The Mirror of Manipur || Fast, Factual and Fearless.

Brace for Record Warmest Year In Century


With the prediction of exceptional warming this current year already hitting the headlines, the Manipur Government requires to study the process post-haste and formularise measures to meet any exigency from extreme weather events, such as the projected extreme heat this summer

By Salam Rajesh

Increasing global warming has been altering the weather patterns, leading to anomalies in the temperatures and rainfall patterns, reads a recent report of the climate watch organization Climate Trends quoting reference from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The report specifically refers to global warming continuously pushing the mercury to new levels, indicating that ‘initially it was the maximum temperatures that registered the rise, but now minimum temperatures are also following the same route’. The diurnal temperature variation, which is the difference between the daily maximum and minimum temperatures, has decreased, the report stated stressing that February month this year witnessed the second highest minimum temperature in the month since the year 1901.

The IMD weather chart for January and February (2024) indicated warmer months in the northeast region where the minimum actual winter temperature in January was 10.25 degrees Celsius against the normal 9.96 degrees Celsius with an anomaly of 0.29 degrees Celsius, while in February the minimum temperature shot up to 13.21 degree Celsius from the normal 12.66 degrees Celsius with an anomaly of 0.54 degrees Celsius.

Things are not going to be smooth sailing for year 2024 by the nature of reports filtering in of possible extreme weather events, more specifically extreme heat waves this summer. Michael Le Page writing for the 29 February edition of the New Scientist journal last month quoted a scientific report by Ning Jiang et al. wherein it is being forecast that this current year 2024 would have a blistering summer under a strong El Nino influence.

Climate model studying the process indicated several hotspots around the world that are going to experience record breaking heat this summer. The prediction is already there that the year 2024 will be the hottest ever in a century’s time. Areas in the southern parts of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, the Far East, and the South America belt are going to melt under a blistering heat due to the El Nino influence.

Quite distressing for the region in North East India is that the El Nino reach would likely impact the region, for the very reason that the Bay of Bengal along with the Caribbean Sea, the South China Sea, parts of Alaska and the Amazon Basin are being reported to have their hottest 12-month period on record this year, again due to the projected El Nino weather pattern.

Michael McPhaden of the NOAA Pacific Marine Environment Laboratory (Seattle, Washington) reflects that based on the predicted forecast, the regions in the hotspots are at risk of weather extremes which would be quite damaging for human health, the natural environment and for the marine ecosystems located within the hotspots.

One factor for the forecast all-time high in global temperature this current year is the warming caused by carbon emissions globally from fossil fuel burning, says Michael while hinting that coupled with the El Nino event, the world is going to boil this summer with the high possibility of extreme heat waves across the planet.

In the face of the predicted climate-related disaster in the making presently, is the controversy surrounding the recently concluded global climate summit at Dubai (COP 28) which was marred by the host country avoiding serious discussion on fossil fuel reduction to address global warming and other climate related issues and concerns.

A Climate Trends report on the 2022 Indian Heat Waves reflects that, ‘The heat wave affecting India from March to May 2022 was exceptional for its record temperatures, its early onset, its unusually long duration and the large area that was affected. It was responsible for at least 90 deaths, wheat crop failures, widespread power outages and 300 forest fires’. It is in this scenario that the year 2024 is set to brace for another disastrous extreme weather event where already many parts of the country are experiencing early summer beginning late February, prompting speculations of an impending calamity later this year.

Meanwhile, the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals of the UN) chart for the Asia-Pacific region up to year 2024 showed a dismal performance indicating regression on the climate front (SDG 13 – Climate Action), while only SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) showed some sign of progress. This inherently showed how nations are not fully committed to climate action strategies and measures despite the increasingly evident extreme weather events during these past years.

The IPCC (2023) quotes climate change is ‘altering the frequency, duration, and intensity of many types of extreme weather events, including heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall, and fire weather conditions’, while the organization warned in 2021 that ‘extreme weather events would increase in South Asia, including India, and that heat waves would become more intense and frequent in the 21st century’.

During May in 2022 several parts of the country were lashed harshly by heat wave spells, forcing schools to shut for days as schoolchildren were being exposed directly to the extreme weather event. People living in marginal conditions without proper shelters are directly exposed to the harsh conditions, possibly resulting in deaths from the extreme weather event.

On a rather negative footnote, exceptionally warming events are also impacting life forms other than humans, where ‘Rising temperatures are already driving mass mortality events, as well as the first extinction of entire species. Every degree of warming is expected to increase these losses and the impact they have on people’ (Living Planet Report, 2022).

The statement resounds closely on the observation that, ‘Since the pre-industrial period (1850-1900) the observed mean land surface air temperature has risen considerably more than the global mean surface (land and ocean) temperature (GMST)’ (IPCC 2022: Climate Change and Land), thereby indicating that rising temperatures globally is set to impact negatively on all forms of life on Earth.

With the prediction of exceptional warming this current year already hitting the headlines, the Manipur Government requires to study the process post-haste and formularise measures to meet any exigency from extreme weather events, such as the projected extreme heat this summer.

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.