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Indian History of Climate

  • Date Submitted: 01/30/2013 11:47 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 31.8 
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The formation of the Himalayas during the Early Eocene some 53 million years ago was key in determining India's current climate; global climate and ocean chemistry may have been impacted.[2]
During the Triassic period of some 251–199.6 Ma, the Indian subcontinent was part of a vast supercontinent known as Pangaea. Despite its position within a high-latitude belt at 55–75° S—as opposed to its current position between 5 and 35° N, latitudes now occupied by Greenland and parts of the Antarctic Peninsula—India likely experienced a humid temperate climate with warm and frost-free weather, though with well-defined seasons.[3] India later merged into the southern supercontinent Gondwana, a process beginning some 550–500 Ma. During the Late Paleozoic, Gondwana extended from a point at or near the South Pole to near the equator, where the Indian craton (stable continental crust) was positioned, resulting in a mild climate favourable to hosting high-biomass ecosystems. This is underscored by India's vast coal reserves—much of it from the late Paleozoic sedimentary sequence—the fourth-largest reserves in the world.[4] During the Mesozoic, the world, including India, was considerably warmer than today. With the coming of the Carboniferous, global cooling stoked extensive glaciation, which spread northwards from South Africa towards India; this cool period lasted well into the Permian.[5]
Tectonic movement by the Indian Plate caused it to pass over a geologic hotspot—the Réunion hotspot—now occupied by the volcanic island of Réunion. This resulted in a massive flood basalt event that laid down the Deccan Traps some 60–68 Ma,[6][7] at the end of the Cretaceous period. This may have contributed to the global Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, which caused India to experience significantly reduced insolation. Elevated atmospheric levels of sulphur gases formedaerosols such as sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid, similar to those found in the atmosphere of Venus; these...


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