duker permalink
      August 10, 2020 12:29 am

      Retention storage like the above normally by ‘leaky’ dams is the usual method. UK should be behind those in areas where towns are built over the normal flood plain. The leaky dams are normally dry but fill up in heavy rain and hold back the flood peak by having a slow release. Good for side tributaries where the main river might not be suitable in that area

  9. August 10, 2020 12:12 am

    The Indian Ocean for a while earlier this year was the largest warmest area from which large amounts of evaporation took place resulting in torrential downwind rains. China followed later as their area of the ocean eventually became the warmest.

  10. tonyclimie permalink
    August 10, 2020 3:13 am

    A bit off topics we are litigating I know, but it is often interesting to skim the Paul Homeward blogs as he actually does the fact-checking and shows the actual rainfall, temperature etc data from the past for comparison with the climate hysteria claims being made. Therein showing the lie.

    Sent from my iPhone


  11. Phoenix44 permalink
    August 10, 2020 8:15 am

    Also I’ve come across the “Scott from Scotland” making simplistic claims before too. I haven’t checked his claim about rainfall in Mumbai but quoting averages without understand the variability is the average is frequent problem with ignorant Alarmists like him. And the “its only August” comment shows how little he understands about rainfall in India.

  12. Phoenix44 permalink
    August 10, 2020 8:29 am

    Following on from my previous comment, July rainfall for Mumbai:

    2019: 1,2628
    2018: 1,139
    2017: 870
    2016: 359
    2015: 1,449

    It comes it goes it varies greatly but not with CO2, so the average is meaningless, like UK rainfall.

    • Up2snuff permalink
      August 12, 2020 3:17 pm

      But a bit warmer ….

      ….. maybe …

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