Climate Change, Cyclone & Related Happenings

by May 27, 2021Energy & Environment0 comments

Though India has just encountered two cyclones – Tauktae in the west coast and Yaas in east coast, mercifully, their impacts pale into insignificance when compared with the most devastating of sudden climate change episodes of 21st Century – the Tsunami of December 2004, which, having the strike at Sumatra in Indonesia spread to Japan, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives etc.. In the process, it killed 2,27,000 people, apart from mind blowing destruction of infrastructure.

Most recent happening of this nature was on 13th May 2021 when a massive chunk of Iceberg named A-76 broke off Antarctica coast, may be due to gradual rise in earth’s temperature.It has been further learnt that some other Ice Selves near the continent’s main Peninsula are also rapidly disintegrating.

Pertinent Questions

One is hearing and reading about climate change for a considerable length of time. Why is it happening ? Are glaciers melting ? Are some islands of Africa, Maldives and Bangladesh going to be submerged ? Will ice blocks of Antarctica drift away in future also ?

Is Global Warming actually taking place or does it often take the shape of Global Cooling and resultantly freak weather conditions happen, every now and then
(20th May record fall in temperature in 70 years in NCR) ?

Is it a Gospel truth that Earth temperature increased by 0.5 degree in the last century and that one to one and a half degree enhancement has been recorded already and in future it could be a rise by 2 degrees ?

Immediate Developments

Could the Tauktae super cyclone which left a deep impact on the life and property along West Coast in three states in addition to death of more than 300 ONGC employees or stronger Yaas Cyclone on 26th May have something to do with the last query ? Or for that matter, the cyclones Nisarga or Amphan that caused wide ranging havoc last year ? Or why is it that both Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal conceive, carry and give birth to two Scaring cyclones, one after another ? Is it the weather input relating to occurrence of depression or warmth in the Indian ocean as the attributing factor or is it owing to unusual cosmic developments ?

Air Quality Index (AQI)

Time has come to analyse these to indicate an appropriate direction for a more sustainable setting to the mankind.

If we begin from the fundamental requirement of breathing, one could safely say that level of atmospheric pollution has increased so much, that AQI at times touches the height of 500(severe) in the N.C.R. region and dips to 100, within a week of declaration of L.D. in March 2020 and again becomes 182 on 22nd May, 2021.
Ironically, it had touched 433 on a very cold day of 23rd December,2020. The NCR, unfortunately had to breath polluted air for 38 days from 27th November,
2020 to 1st January, 2021, thus making any outside activity hazardous.

Impact on Water

Even evidence has emerged regarding sizeable improvements in visibility and quality of Yamuna water during the Covid alarm or peak period, as it enters Delhi or in Okhla Bird Sanctuary periphery. These certainly indicate that air and water pollution challenges and rapid fall in the level of ground water also result due to misuse and over exploitation by human beings in the name of industrialisation and urbanisation.And these get perpetrated when thermal power plants dot the city skyline or when stubble burning surfaces or cremations go beyond the carrying capacity.

Appreciable Cyclone Management

As far as floods, storms or cyclones are concerned, we seem to have developed very good expertise concerning forecast, shelter and infrastructure during the landfall.But we are still far away from the element of soothsaying in regard to cloud bursts or earthquakes. So unimaginable devastation keeps happening year after year.It is not only Geological or Geographical conditions or factors that prepare the breeding ground but also the unwanted lust of man for access to various Dhams, tourism, water supply or beefing up defence or power extraction that contribute to natural calamities amidst young and fragile eco system, such as, the Himalayas.

Being Alert To Danger Signals

It goes without saying that ambitious/hurried activity on mountain top is bound to cause a big deal of unnecessary WORRY at the bottom,I mean the plains or in diverting the flow of streams or in retaining capacity of ponds or lakes.Last named phenomena is reported to have resulted into tragedy at Kedarnath in 2013 and Chamoli area in 2021.Further, if State Govt.does not wake up despite warning , Lhonak Lakes located precariously in Mukuthang region of North Sikkim may show their true colour, along the Teesta river basin.

Freak Weather

Of all the nature triggered happenings, it is the freak weather developments that perhaps still defy our scientific temper or forecasting mechanism.No wonder, many a time, one witnesses abnormal Monsoon, unexpected floods in the mountainous regions of J&K and in the long period dry and arid regions of Rajasthan.

Also unusual or extremely rare snowfall have been witnessed a couple of times in the vast plains of South India, Sri Lanka and some countries of Europe.

Further Study

We need to keep exploring ,studying, analysing especially at that moment of history when Corona Auntie triggered Covid uncle is defying reason and rationality of medical science or when it becomes so adamant that it refuses to depart. Origin of same whether from animals or from a lab or its air “worthiness” are still being looked into even when vaccine as a possible solution seems to have arrived.But further debate concerning mutations, variants and a possible third wave, ignited by economic diplomacy considerations continue to fill or occupy our imagination or threaten further the existence of mankind.Super Cyclones in such times add to the crisis.

Has Nature Actually Taken Over As Man Appears To Have Failed ?

The author is former Chief Secretary, Sikkim

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