Wednesday, February 20, 2008

‘Smoggy winters… a global warning,

Step out of the home and you will find mumbaikars wrapped in shawls, veils and mufflers, freezing even under sweaters, pullovers, denim jackets and sweatshirts. Even you must be finding it difficult to get out of the blanket early in the morning. Now onwards you will think twice or doubt yourself before saying that Mumbai is always so hot.

Many regions all over the country including Mumbai witnessed coolest winter in the first half of February. The recorded lowest temperature was 8.5 degree Celsius which happened once in the last 48 years, according to some weather reports flashed in the Mumbai dailies. Is constant fall in the temperature has anything to do with global warming?

Like Mumbai many other regions in India have viewed climate change and extreme weather conditions. So, what causes weather change?

Global warming is the rise in the earth’s average temperature which happens due to excess emissions of green house gases.

If climate change forecast of UN panel is to be believed then Indian environment and economy is going to suffer a lot due to global-warming. Some other studies predicted that country will witness consequences such as severe flooding and low agricultural yields.

We will get to see coolest winters, warmest summers and unpredictable and not so desirable rains. Some recent study suggests that the large amount of air pollution in the Indian cities most of which is contributed by vehicles and factories emitting smog* is actually reversing the effect of global warming. Thus, making winters cooler than ever before. According to some scientists, smog absorbs the sun radiation before they reach to the surface of the earth, thus making atmospheric temperature to drop. Due to presence of the smog in the air we are experiencing winters which are 0.30 degree Celsius cooler than what it would be without smog. Temperature will keep falling in the coming decades as it is gradually falling since last 3 decades.

Control on the emissions of green house gases and fossil fuels will help to keep the situation in hand. Adequate amount of awareness among citizens will help to handle climate change and extreme weather conditions.

* mixture of green house gases and fog

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