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Climate change

Editorial


The climate change is the biggest environmental emergency that the earth faces today. This inevitable disaster has a multitude of serious implications for both environment and human society. Efforts are being made to develop a better scientific understanding of this complex problem by generating better future projections of climate change. The climate change has potential implications on different sectors including glaciers and permafrost, rivers, forests, soils, ecosystems, society and economy etc. India saw abnormally hot and prolonged dry weather this year, causing severe heat wave across the country. Environment journal Down to Earth reported that within the first 100 days, starting March 1 this year, the country witnessed more than 70 heat wave spells in 22 states. In Bihar alone, more than 200 people died, and deaths were also reported from southern states like Tamil Nadu. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), heat wave conditions were prevalent in parts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh on Monday and Tuesday, where the temperature was recorded at 5.1 degree Celsius above normal. Data provided by IMD says several other parts of the country witnessed temperature “appreciably above normal” which means temperature more than 3 to 5 degrees higher than normal. Scientists say such killer heat waves should worry countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh that will bear the maximum brunt of climate change effects in coming years. According to a research in Science Advances, people in densely populated agricultural regions in South Asia are going to suffer more heatwaves than anywhere else. The report explains how countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are most vulnerable. Jammu and Kashmir is predominantly a mountainous state with all the major Himalayan ranges and Trans-Himalayas adequately represented. Falling in Himalayan region, Jammu and Kashmir has a geographic area 2,22,236 sqkm. Around 20230 sqkm, which comprises 19.95 percent of the geographical area of Jammu and Kashmir, is under the forest cover. It is divided into three regions: Ladakh, Kashmir Valley and Jammu. The higher regions of the state are covered by Pir Panjal, Karakoram, Zanskar and inner Himalayan ranges of mountains. Effects of climate change are already being felt on the ground. Erratic snowfall and snowfall pattern are some of the characteristics of the climate change in Jammu and Kashmir. The diverse types of ecosystems and communities, especially the poor rural people, living in the mountains across the state are among the most affected by the climate change. The authorities have to realise that environment is the major issue challenging the survival and lives of us and our future generations. Any development work including major or minor projects should ensure that it does not impact the environment. The authorities framing the development plans or major government projects should keep in mind that environment should be their top-most priority. Any and all work should be done ensuring that it has minimal impact on our ecology. For instance, raising ugly, concrete structures at the cost of our green spaces is making the surroundings ugly and at the same time impacting the overall ambience. It is surprising that Srinagar, for instance, has far less green spaces available than other seemingly crowded and polluted cities like Bangalore and Delhi. The problem is multi-pronged. It has got to do with unplanned expansions and disregard to building rules. There is a need for putting a conscious effort to root our lives in such a way that makes the world more greener and pollution free. Everyone here is the stakeholder. It is not just the government that is responsible for saving the environment. The people, common men and women, do have a prime responsibility towards makes the part of earth where they live more livable. We also have to ensure that our kids realise the importance of having a greener surrounding and a cleaner environment.