Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Global Warming

Publication: Times Of India, Kolkata
Date:Feb 15, 2009;

(Section: Times City;
Page Number:5)

Missing chill signals Danger: Study Research Says This Could Be The Beginning Of A Drastic Change In City’s Weather Pattern

Prithvijit Mitra TNN Kolkata: The missing winter chill this year and the unusually mild monsoon last year could be ominous signs for the city, warn experts. These could be the indications of the beginning of a dramatic change in Kolkata’s weather pattern, predicts a research based on the findings of NASA. The study reveals that the carbon content in the mid-tropospheric level above Kolkata is unusually high. It is getting worse and the damage is permanent. Drastic changes in the weather pattern are the most likely fallouts of this change that has set alarm bells ringing among scientists. From 372 ppm in 2002, the carbon content in the layer has gone up by 4% till 2008.

“It was already high in 2002, which is the base year for the data. It has been steadily rising ever since, making the layer warmer. The warmer and thicker it gets, the heavier will be its impact on the local climate. It is still too early to predict the extent of the impact, but the bad news is that the damage is permanent. Even if all foul emission is stopped now, it will take hundreds of years for the carbon content to reduce,” said Gautam Sen, who is doing the study.

The dominant part of the carbon in the layer is believed to be carbon dioxide. It is also suspected to have some black carbon, which is worse. The layer also has particulate matter that might have percolated from the lower atmospheric layers.

“We are still not very sure about the nature of the carbon content. But if it has got particulate matter, the impact on weather will be even greater. They could lead to radiation and make the weather warmer. Once they have infiltrated the mid-tropospheric layer, particles tend to get trapped there and keep floating for hundreds of years,” explained Sen.

A hotter mid-tropospheric layer could have far-reaching consequences, said experts. It could alter the temperature-pressure balance in the region, which is important for maintaining the regular climatic cycle.

“There is no doubt that we are witnessing a climate change in the region and the change is irreversible,” said S S Bala, regional in-charge of the Central Pollution Control Board.

“Rising water levels and increased salinity is playing havoc with the ecology of the Sunderbans,” said environmental researcher Subir Ghosh.

Weather experts, however, also pointed out that rising carbon levels is a global phenomenon.


ATMOSPHERIC LEVELS 0 - 1.5 KM: Boundary layer 1.5 KM - 8 KM: Midtropospheric layer 8 KM - 15 KM: Upper tropospheric layer 15 KM - 32 KM: Stratosphere


Disturbed temperature pressure balance. Heat generated at the mid-tropospheric layer could radiate back to the lower layers making them warm

Higher temperature might raise pressure and lead to high rainfall

It could also melt ice faster in higher altitude and raise the water level of rivers and the seas. This has started happening in the region."

Should complacence still be our mood of the day ?

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