Editorial | Does it sound an alarm

Climatic change, global warming, melting of glaciers, changing pattern of seasons, soaring temperatures, rising sea level, and depletion of ozone layer – we have been hearing all this for many years now. These mega changes challenging the very existence of life on earth have been a subject of intense and extensive scientific debates. There are people who would plainly decline any such changes. They would question its scientific bases, and instead find some exploitative politics in it. What is the truth about the claims made on each side of that debate is better to be left to the experts. At a popular level the problems related to climate have started showing impact. The temperatures are rising, and that brings with it many hardships. The pattern of seasons is showing unusual fluctuations, and that is worrying for the people. These mega changes have consequences for almost all the regions of the world.

Kashmir too cannot skip the effects. The experts on this subject predict many unwanted changes in the local climate that will have drastic effect on agriculture, and water supply. Assessment of climate change over the Indian region, the report published by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, has underlined that by the end of the 21st century, the Hindukush Himalayas would have warmed by 2.6 to 4.6 degrees celsius. That is a significant rise. Our own experts of the subject explain that J&K, and Ladakh are a part of the Hindukush Himalayas, and this region has witnessed melting of glaciers for the last seven decades as a result of global warming. Local experts say that because of these changes melt-water supplies are highly vulnerable and that may have adverse impact on irrigated agriculture, livelihood and natural ecosystems in Kashmir. Since these are mega changes and only some matching global initiatives can reverse this phenomenon, locally we have to find out solutions to the problems that we might face in future. To this end the government needs to consult experts in advance and work out some detailed plan. The people also need to be educated about these climatic changes.