Monsoon Melodies

How Hindustani music composers depict the monsoon in abstract terms Karen L Aplin and Paul D Williams have written* about the influence of weather in classical music, cataloging pieces that evoke meteorological phenomena, ranging from the thundering storms depicted in Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to the more serene meditations of Debussy’s La […]

MONTBLEX: India’s First Major Monsoon Experiment

The first national effort to understand the meteorological phenomenon For about four months from May to September 1990, the Indian summer monsoon was the subject of unprecedented nationwide attention. While the monsoon winds raced from Kerala to the northwest of India in 35 days, less than its usual 45, researchers on land, air and sea […]

‘Ours was a small group, like one family’

Syed Ameenulla, who joined IISc as a lab assistant and went on to be a scientific officer, recalls his involvement in the Institute’s monsoon experiments In the monsoon of 1979, Chandipur beach in Balasore, Odisha was host to a small group of researchers from Bangalore. The team, from IISc and the National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL), […]

What an Adivasi village in Chhattisgarh can teach us about sustainable development

An IISc scientist’s work on a local solution for water and power Baliram Nag and I arrive on his bike at the Bastar District Collector’s residence, at the end of a leafy, secluded road in Jagdalpur. As we make our way past the security guards, they greet Bali warmly and ask him where the “vaigyanik” […]

‘An unusually successful cruise’

A 2016 Indo-UK monsoon experiment collected a detailed set of data that is still being analysed On 27 July 2016, the oceanographic research vessel Sindhu Sadhana sailed back to Chennai through terrible weather after a month at sea in the southern Bay of Bengal. Field experiments in the ocean are often risky and challenging during […]

Decoding the Signatures of Monsoons Past in Fossils and Genes

Studying how a changing monsoon could affect our biodiversity Scientists predict that the current bout of climate change, induced by human activities, will severely impact the monsoon. How will the expected change in this weather system affect India’s rich biological diversity? Given the complexity of both the monsoon and anthropogenic climate change, the answer is […]