Friday, January 09, 2009


While bad architecture is raising city temperature, people have to cope with extra chill this winter. Some even fall prey to Seasonal Affective Disorder

Bangalore has turned into a heat island Jayashree Nandi | TNN
Bangalore: Bangalore is witnessing an alarming depletion of wetland areas and vegetation cover, according to a recent study by the Centre for Ecological Sciences of the Indian Institute of Science. It shows an increase of 1 to 1.5 degree in temperature in certain pockets of Bangalore that have seen intense urbanization.
According to lead researcher T V Ramachandra, there is almost an increase of 466% of building area or paved surface in the past three years and that is not allowing water to percolate through the soil. Of 200 tanks present in 1985, only 17 survive today, which means that the wetland area has decreased alarmingly. “The vegetation and amount of water bodies in a city have a direct relationship with local temperature. Bangalore is an urban heat island. The increase in emissions from transport, faulty architecture, lack of vegetation and wetlands are leading to these temperature changes,’’ he said.
However, he did not attribute the chilly mornings this winter to the same phenomenon. “I checked the records and the winter temperature is almost the same, swinging around 12 degrees. But other issues like humidity and sudden heat waves could be a reflection of the increasing temperature or global warming,’’ he added.
The report also points out that there has been an increase in flooding. Reclamation of lakes for various developmental activities has resulted in the loss of inter-connectivity in Bangalore district, leading to higher instances of floods even during normal rainfall.
The decline in the number of water bodies in Bangalore is mainly due to unbridled and intense urbanization. Many lakes were encroached for illegal buildings (54%). Field surveys (during July-August 2007) show that nearly 66% of lakes are sewage fed, 14% surrounded by slums and 72% showed loss of catchment area. Lake catchments were used as dumping yards for either municipal solid waste or building debris. Blame cloudy weather on low pressure TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Bangalore: Cloudy weather with spells of rain resulted in the gloomy atmosphere on Thursday.
According to the meteorological department, a trough of low pressure was created at the sea level over south-west Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea resulting in cloudy weather.
The city recorded minimum temperature of 18 degree Celsius with 73% humidity, wind speed at 6 km per hour accompanied with a trace of rainfall. Some parts of the city are likely to receive light rainfall on Friday. Windy weather causing a chill Nirmala M Nagaraj | TNN
Bangalore: While there hasn’t been much temperature fluctuation in the city over the past fourfive weeks, the increase in wind speed — from 9.5 knots to 12 knots as compared to last winter — has resulted in the chill.
A Muthuchami, director, meteorological department, attributed the chill to the wind. “There is no dip in temperature. Rather, there has been a rise in temperature during the winter and humidity has also increased. Due to fluctuation in wind speed, people are feeling the extra chill,’’ Muthuchami said. Typically, winter lasts from mid-December to January 15 but this year, the winter set in early in the city and experts say summer is also expected to start early this year.
Raje Gowda, agro-meteorologist, Gandhi Krishi Vignan Kendra, said, “Extreme cold winds are blowing from the north and eastern parts of the country towards the south, causing the chill effect. This year, due to early onset of the monsoon, we’ll experience severe cold in the first two weeks of January.’’
Explaining the impact of this climate change on agriculture, Raje Gowda said the weak northeast monsoon has been unable to supply adequate moisture to the soil. If there’s no pre-monsoon rain in February and March, summer could be severe this year.
So far, the minimum winter temperature has been around 12.3 degree Celsius and has not fallen below 8 degrees. The change in the seasonal pattern and unpredictable rain has led to a rise in viral fever and asthma cases in the city. Physician Dr L Narendra Prasad said viral and bacterial diseases and respiratory infections like cold, cough, arthritis or joint disorder, and skin ailments worsen during winter.
Avoid cold and refrigerated food like ice-cream Eat hot, healthy food rich in antioxidant Yoga, breathing exercises good for respiratory problems


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