KOZHIKODE: The temperature in Wayanad registered an all- time high on Friday with it crossing 35 degrees celsius, posing a threat to the flora and fauna of the ecologically sensitive region constituting the Nilgiri biosphere. In the same period last year, it was only 34 degrees celsius. As per the data of Regional Agriculture Research Station, Ambalavayal, Wayanad, in February-March this year the average temperature of the district was 32 degrees celsius and 30 during the corresponding period last year. It was 27.2 in 2011 and 25.3 in 2012. There has been an increase of 7 degrees celsius in the last five years. RARS director Dr P. Rajendran told DC that the temperature which declined after the summer rains was now going up.
“The temperature had crossed 33 degrees celsius in February which came down after the rains in early March”, he added. The soil heat also crossed 42 degrees which would result in the destruction of biomass, it was pointed out. This was 39 degrees celsius last year. For the last many years the average soil heat hovered around 35 degrees celsius. The mass destruction of earth worms in the district reported earlier had triggered a debate on the impact of climate change on the ecology of the region. MS Swaminathan Research Foundation director Dr N. Anilkumar told DC that the increase in temperature would affect the productivity of crops and alter the crop maturity period.
“The life cycles of pollinators like insects and honey bee also would be affected,” he said. “High temperature would also affect the microbial world through the introduction of new bacteria and viruses resulting in new diseases to crops,” he warned. These are indicators of a climate change which warns farmers to adapt to changed situations and governments to go for impact mitigation measures,” he pointed out. The variation between minimum and maximum temperature also was also on the rise as the minimum temperature came down to 19-20 degrees celsius in March this year which was 21-22 in the corresponding period last year.