The 60 degrees of India, an isolated phenomenon?

The month of March it has been very hot in the indian subcontinent. April has experienced temperatures that in those areas correspond to well into the month of May. The heat wave is spreading and will continue until the arrival of the monsoons in June. These heat waves, which were repeated 70 years ago with a return time of about 50 years, are now repeating themselves approximately every 4 years.

The climate change it is analyzed today, in general, speaking of the increase in the average global temperature of the planet, which implies the temperatures of the tropics and the polar regions, of the winter and summer months, of days and nights.

Like all average measures, climate change is also misleading. That the average grade in Physics of a class of 100 students is a 5 can mean that 100 students get a 5 or that 50 students get a 10 and the rest a 0.

In a situation of increasing global average temperature, there are areas where the temperature rises a lot, such as the Arctic, and others where it remains more or less unchanged.

Changes in atmospheric air circulation

The visible reality of climate change is the change in air circulation due to small differences in temperature. In Spain we have been seeing it very clearly in recent years, when the rapid alternations between cold and frost situations and stable and hot weather are constant.

Normally in India – and Pakistan, which is in the same geographical region – the heat increases from March to June when, in normal conditions, the monsoons arrive. This year, and in some other years since 2000, temperatures have been about 3 degrees higher than what was usual in the 20th century.

Climate change enhances the circulation of air from the Sahara and the Arabian and Persian deserts to the Indus and Ganges valleys, including Indian desert areas such as Rajasthan. This circulation was less frequent before global warming, with warm air moving north from the Himalayas. Today the atmospheric conditions direct the warm air towards the south of that mountain range.

The situation in India and Pakistan implies a blockage of cold air from the north due to the great elevations of the Himalayas, which, on the other hand, enhance the monsoons and collect water from the humid winds from the south to irrigate one of the largest extensions of the earth of the world

adaptation measures

Climate change is not going to stop. There does not seem to be the slightest desire in the countries to stop using fossil fuels. We have current examples: Morocco is going to start the massive exploitation of an underwater deposit off its coast. Germany, the great green hope, has been revealed, since March, as a country addicted to these fuels. China constantly inaugurates coal power plants, which is the main source of energy in India, without substitution expectations.

If there is no change in trend, the only rationally possible action is adaptation. To give an example, in Spain an episode of strong frosts is expected in the Ebro valley and on the Levantine coast at least once a year: the adaptation involves installing greenhouses with mobile roofs and automatic control. Likewise, floods will increase intensely throughout the 21st century and require capillary channeling systems.

Another consequence of climate change, and this is directly due to the increase in temperature, is the decrease in the snow cover of the mountains. In California, by June, the water reserves of the reservoirs are exhausted and their agriculture depends on the snow of the Sierra Nevada. But the amount of snow decreases from year to year. Additionally, rising temperatures (and developments designed without this in mind) produce monster fires every year.

We know that climate change, with its consequence, the change in the circulation of air masses in the atmosphere, will continue. In the same way that we should have adopted quick alternatives to russian gas, we have to start the adaptation alternatives now. For example, in Spain, dikes in inhabited coastal areas, such as Huelva, Cadiz, Seville, Malaga, Valencia, Barcelona and the rest of the Atlantic and Mediterranean cities with areas at sea level. In addition to capillary canalization systems against torrential rains, intelligent greenhouses against sudden frosts, crop adaptation to extreme heat stages.

In short, it is necessary to accept reality and have prepared alternatives – which take a long time to get underway – to face the effects of climate change that we have already caused and that we are going to intensify throughout this 21st century.

This article comes from The Conversation. read here the original.

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