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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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‘Global warming, concrete jungles behind heatwave’ – Times of India

Lucknow: The city witnessed the longest heatwave from March to April this year, recording an average daily temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. This was 3-6 degrees above normal. Is this extreme weather condition the impact of global warming or climate change? Climate experts stand divided on the issue with some saying it is global warming while others calling it climate variability due to cities turning into concrete jungles.
According to experts, the unusual extreme weather conditions which earlier used to occur once in two decades have become more frequent in the past few years, and need to be researched. The last 15 months have witnessed extremes of hot and cold conditions.
“There is no denial that this unusual weather change is the result of global warming. The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, deforestation and land-use changes are some of the reasons why the short-lived spring season has turned into summer,” said climate expert and scientist at Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences Mayank Shekhar.
He said that in Uttar Pradesh, between 2015 and 2019, forest land of 163 hectares was diverted for non-forestry purposes under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. However, the majority of the state is agrarian. Massive plantation programmes have been implemented throughout the state in recent years to boost forest and tree cover but more needs to be done.
The reason behind such heat in April is a change in the behaviour of western disturbances which were nearly absent. Also, jet streams could be another factor that needs to be researched.
“Jet streams are strong wind bands that flow from west to east throughout the world. In the upper atmosphere, jet streams are narrow bands of strong wind. Sometimes, in response to natural climate patterns, the jet stream becomes abnormally wavy which leads to such heatwave,” added Shekhar.
Director of Lucknow University weather monitoring station Prof Dhruvsen Singh said, “Besides global warming, it is also a radiation impact as everything around us is now concrete. Natural heat absorbers like ponds, forests and green spaces have vanished.”
Meanwhile, environmentalist Venkatesh Dutta said, “From the beginning of this century in 2000, the last 20 years have recorded weather extremes. There are no pre-monsoon showers in north India now, which indicates there is a slight problem in cloud activity, the nature of western disturbance has changed too. This can be called an impact of climate change.”

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