March was a very hot month in the Indian subcontinent. In April, there were temperatures that in these areas correspond to the month of May. The heat wave is spreading and will continue until the arrival of the monsoons in June. These heatwaves, which recurred 70 years ago with a return period of about 50 years, now recur about every 4 years.
Today, climate change is analyzed in general, speaking of an increase in the average global temperature of the planet, which refers to the temperatures of the tropics and polar regions, winter and summer months, days and nights.
Like all averages, climate change is also misleading. The fact that the average grade in physics in a class of 100 students is 5 may mean that 100 students get a 5, or that 50 students get a 10 and the rest 0.
In a situation of rising global average temperature, there are areas where the temperature is rising strongly, 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 temperature differences. In Spain we see this very clearly in recent years, when there is a constant rapid change between cold and frost and stable and hot weather.
Usually in India and Pakistan, which is in the same geographic region, the heat increases from March to June, when the monsoons normally arrive. This year and several other years since 2000, temperatures have been about 3 degrees warmer than normal in the 20th century.
Climate change is increasing air circulation from the Sahara, Arabian and Persian deserts to the Indus and Ganges valleys, including desert regions of India such as Rajasthan. This circulation was less frequent before global warming, when warm air moved northward from the Himalayas. Today, atmospheric conditions direct warm air south of this mountain range.
The situation in India and Pakistan suggests a blockage of cold air from the north due to the high altitude of the Himalayas, which, on the other hand, amplifies the monsoons and collects water from moist winds from the south to irrigate one of the world’s largest land expansions.
Climate change will not stop. It seems that there is not the slightest desire in countries to abandon the use of fossil fuels. We have current examples: Morocco is about to start a massive development of an underwater field off its coast. Germany, the great green hope, has been dependent on this fuel since March. China is constantly commissioning coal-fired power plants, which are the main source of energy in India, without any expectation of replacement.
If the trend does not change, the only reasonable course of action is adaptation. For example, in Spain, severe frosts are expected at least once a year in the Ebro Valley and on the Levantine coast: adaptation involves the installation of greenhouses with movable roofs and automatic control. Likewise, floods will increase rapidly during the 21st century and will require capillary channel systems.
Another consequence of climate change, and this is directly related to the increase in temperature, is the decrease in the snow cover of the mountains. In California, by June, water reservoirs are depleted and their agriculture depends on the snow of the Sierra Nevada. But the amount of snow decreases from year to year. In addition, rising temperatures (and developments designed without this in mind) cause monstrous fires every year.
We know that climate change, with its consequent changes in the circulation of air masses in the atmosphere, will continue. Just as we had to accept fast alternatives to Russian gas, we must introduce adaptation alternatives now. For example, in Spain there are seawalls in populated coastal areas such as Huelva, Cadiz, Seville, Malaga, Valencia, Barcelona and other Atlantic and Mediterranean cities with areas at sea level. In addition to capillary sewer systems in case of heavy rains, smart greenhouses in case of sudden frosts, adaptation of crops to periods of extreme heat.
In short, it is necessary to come to terms with reality and prepare alternatives – which take a long time to implement – to counter the effects of climate change that we have already caused and which we are going to intensify during the 21st century.
This article is taken from The Conversation. read here original.
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