TODAY -

Warm winter heightens fear of scorching summer months
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: December 09, 2022 -



DUE to its mountainous geographical condition, majority of the north-eastern states might be spared to some extent from the severe heat waves, as has been forewarned in the World Bank report titled 'Climate Investment Opportunities in India's Cooling Sector'.

However, there is no guarantee that the pleasant weather prevalent in the hilly states till now will continue forever considering the fact that the forest rejuvenation process is making no significant progress.

In Manipur's context, large tracts of the hill ranges stripped to the bare minimum due to logging and agricultural activities, not to mention about decimation of vegetation in the erstwhile forest areas, indicates that the state will eventually bear the brunt of the global warming phenomenon.

In fact, rise in average temperature recorded in November this year and absence of the biting cold normally experienced in December could be yet another sign about the state already in the grip of the global warming phenomenon.

Amid imminent adverse weather conditions in the coming years, report of the World Bank that the country has been experiencing higher temperatures that arrive earlier and stay far longer will further raise the temperature rings out the message that similar to the mainland parts of the country where the summer months have been experiencing scorching heat for the past few decades, Manipur too wouldn't be spared from the global warming-induced inconveniences and health problems.

In view of the report pointing out that adverse weather conditions responsible for thousands of deaths across India over the last few decades, are increasing with alarming frequency and soon the country could become one of the first places in the world to experience heat waves that break human survivability limit, the only means to lessen the impact would be ensuring preservation of the existing forest cover.

As of now, the World Bank's forecast is based on rising temperatures in the national capital region where the summer months are simply unbearable.

Apart from New Delhi, there were also reports in the national and regional dailies about operation of businesses either in the early morning hours or after sunset in central India as well as in some southern and south-eastern coastal states.

Predicting that the heat waves situation in India would not only break the human survivability limit but also would last 25 times longer by 2036-65 if carbon emissions remain high, it also reminded that the recent heat wave in the first quarter this year supports what many climate scientists have long cautioned about with reference to rising temperatures across South Asia.

While heat waves that had been sweeping the country for the last many years leave nothing to doubt that the Indian subcontinent would suffer more frequent and intense heat waves over the coming decades, some firm and effective measures, including forest regeneration effort and reduction of carbon emission must be put into practice here in the state without which there would be no prevention from the worst-case scenario.

Though government and private institutions are certain to adopt mechanisms to lessen the impact from heat waves and create workable conditions, the hardest hit section would obviously be the daily wagers and those working in the unorganised sector.

Therefore, it is hoped that the state government will take serious note of the World Bank report and at-least ensure that the existing forests are protected at any cost as majority of the population can't afford to skip their daily struggle for livelihood on account of unbearable heat wave condition.



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