Hotter Summer

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)

The intensifying heat wave currently sweeping across Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the Kashmir valley, underlines a troubling pattern of increasing temperature extremes in the region. Reports indicate that Srinagar has recorded its hottest day of the season at 31.6 degrees Celsius on May 22, with similarly alarming temperatures in other parts of the valley and Jammu division. This intensification of heatwaves not only disrupts daily life but also poses significant risks to public health, agriculture, and the environment.

Historically, the region of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the Kashmir valley, has been known for its moderate summer temperatures and cool climate. However, in recent years, there has been a conspicuous shift. This shift points to a broader global trend of increasing temperatures due to climate change, which is now palpably affecting even the cooler regions like Kashmir.


The implications of the rising temperatures are profound. For the agriculture sector, which forms the backbone of Kashmir's economy, the heatwave is a severe threat. The Agrometeorological division has issued advisories to farmers, urging them to take specific measures to mitigate the impact of the heat. These include nursery sowing of heat-resistant rice varieties, soil solarization to combat pests, and irrigation management for vegetable crops. Such measures are crucial but also highlight the increasing burden on farmers to adapt to changing climatic conditions.

Beyond agriculture, the heatwave exacerbates health risks, particularly for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion, heat strokes, and aggravate chronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The health advisories issued by local authorities and medical professionals are a necessary step, but they also indicate a reactive rather than a proactive approach to dealing with the heat.

Moreover, the heatwave strains the region's water resources. Increased evaporation rates and the higher demand for water for both agricultural and domestic use can lead to water shortages, further complicating the management of this precious resource. Livestock and poultry are also under threat, with advisories urging farmers to ensure adequate hydration and implement cooling measures for their animals.

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The frequency and intensity of these heatwaves is a call for urgent and sustained action. There is a critical need for climate action plans that address both mitigation and adaptation strategies. Mitigation efforts should focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable energy practices, afforestation, and conservation efforts. Adaptation strategies must include the development of heat-resistant crop varieties, efficient water management systems, and infrastructure improvements to protect against heat stress.

The rising frequency of heatwaves in Kashmir is a stark reminder of the realities of climate change. However, there is little that we can do about it. Climate change is a global phenomenon and the heatwaves are its symptom. It is the world that needs to collaborate to save the world from the catastrophe.


Kashmir Observer

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