Times of India: Heavy snowfall in peak summers and no snow in extreme winters on Himalayan mountains have become a matter of serious concern for scientists and ecologists. Seasons are fluctuating and magnitude of weather vagaries is increasing fast, warn scientists.
Snowfall on mountains below 12,000 feet height in the summer months of May, June or July is not surprising people of Himachal now. Snowless mountains in extreme winter months of December and January are also common sight in western Himalayas. Temperature on high hills is rising to as much as 25 degrees Celsius on sunny days of winter while it is plummeting to 7 degrees in peak summer season. Summer, winter, spring or rains, seasons have lost their balance in mountains, they said.
“Seasons are either receding or advancing unusually, rain in winters has almost disappeared and it’s frequently snowing in summers. We don’t need any more proof about global warming,” said Dr Jagdish Chander Kuniyal, senior scientist with GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development. The frequency of rain has decreased in mountains whereas its intensity has increased, which is causing cloudbursts and flash floods, he said.
Heavy snowfall on Rohtang pass in mid-September is not usual and cold wave has gripped a large part of Himachal. On Wednesday, minimum temperature at Kalpa (Kinnaur) was 8 degrees Celsius followed by Keylong (9.7), Manali (11) and Shimla (14). According to scientists, this temperature is normally witnessed in late October or early November. Snowfall before late October is also unusual for Rohtang pass and at hills with similar height, they added.
Kuniyal said that sometimes temperature in summers increases abnormally while winters witness extreme cold. “Extreme cold at a place and warm weather at a short distance is abnormal. Sometimes, it is not snowing in time but when it snows, it descends even in plains. To say it in simple terms, fluctuations in weather are caused by global warming,” he said.
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