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How does the Monsoon affect life in India?

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Introduction

How does the Monsoon affect life in India? A monsoon is a wind pattern that reverses direction with the seasons. The term was originally applied to seasonal winds in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The word is also used more specifically for the season in which this wind blows from the south-west in India and adjacent areas that is characterised by very heavy rainfall, and especially, for the rainfall associated with this wind. In terms of total precipitation, total area covered and the total number of people affected, the monsoon affecting the Indian Subcontinent dwarfs the North American monsoon (also called the "Mexican", "south-west", desert or "Arizona" monsoon). Monsoons are caused by the larger amplitude of the seasonal cycle of temperature over land as compared to the adjacent oceans. ...read more.

Middle

Associated rainfall is caused by the moist ocean air being lifted upward by mountains, surface heating, convergence at the surface, divergence aloft, or from storm-produced outflows at the surface. However the lifting occurs, the air cools due to adiabatic expansion, which in turn produces condensation. In winter, the land cools off quickly, but the ocean retains heat longer. The hot air over the ocean rises, creating a low-pressure area and a breeze from land to ocean while a large area of high pressure is formed over the land, intensified by wintertime radiation cooling. Monsoons are similar to sea breezes, a term usually referring to the localised, diurnal (daily) cycle of circulation near coastlines everywhere, but they are much larger in scale, stronger and seasonal. As monsoons have become better understood, the term monsoon has been broadened to include almost all of the phenomena associated with the annual weather cycle within the tropical and subtropical land regions of the earth. ...read more.

Conclusion

The monsoon is widely welcomed and appreciated by city dwellers as well, for it provides relief from the climax of summer in June. However, because of the lack of adequate infrastructure in place, most major cities are often adversely affected as well. The roads, already shoddy, take a battering each year; houses and streets at the bottom of slopes and beside rivers are waterlogged, slums are flooded, and the sewers and the rare hurricane drain start to back up and pour out toxic filth rather than drain it away. This translates into various minor casualties most of the time (although a large number of people in rural areas are struck dead by lightning while working in their fields). However, this lack of city infrastructure coupled with changing climate patterns also causes severe damage to and loss of property and life, as evidenced in the Mumbai floods of 2005. ...read more.

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