Once associated with snow peaks and picturesque winters that rival Switzerland, a report by Jammu and Kashmir's climate monitoring bureau warns that temperatures in Kashmir are likely to rise two degrees by 2030. This heating, largely due to greenhouse gases and global warming, will have a “catastrophic effect in the region," according to experts associated with the study. The nations of the world are currently scratching their heads to limit average global temperatures rise to a degree and a half, this century.
The estimated temperature in the region is projected to increase from 0.9 +/- 0.6 degree Celsius to 2.6 +/- 0.7degree in the next 15 years though there is a chance that winter temperatures might dip in some regions.
The report quotes a study by the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) that finds that the Himalayan region has already grown warmer by 2.2 degree Celsius in the last two decades.
“Climate profile of J&K indicates variation in climate characteristics over the years. There is increase in average temperature in Jammu & Kashmir. Kashmir valley has shown rise of 1.45 degree Celsius and Jammu region 2.32 degree Celsius over the last two decades.” it adds.
The rising temperatures are also likely to impede hydropower generation, agriculture and the state's horticulture output such as apples.
“The climate change might impact hydro power generation in three possible ways. Firstly, the available discharge of a river may change since hydrology is usually related to local weather conditions, such as temperature and precipitation in the catchment area. Secondly, an unexpected increase in climate variability may trigger extreme climate events, i.e. floods and droughts, and thirdly, changing hydrology and possible extreme events may increase sediment risks,” the government report mentions, "“With the reduction in rainfall and increase in the net temperature, the rain-fed agriculture will suffer the most. Horticultural crops like apple are also showing decline in production particularly due to decline in snowfall."
Next month the world's leaders are expected to converge in Paris to discuss measures to contain temperature rise and restrict global greenhouse gas emissions.
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