The predictions are already in. A full two months ahead of the traditional peaking of summer, the Indian Meteorological Department has issued a circular which states that temperatures across the country will be “above normal” this year, making 2016 — the warmest recorded in over 100 years — seem like a mild weekend at the spa.
And the resulting heat waves, from this rise in temperatures could bring in much misery. In 2015, similar conditions had claimed around 2,800 lives in Uttar Pradesh.
For 2017, the heat alert spans most of the country. The IMD estimates that states such Punjab, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana and the Met sub-divisions of Marathwada, Vidarbha, Maharashtra and coastal Andhra Pradesh will experience torturous weather — numbers that have never been seen in a while.
This is global warming on full attack. “The condition has been forming for years but greenhouse gases and global warming have made the situation even worse,” says A.K. Sahai, the head of Climate Research and Services at the IMD, Pune.
Another troubling weather phenomenon is not far behind. EL-Nino might occur by September this year. It is a weather condition which develops due to excessive warming of the Pacific Ocean and this disrupts the build-up of the monsoon. The Met has claimed monsoon will be normal this year but the notorious El-Nino had affected the country in 2015 and severe droughts were widespread. But this time, the phenomenon is expected to come into effect only by September when the summer monsoon is in withdrawal.
Mahesh Palawat, the chief meteorologist of Skymet —India’s largest weather monitoring company says: “Summers are going to be hotter this year. And that’s because of a poor winter and less hailstorm activity in the north, central and east of India. This decreased activity in the western Himalayas and decreased rains along the northern plains have lead to a dip in humidity and moisture which then reduces formation of fog —making this year’s winter warmer.”
Snow in the sahara and melting ice caps
- The Arctic region may have its first ice-free “summer” by the year 2040 — just over two decades from now.
- In the United States, for the first time in 146 years, the city of Chicago spent the winter months of January and February without a drop of snow of the ground.
- In the December of last year, photographer Karim Bouchetata posted photos of snowfall in the Algerian town of Ain Sefra. The town borders the arid Sahara. The last time this area received snowfall was in 1979.
- There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than at any point in the last 800,000 years and since 1870, global sea levels have risen by about 8 inches. Experts say this measure will only rise.
- More than 1 million species have become extinct due to disappearing habitats, ecosystems acidic oceans all caused due to global warming. The rate at which carbon dioxide is being dumped in to the environment is 1000 tonnes per second and these are records till 2011. Scientists estimate that the activity has only picked up. By year 2100, the
- average temperature will rise by 5.8 degrees as a result of global warming.