Monday, April 13, 2009

Climat Change is Upon Us
Climate Change is surely upon us. It is not just the big things that we read in the press - the melting Himalayan glaciers, the increasing hurricanes and storms - but also many small things in our own neighbourhoods that show that climate change is definitely here.

Badwani, the place I live in, is possibly one of the hottest inhabited town in India. Every summer, the maximum temperatures go up to 49 oC. Yet, this summer, till day before yesterday (till 12th April) it was still pleasant, and we could sit without a fan even in the afternoon. In a day the temperatures have suddenly touched 47 oC.

On the other hand, in December last year (2008), we had a stretch of 15 days when it was so warm that one thought that summer had almost begun. Wonders of wonders, the glorious palash – also called the flame of forests for obvious reasons, that blooms just about a week before holi, heralding the approach of spring / summer – could be seen in all its splendour, albeit in isolated patches. (See the photo of a palash in resplendence). I was travelling to Indore for a marriage on 12 December, and I remember my great surprise on seeing isolated palash trees in full bloom. I have never seen such a phenomenon before.

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