Erratic Weather Patterns In Kashmir: Immediate And Future Costs

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer) Fragile and sensitive ecosystem of Kashmir Valley

The valley of Kashmir is a fragile and sensitive ecosystem and is highly vulnerable to even slightest fluctuations attributed to climate change. . The Kashmir valley is witnessing unusual weather patterns, which has lead to drying up of prominent water bodies there by impacting flora and fauna of the region. Dr. Rajesh Verma, a climate scientist at the National Institute of Climate Studies emphasized that“the heat wave in September is a clear indication of
the changing climate patterns . Kashmir is not immune to the global phenomena of rising temperatures due to climate change”. Dr. Verma further added, that human centric activities including high scale urbanization, deforestation and the liberation of green house gases , are major drivers of this climate change.“The Himalayan region, including Kashmir is particularly vulnerable to these changes and it is imperative that we take swift measures to mitigate the impact”. The climate experts are of the opinion that the factors such as deforestation, urbanization and climate change are facilitating to this unusual weather pattern in Kashmir.

Insights from World Meteorological Organization

Read Also Srinagar To have 'Heat Wave Action' Plan To Address Harsh Summers No Major Weather Change In Kashmir Valley Till May 25: MeT

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has issued its annual update on its projections for temperature trends in the next decade. The prognosis , expectedly is worrying . The annual mean global near-surface temperature for each year between 2023 and 2027 is likely to be 1.10 -1.80C. higher than the average from 1850-1900 is 66% chance that the global near –surface temperature will exceed 1.50C above pre-industrial era. The 1.50C thresh hold , the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change has repeatedly said, is one that is best left unbreached to avoid the disastrous consequences of global warming. The WMO further projected that atleast
one of the years from 2023-2027 will be hottest on record.

Immediate repercussions of erratic weather events

In 2023
, Srinagar experienced its hottest September in over half a century, with temperature touching 34.2 degrees Celsius on September 12 which was 6 degrees above the normal range, that marks the second –highest maximum temperature in September since the establishment of the weather observatory in 1891. The previous record, dating back to September 1,1970 , stood at 33.8 degrees Celsius . The all time highest temperature in Srinagar was registered on September 28, 1934 at 35 degrees Celsius. The trend of abnormally high temperature seems to castigate its shadow on the ongoing year as well ,as
the local population is feeling the brunt of the scorching heat of May and the experts of the firm belief that the coming months are going to be even hotter.

The prominent stagnant water bodies like springs and ponds are drying up at an alarming pace in our part of the world. This has worried the local populace to the core as these springs used to provide continuous drinking
water round the clock to our homes. There is absolute chaos and scaricity when it comes to accessibility to drinking water. Even I have not witnessed such a degree of scaricity of portable water in my entire life .The taps literally run dry and fetching drinking water is cumbersome and at the same worrisome .The people in our hamlet have to go for extra mile to manage drinking water and the ordeal of the people in other hamlets of the Khoveripora block of District Anantnag are echoing the same concern. The scaricity of portable was exacerbated by
the scant
snow fall in the region in peak wintering months especially in the harshest Chil-e-kalan period of the current year , which
has led to severe water crisis thus affecting local populace, horticulture and pastoralism.

The Agrarian sector is an extremely prone and vulnerable sector and thereby hugely influenced by climate change. Erratic weather disturbances such as drought, unseasonal rains , high intensity rainfall events, hailstorms , heat waves, cold waves , pest outbreaks and other perceived threats were being witnessed frequently as a major fallout of climate change.
The horticulture sector in our part of the world, which is central to our economy
seems to be worst hit as the apple orchards especially the high density orchards exploded least in terms of flowering and this is seriously going to scale down the production in the current harvesting season. The experts are attributing this least flowering in high density apple orchards to the prevalence of warmer weather conditions during the peak wintering months of the 2024 and are of the opinion that reduced chilly hours during these months let to dramatic decline in flowering and there by diminished the hope of bumper crop yield in the harvesting season in the later half of the year. Infact the unusual trend in weather pattern was that Kashmir recorded comparatively higher temperature than most of the states of northern India during wintering months of the current year.

Future repercussions of extreme weather events

The frequency of extreme weather events such as floods and heat waves is projected to rise manifold in the future due to climate change, according to a study conducted by the researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar. Simultaneous rainfall and heat waves will become more frequent , severe and widespread due to climate change. For every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature, the air's capacity to hold moisture increases by 6 to 7 %. The hot and humid air , thus makes more water available to fall as rain, making wet-hot extremes likelier .Events such as floods and landslides could become more frequent , under wet –hot conditions , the heat waves first dry out the soil , thereby reducing its ability to absorb water. Subsequent rainfall has a harder time penetrating the soil and instead runs along the surface, contributing to flooding, landslides and ruining crop yield. The consequences of adverse climatic conditions have begun to castigate their shadow with serious ramifications in this part of the world. 'Paradise on earth' as the Valley of Kashmir is known to the world due to its picturesque scenery and ideal climate, luring both domestic and foreign tourists but the continued erratic weather patterns may severely impact the tourist footfall and agricultural sector in alarming proportions in near future.


The catastrophic consequences of adverse climate change will severely dent human existence if immediate mitigation measures are not put in place with sound and constructive planning. These extreme weather events serve as a grim reminder of the urgent need to address climate change. The interconnectedness of climate change impacts on both local and global scales underscores the necessity of immediate action. As the world faces the consequences of rising temperature and more frequent extreme weather events , the imperative to curb greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptive measures has never been more critical.

Views expressed in the article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the editorial stance of Kashmir Observer

  • The author is an educator and columnist

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