Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Hyderabad turning hotter: City temperature soars up by 4 degrees Celsius
August 19, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, August 18: Hyderabad is turning into a "hot" city with the average maximum temperature soaring up by a degree Celsius every 10 years.
The city's mean maximum temperature rose by four degrees from 25 degrees C in 1960s to 29 degrees C in the 1990s. It now hovers around 30 degrees Celsius.
According to the national environment atlas released by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, temperature in Hyderabad has been going up consistently in the last 40 years. Separate studies by the Botany department of Osmania University and the National Remote Sensing Agency have linked the increase in city temperature to increase in air pollution and built-up areas, coupled with reduction in the green cover.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the USA has already warned that one degree increase in temperature will have delirious effect on the environment in the long run. In case of Hyderabad the increase in temperature was four degrees C in four decades.
The city's "hotter" temperature has already altered the pattern of the rainfall in the last three decades. Meteorologists, who have observed the monsoon patterns in Hyderabad, report an increase of 34 mm in average rainfall in two consecutive 14-year periods. This also explains the phenomenon of "sudden downpour" affecting the city life.
The OU's Botany department, which conducted the environment study, found that "high densities and shortage of greenery and open spaces have vastly contributed to this rise in temperature". Environmentalists call this variation in urban climate as urban heat island effect and Hyderabad is currently experiencing this phenomenon.
"Increase in temperature may not have a direct impact on people's health, though it may increase their monthly expenditure in the form of more power consumption through use of air conditioners, coolers and fans. High temperature does not mean high radiation. So people may not fear about their health, but should be more concerned
about their pockets," says senior environmentalist Dr K Purushottam Reddy.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests seeks to blame the increase in temperature also on unchecked vehicular pollution, besides vast spread of concrete jungle. "The State government needs to make necessary amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act, to enable spot checking of vehicles and fines for owners, who fail to pass tests for carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and lead emissions, giving scope for participation of the Residence Welfare Association and the service stations, who are the main state holders. As a rule there is a need to restrict the supply of
permit petrol and diesel only to vehicles which have PUC certificate," suggests the Environment Atlas.
A separate study by the city-based National Remote Sensing Agency has found that Bengaluru had much less dispersion in vegetation compared to Hyderabad and New Delhi.
Moreover, results from correlation analysis by NRSA team suggested that as population density increased, the entropy of vegetation greenness decreased in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad compared to Chennai and Delhi. This in other words means that as the density of population increased, the vegetation greenness became more concentrated in these cities.
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