Changing Climate

Three charts that show how India might lose 18% of its monsoons

New study shows large-scale deforestation especially in high-latitude countries like Canada and Russia could impact rain in India.

Rising temperatures have been a long-established and obvious result of local deforestation in a tropical country like India. But the country also faces a huge threat from the impact of global deforestation. According to the latest research out of the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, large-scale loss of trees in boreal forests around the world will lead to a monsoon weaker by 12% in South Asia. India can lose up to 18% of its present monsoon rain.

Boreal forests are high-latitude forests along the edge of the southern Arctic in Russia, the Scandinavian countries, Canada and Alaska. These forests cover about 12 million square kilometres and have one-third of the world’s plant matter. Global forest monitoring network, Forest Watch, released a report last year that showed Canada leading the world in the amount of virgin forest destroyed since 2000, followed closely by Russia.

A change in land use from forests to crop land is accompanied by greater carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. What also changes is the amount of light that the land emits, a phenomenon called albedo. These chemical and physical shifts combine to affect atmospheric warming.

Impact of Deforestation

Taking these factors into account, researchers Govindasamy Bala, N. Devaraju and Angshuman Modak from IISc's Divecha Center for Climate Change built three-dimensional climate models to gauge the impact of deforestation on rainfall around the world. They ran experiments in which they simulated removing forests globally and then in the boreal, temperate and tropical belts respectively. They found that boreal deforestation results in the largest flux in temperature. These changes in temperature pushed monsoon-bearing atmospheric circulation southward, resulting in less rainfall across the northern hemisphere – in East and South Asia, North America and North Africa.

Looking specifically at the impact on India, the researchers found that local deforestation would lead to the largest increase In surface temperatures across the country.

However, the simulations showed that deforestation in boreal and temperate forests had a bigger impact on rainfall in general and on the Indian monsoon in particular than local land use changes. 

India already shudders at the thought of a single year with a bad monsoon, such as an El Nino year, with farmers and economists spending months praying for the rains and calculating losses.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.


Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.