Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Change in weather pattern threaten Kashmir’s future

This year records 70 per cent deficit in rain/snowfall
Srinagar: As the dry spell continues in Kashmir Valley, records of past decade indicate sharp changes in weather patterns while owing to the less rain/snowfall this winter, experts predict acute water shortage, decrease in agriculture yield and electricity supply and rise in air-borne viral transmission in the coming days.Commenting on the change in weather pattern, Director Metrological Department, Sonam Lotus told Kashmir Images: “There is a clear unpredictability of the western disturbances passing over Kashmir with unusual distribution of rainfall in space and time, shifting patterns of precipitation and sustained deficit of snowfall.”Lotus revealed that rainfall/snowfall in the state as a whole (this winter) is deficit by nearly 70 per cent, adding, temperatures were increasing both in Kashmir and Jammu.“The rise in temperatures is leading to scanty snowfall in the plains in Kashmir and very little snowfall in the mountains. Accordingly, the water level in rivers and streams in Kashmir is decreasing,” he said.He further added that the water level in almost all the streams and rivers in Kashmir has decreased more than two-thirds during the last three decades. “Hundreds of springs have either dried up or are on the verge of drying up with groundwater level also adversely affected. Besides water bodies, the impact of climate change is leading to the fast melting and receding of glaciers,” Lotus said.Warning about the impact of global warming, Lotus said that floods and droughts would become common; air-born diseases more rampant and the yield of crops will decrease.The 40-day spell of Chillai-Kalan in valley which in past used to be the toughest winter season, this year ended without experiencing much snowfall and rainfall.“The snowfall that was received in this Chillai Kalan was very light that melted in just half an hour due to which not much snow was accumulated. It will surely have negative impact on water level and irrigation,” Lotus said.While giving details of weather patters in every January of the past decade, Sonam Lotus said that in January 2000, temperature was above normal while as in January 2001 it was below normal.January 2002 and January 2003 too recorded below normal temperature while as January 2004 and January 2005 recorded temperatures above normal. Though January 2006 also recorded temperature above normal, it is the only year in past decade which recorded huge rainfall (134.3mm).January 2007 also recorded temperature below normal while as January 2008 recorded it above normal and again January 2009 recorded temperature below normal and so did the January of 2010.Commenting on the data (See Box), Sonam Lotus told Kashmir Images: “The data indicates that there has been an appreciable increase (+2,-3) deg C in mean temperature of last decade from the climatological mean temperature of 1951-1980 which was 4.7 degree C.
Jan 2000 Jan 2001 Jan 2002 Jan 2003 Jan 2004 Jan 2005 Jan 2006 Jan 2007 Jan 2008 Jan 2009 Jan 2010Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall Max Min Rainfall
12.8 -06.3 69.7 15.7 -06.7 21.3 14.0 -05.6 35.5 15.10 -06.4 28.7 11.3 -02.2 79.2 11.5 -03.8 85.6 08.2 -06.6 134.3 14.1 –o6.1 8.1 10.1 -07.4 76.3 13.5 -03.2 36.5 15.8 -04.8 24.2
(Temperature in Celsius and rain in mm)

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