The population of dolphins in Chilika, India’s largest brackish water lake, and along the Odisha coast has doubled this year compared with last year.
The population estimation exercise for dolphins and other cetacean species covered almost the entire coast of Odisha.
Three species were recorded during the census, with 544 Irrawaddy, bottle-nose and humpback dolphins sighted this year, compared with 233 last year.
The rise in the Irrawaddy [dolphin] population in Chilika can be attributed to the eviction of illegal fish enclosures. Irrawaddy dolphins found unobstructed area for movement after Chilika water were made encroachment-free.
A study carried out by researchers from the Central University of Kerala has found that the monsoon was much stronger 7,000 years to 5,000 years ago and it underwent a cyclic change caused by variations in solar radiation.
The study was carried out in the Indian Ocean to understand changes in the monsoon in the past. This would help researchers forecast monsoon variability and the results could be used for building models that would offer insight into future variations in the monsoon.
The monsoon is critical to Indian economy. A weak monsoon has led to severe droughts, famine, affecting the economy and food security, whereas a strong monsoon may lead to floods.
The main finding of the report was that the monsoon started weakening 4,200 to 2,000 years ago, before arriving at the present condition. The study found a strong summer monsoon in approximately every 10,000 years in the last 55,000 years.