Thursday, February 4, 2010

Combined Research questions + answer

Research question (combined with 3 of the other 10 research questions that I had)

How do monsoons benefit communities, how do they put them in danger and how do they affect the people of India? How do people celebrate monsoons?

Answer: Monsoons affect communities in many different ways. They can both benefit communities and put them in danger. The benefits of monsoon rain are immense - they provide water for a country whose dry, arid climate destroys and dries out the water supply. In the hotter and drier months of the year in India, people are sometimes forced to travel by foot for miles just to get clean water for their families. Some just collapse from heat stroke and lack of energy. The monsoons change this - the water from the monsoon rain saves lives. But, in spite of all of the benefits, the monsoons can put communities in danger. The winds can knock down trees and even do some damage to people's houses or buildings - windows may be broken and trees may fall on houses. The floods also cause people serious problems. People may be walking down the street, wading through waist-deep water. The floods from the extreme rain can spread bacteria as well. The dirty water that hundreds of other people have been wading through can be a good breeding ground for harmful bacteria and it helps spread deadly diseases. Mosquitoes breed in water, so there might be an over-population of mosquitoes that can carry diseases, as well. Despite the dangers that monsoons bring, they can still provide clean drinking water. With all of the benefits that they bring to India, they still have disadvantages - but the monsoon is actually looked forward to in Indian communities. All the good that the monsoons do for them has caused the people of India to create holidays, festivals and other celebrations to welcome the monsoon season. Some of the celebrations that the people of India have are called Teej and Adiperukku. Teej celebrates the onset of the monsoon season, and all of the good that it brings to the people of India. Adiperukku, which is a different type of celebration, is meant to celebrate the life-giving water that the monsoon season brings. Those are just two of the many festivals that the people of India celebrate to welcome in the sacred monsoon season. The seasonal changes in weather are so important to the people of India, the agriculture and the animals, that their lives depend on monsoons. Although monsoons are generally the most severe in India, there are still many other places in the world that experience the pouring rain and the damaging winds of monsoons - mostly countries in southern Asia, like India.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Most of this information was found in:

Geography Alive book

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Research Question Answers

1.) Monsoons, or the most severe form of monsoons, usually occur in southern Asia. This project is about India, so I will be focusing more on India. But monsoons happen in many different places - many parts of southern and coastal Asia and they also happen in eastern coastal Africa. Those are the places where monsoons are most intense. The above image is a diagram of where monsoons occur in the world - as you can see, many different countries and continents.

2.) During a monsoon, which is a seasonal change in temperature and precipitation, there can be severe wind, a drastic temperature change and of course, it rains. The rain can cause floods and the wind can cause other severe damage to houses and plant life. The above image is of an Indian family during the monsoon season - wading through the flooded streets.

3.) Monsoons occur because of the seasonal change of wind and temperature. Both of these factors can contribute to the rain that occurs due to the monsoon. [WORK ON THIS ANSWER]

4.) People are affected by monsoons in many, many ways, either positive ways or negative ways. People in India do look forward to monsoons - they put an end to the scorching heat of the season before. The rain obviously does wonders for the crops, which are vital to Indian communities. It's easier to find drinking water. Even though the monsoons seem like they make life in India easier and better, they do have a few negative effects on Indian communities. They may cause flooding in the streets. People may be wading through water up to their waist, or even higher. House flooding is also a major problem that comes with monsoons. Wind is also a side-effect of monsoons, and the damage may be seen in trees, plants, crops - even windows and buildings. Even with all of these negative effects, the monsoons are still looked forward to by the people of India.

5.) People in India try to protect themselves from the negative effects of monsoons by building their houses on "stilts", and building them close to other buildings and houses. The stilts are usually extremely tall, in order to protect the people from flooding. The stilts, to me, look wobbly and unsafe, but they're built for a good cause. I saw photos of these houses on stilts on:

6.) Monsoons benefit Indian communities, as I said before, by providing them more easily accessible drinking water. They also provide water to help crops, and this is a luxury to Indian farms because during most of the year, India is a dry, arid place where clean water is scarce. During other parts of the year, people may have to travel (by foot) miles to retrieve clean water for their families. Some people die of heat stroke because of the dry, arid conditions.

7.) Unfortunately, the seasonal monsoons of India may put Indian communities in danger in more ways than they benefit them. The dirty flood water may contaminate clean drinking water with waterborne bacteria, even though they can provide drinking water. The flooding is an obvious danger, which can rise higher than people's waists. The wind that comes from monsoons may cause serious danger to houses and buildings - even trees and other plants can be damaged severely by monsoon winds.

8.) They are not quite sure, but some researchers have blamed global warming for the slight change in timing of the seasonal monsoons. I found information on this topic at

9.) People try to make it rain unnaturally (or create man-made rain) by a method called "cloud-seeding". How does cloud seeding work? Cloud-seeders shoot either dry ice or silver iodide into the clouds, hoping that it will help produce rain.

10.) There are many different holidays, festivals and other types of celebrations that the people of India have come up with to celebrate the good that monsoons do for their usually dry and arid weather. Adiperukku, a traditional Indian celebration of the monsoon rain, is celebrated in South India by many people. It celebrates the new hope and life-giving water that the monsoon season brings to South India. In some parts of India, a festival called Teej is celebrated, and its purpose is to celebrate the onset of the monsoon season. Those are just two of the many festivals that Indians have to celebrate the monsoons.

Research Questions

Some of the research questions that I have been thinking about are:

1.) Where do monsoons occur? Do they only occur in that area, or do they happen all over the world?
2.) What happens during a monsoon?
3.) Why do monsoons occur? (What causes them?)
4.) How are people affected by monsoons?
5.) What do people try to do to protect themselves from monsoon flooding?
6.) How do monsoons benefit communities?
7.) How do monsoons put communities in danger?
8.) Is global warming affecting the arrival and passing of monsoons?
9.) How do people try to make rain happen unnaturally (how do people create man-made rain?)
10.) What are the holidays, festivals, etc. that people celebrate for monsoons and the monsoon season?

Friday, January 15, 2010

What exactly happens during a monsoon

From June through September, many parts of India and surrounding nations' temperatures rise and, of course, it begins to rain. But why does this happen? They are sometimes considered to be like huge sea breezes, with the drastic temperature change. The whole idea of monsoons is said to be caused by wind and drastic seasonal temperature change, which are both factors to the rain that happens during a monsoon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pune India Monsoons

Last year, the monsoon in Pune, India was delayed, and occurred later than the normal monsoon. The monsoon occurred almost two weeks later than usual. However, in other parts of India such as Kerala and Karnataka have experienced the monsoon a few days earlier than normal. The monsoon was going more in the direction of the west coast, not reaching the middle or east coast of India.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

For this project, I will try to stay focused on the city of Pune, India. Pune is the city that I was talking about earlier, how they so the "cloud seeding" to create rain for their dry, arid summer weather. It has a hot, wet and tropical humid climate. Either dry ice or silver iodide, are said to create man-made rain in the clouds. They fire the dry ice and/or silver iodide into the sky. Scientists in Bejing, China reported creating 11 straight hours of heavy rain, and they said that the massive rainstorm was created by the cloud-seeding (according to a Gulf Times article).