Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Heat

 

Man its getting hot here. You don’t have to read the papers or listen to the news to confirm that the temperature is rising across the country, and around the world too. But the papers all full of ‘record-breaking’ news, the maximum temperatures recorded so far this year have shattered all time records.

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Climate change is usually assessed over years and decades, and 2015 shattered the record set in 2014 for the hottest year seen, in data stretching back to 1850.The Nasa data shows the average global surface temperature in February was 1.35C warmer than the average temperature for the month between 1951-1980, a far bigger margin than ever seen before. The previous record, set just one month earlier in January, was 1.15C above the long-term average for that month. February was the third consecutive month to break the global temperature record, which is calculated by setting the temperature for a particular month against the average temperature from that month between 1951-1980.February was 1.35C above the norm, easily surpassing the 1.14C margin from January of this year, which also set a record.

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Temperatures in Bangalore city is now higher than that of Chennai, which was always known for this hotter climate. While driving back home from work, I can feel the hot air coming in , instead of the otherwise cooler breeze. And things are going to get much more complicated, with load shedding power outages coming up soon. And the last insult to this injury is that the water table in the city is also quickly drying up. News reports say Bengaluru will become hotter this summer. And there is drinking water in stock at KRS only for 60 days.

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A study conducted by V Balasubramanian, former additional chief secretary of Karnataka, has sounded a warning bell for Bengaluru: If the current rate of groundwater utilisation continues, there will be a major crisis by 2025 when people may have to be evacuated. The state is also facing an increase in pollution of groundwater in many areas. The groundwater in about 12 of the 30 districts in Karnataka is highly polluted, a recent study by the department of mines and geology shows. "Groundwater is highly polluted with excess concentration of fluoride, arsenic, iron, nitrate and salinity due to both anthropogenic and geogenic factors, particularly in the districts of north Karnataka. The quality of water is deteriorating due to the mixing of sewerage through unlined open drains, leakage from cesspits and septic tanks, and contamination from industrial wastes," the report said.

 

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In the month of March, Kerala usually sees a lot of pre­monsoon activity. But this year the pre­monsoon activity has been little subdued. There is hardly any thundershower activity in the region which is evident around this time of the year. Neither the thundershower activity nor the moderate showers of pre­monsoon has showed up in god’s own country. The current temperatures of the state are at scorching high. The temperatures during the day are fairly high. Mornings and late afternoons will see a lot raised temperatures, as the winds will be flowing from the lands to the sea. These winds are hotter as they travel over the land. But then early evenings and nights will see sudden change in winds that will allow the sea breeze to move towards the land. Early evenings and nights will experience a dip in temperature but this dip in temperature can hardly be experienced as the overall humidity level will be high. But later in the night, the reversal of the sea breeze can be experienced; the temperatures will see a rise. The dissonance over the stability of temperature will be observed over the region, with constant high humid levels sticking their heads up in the state.

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