When the Bangladesh people think the monsoon starts

You might expect that a term like “monsoon” has an agreed definition and that scientists can explain when it starts and ends. Defining the monsoon is actually quite contentious, leading to the publication of many different definitions. Some define the monsoon onset according to rainfall, wind change, cloud top temperatures, or a combination of these and other factors.

Most of these different methods give results that are similar over Bangladesh. They explain that the monsoon starts in the south east part of the country and sweeps northwestward over a couple of weeks around the beginning of June. However, a couple of publications say something quite different. These publications reveal that the monsoon starts considerably –over 1 month- earlier in northeast Bangladesh. These varying results present us with a challenge. If we want to inform the people of Bangladesh about the monsoon onset, how can we decide which definition to use to produce information? Before we can answer this, we need to understand how the people themselves perceive the monsoon.

In this study, we asked over a thousand people from farming communities around Bangladesh about how they define the monsoon and when they think it begins. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the majority Continue Reading…

Via-: Sciworthy News