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Impact of Climate Change on Snowfall in Kashmir



  Jan 19, 2024

Impact of Climate Change on Snowfall in Kashmir: Understanding the Situation



El Niño and Climate Change’s Role:

1. El Niño: Characterized by warmer sea temperatures in the Pacific, impacting global weather.
2. Climate Change: Leads to warmer temperatures, affecting precipitation patterns.

Effects in India:

1. Monsoon Alterations: El Niño influences Indian monsoons, causing uneven rainfall distribution.
2. Droughts and Floods: Results in dry spells in some regions and heavy rainfall in others, like the dry August in North India contrasted with floods in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Gulmarg’s Dry Spell:

Typical Weather: Usually receives significant snowfall in January.
Current Situation: Experiencing an unusual dry period with no snow.

Snowfall Mechanics in Kashmir:

1. Western Disturbances: Moist air from the Mediterranean travels eastward, leading to snowfall in Kashmir.
2. Temperature Role: Cold January temperatures typically ensure snow over rain.

Recent Trends and Causes:

Weak Western Disturbances: Less moisture from the Arabian Sea, leading to reduced precipitation.
Historical Precedence: Similar dry spells occurred in 2016 and 1998.
Continued El Niño Effect: Contributes to these unusual weather patterns.

Expert Insights:

Altered Weather Patterns: Global warming and El Niño have disrupted traditional weather systems.
Variable Impact: Weather remains unpredictable, with potential for extreme conditions in future.

Consequences of Reduced Snowfall:

1. Tourism Impact: Major decline in tourist activities in Gulmarg.
2. Water Resources: Snowmelt is a key water source; reduced snowfall threatens this.
3. Agricultural Effects: Specifically impacts apple cultivation, affecting ripening and yield.


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