Srinagar: Warmer winters might be lying ahead in Jammu and Kashmir as suggested by the latest temperature outlook of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
The outlook said the whole of North East India, Jammu and Kashmir, most parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and some northernmost and southernmost parts of Andhra Pradesh may experience above normal minimum temperatures from December 2021-February 2022.
“These regions comprise most of the mountain and hill areas of the country. They host all of India’s glaciers where warmer temperatures could cause less snowfall or faster melting,” the outlook said.
It mentioned they are also home to some of the most bio-diverse forests in the world where warming could disrupt ecological balance and impact behaviour of plants and animals.
Senior Assistant Professor, Coordinator Department of Geoinformatics Kashmir University Dr Irfan Rashid said the weakening of La Nina (a complex weather pattern that impacts the global climate and disrupts normal weather patterns, which can lead to intense storms in some places and droughts in others) will affect the winter temperature and precipitation regimes.
“However, the regional impacts might vary owing to local scale topographic and climatic settings across the different states of the Indian Himalayan region,” he said.
He said there are very large moisture reserves like in soil and wetlands. “They might provide some buffer to the weakening La Nina,” Rashid said.
It is worth mentioning that La Nina re-emerged in October after it had faded away during the spring season of 2021. It has been dubbed as a ‘double dip’ by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.
Warmer-than-normal minimum temperatures have been observed despite La Nina conditions over central, north and northwestern India on many days, even though the regions do not feature in IMD’s forecasts.
The World Meteorological Organization has said in a press release that despite the cooling influence of the La Nina phenomenon, “temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere as a result of record-high levels of greenhouse gases.”
This means that the impacts of global warming are now able to offset the effects of a naturally occurring phenomenon like La Nina.