TODAY -

Disappearing of spring from seasonable cycle
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: March 23, 2024 -



"IF winter comes, can spring be far behind?" This is the last line of the famous poem, "Ode to the West Wind," written by renowned English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Like many other romantic poets of his time; in this poem, Shelley personifies the West Wind as a powerful force that is both creative and destructive and talks about the transformative power of nature and its ability to inspire change.

Despite bemoaning over the prevailing gloom, he was optimistic that even the harshest cold winter season would have to ultimately yield to the arrival of spring for dispelling the wintry gloom and bleakness around.

It's true that seasonal changes are a natural phenomenon that sustain every form of life on this planet, but, what if the spring, the King of Seasons, never arrive ever again after the winter season?

We are posing this question not to counter the optimism of Shelley who strongly believed that just as the natural world reinvigorates itself after the cold and harsh winter months, every difficulty in life shall pass and new seed of opportunity would be sown, but to highlight the alarming possibility of spring disappearing altogether from the cycle of seasonable changes in the near future, sooner than later.

This question has been raised in the light of the findings made in a recent study conducted by Climate Central.

The study has revealed that the duration of spring season is not only becoming shorter but it is disappearing from the seasonable cycle as winter fades into a mere transition towards summer in different parts of the Indian subcontinent.

Titled "Winter Temperature Trends Across India: Faster Warming in February Makes Spring Feel Shorter", the study is said to have delved into meteorological data spanning over five decades and shed light on the profound impacts of global warming on the seasonal shifts experienced by different states and territories in the country.

What really caught our attention in the findings of this study conducted by a reputable organisation of independent climate scientists and researchers based in the United States is that fact it has cited the case of tiny Indian northeastern hill state of Manipur as a stand out example of this climatic anomaly that would have far reaching impact on every sphere of human existence on earth.

According to the study, Manipur has experienced largest net warming during winter, marking a substantial increase of 2.3°C since 1970 in comparison to the national capital territory of Delhi which recorded a relatively modest rise of 0.2°C over the same period.

Even though signs of climatic anomalies marked by changing rainfall patterns and rising temperatures have been visible everywhere in the state, perhaps, it is for the first that a thorough scientific research carried out by a non-profit but nonetheless reputable organisation like Climate Central has given focus on Manipur for referencing the trends of rising temperatures during the winter across Indian subcontinent.

This should serve as a wake-up call for the policy makers as well as the general public in Manipur for getting their act together to avoid a climate catastrophe.

With outbreak of malaria and dengue becoming an annual occurrence in Manipur over the last couple of years, the threat posed by rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns is already a harsh reality being experienced by the people today not just in the health sector but also in the economic activities of the state which is agrarian in nature.

In such a scenario, ever-rising mercury level blurring the boundaries between winter and summer and shortening of spring or its disappearance from the seasonal cycle would mean empty granaries and fight for food.

Let's not forget, spring is not just the season of festivities, but also the perfect time to plant crops and begin harvesting fresh produce.

It is during spring that melting snow and rainfall replenish the soil and provide vital nutrients for new growth.

So, absence of spring would spell doom for all.



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