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Spring phase in NE, North India witnessing gradual decline: Study

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NEW DELHI, March 19 : Northeast, which normally has a moderate climate throughout the year, barring the winter and rainy seasons, is quickly transitioning into summer-like conditions from winter, limiting the intervening spring season, a study has revealed.
An analysis of temperature data since 1970 showed that winters are quickly transitioning into summer-like conditions in Northeast as well as North India, thereby shortening the spring season. The analysis further revealed abrupt changes in temperatures occurring in late winter across North India.
Manipur and himalayan state of Sikkim experienced the largest change in average winter temperature (December to February) since 1970 (2.3-degree Celsius), while Delhi had the smallest change (0.2-degree Celsius), the study showed.
Sikkim (2.4-degree Celsius) and Manipur (2.1-degree Celsius) recorded the largest changes in temperature in December and January respectively.
Researchers at the US-based Climate Central, an independent group of scientists, conducted the analysis to place India within the context of global warming trends, focusing on the winter months between December and February.
The analysts suggested that winter overall is warming across India, with every region showing a net warming trend. “This indicates that these regions are now experiencing abrupt transitions from cool winter-like temperatures into much warmer conditions traditionally observed in March,” the researchers said.
To show the change, the researchers calculated the difference between the warming rates in January and February, expressed as the change in average temperature since 1970.
The most significant jump in warming rates was observed in Rajasthan, where the average temperature in February was 2.6-degree Celsius, which was higher than in January.
A total of nine states and union territories — Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttarakhand — showed a January-February difference of more than two-degrees Celsius. This report corroborates that spring has disappeared in many parts of India, the researchers said.
“The cooling in central and northern Indian states during January, followed by very strong warming in February, creates the potential for a quick jump from winter to spring-like conditions,” said Andrew Pershing, vice-president for Science at Climate Central.
Global average temperatures have risen by more than 1.3-degree Celsius since 1850, exacerbating climate impacts, with 2023 being the hottest on record.
The CO2 spewed into the atmosphere, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution, is closely tied to it.
Climate Science says the world needs to slash CO2 emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 to check the average temperature rise to 1.5-degree Celsius, the guardrail to prevent worsening of climate impacts. “The business-as-usual scenario will take the world to a temperature rise of around three-degrees Celsius by the end of the century,” scientists have warned.
The record-breaking trend seen for much of 2023 has continued in 2024, with January being the hottest January on record. February is also likely to be like the previous month and July could be the hottest on record, reports said.
It is the eighth month in a row that is the warmest on record for the respective time of the year. Northeast India experiences a humid subtropical climate with no part in the region receiving a rainfall of less than 1,200 mm.

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