Scientists use underwater robots to study Indian monsoon
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Scientists use underwater robots to study Indian monsoon

SCIENTISTS from the United Kingdom and India will be releasing robots into the Bay of Bengal in a study that aims to produce better predictions of India’s monsoon.

They will also be collecting atmosphere measurements from the air by flying a plane packed with scientific equipment.

The seasonal monsoon, which hits the region between June and September, delivers some 70 percent of India’s surface water. Hundreds of millions of subsistence farmers depend upon its arrival, and delays can devastate crops or worsen drought.

Over half of India’s farms do not have irrigation, making them extremely dependent on the heavy rainfall between June and September.

Due to that, the multimillion-dollar study of the monsoon may have profound implications. Currently, the rains are hard to predict. Their arrival depends on a complex interplay between global atmospheric and oceanic movements that is not yet fully understood.

Scientists from the University of East Anglia said Tuesday that underwater robots would be released from a ship into the bay later this month. The robots would monitor ocean temperatures and currents.

At the same time, University of Reading scientists and Indian climate experts would carry out the plane operation.

“Nobody has ever made observations on this scale during the monsoon season itself so this is a truly groundbreaking project,” said lead researcher Adrian Matthews, according to AFP-Jiji.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press