In Kerala, mercury soars above normal 11 times in last three weeks

Climate change is making its impact felt in Kerala, perhaps more than ever before, with the State experiencing flood- and drought-like situations in frequent intervals of a year. An analysis of the temperatures for three weeks reveals that the mercury soared more than 3 degrees Celsius above the normal temperature as many as 11 times in the State.

Interestingly, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Kannur districts have witnessed the highest number of temperature variations, while these districts were also one of wettest regions in the last monsoon season.

According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) statistics, five days in February (between February 20 and 28) witnessed temperatures rising 3 degrees Celsius above normal. During the period from March 1 to 12, temperatures recorded more than 3 degrees Celsius above normal six times in the State. Kottayam witnessed a variation of more than 3 degrees Celsius from normal for five days, followed by Alappuzha for three days and Kannur two days during this period.

No direct link

Speaking to The Hindu, K. Santhosh, director, IMD, Thiruvananthapuram, said the State indeed recorded an excess rainfall in 2021, but there is no direct relation between excess rainfall and the above-normal temperatures. Day temperatures have been witnessing an upward trend in Kerala for the past few decades, which is likely to go up in the coming years due to a range of threats, including global factors.

“The immediate reason for the above-normal temperature being recorded in various parts of the State is the deficient winter and pre-monsoon rainfall over Kerala, which is 33% and 53% respectively less against the long-period average of the State,” said Mr. Santhosh.

M. G. Manoj, climate scientist with the Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research, Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), said a host of factors contribute to the rise in atmospheric temperature in the State.

A detailed study is required to find the exact reason for the sudden fluctuation in temperatures, while atmospheric phenomena such as formation of urban heat islands due to unscientific planning and development, effects of surface-based anticyclones and the air-heat exchange due to the rise in sea surface temperature have a direct bearing on the variations, said Mr. Manoj.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 6:07:37 pm |