Reality of Global Warming Shorter Ber months

Global warming. Be very clear. This is no longer a term that one merely finds in periodicals, the newspapers, journals or a term talked about so passionately by the green activists, but is a reality, a reality which can be felt each waking and sleeping hour. Manipur was never like this. Those who grew up in the 70s and 80s will remember the woollens that used to come out from the wooden almirahs when the cold, biting wind could be felt stinging one’s face and ears and this was usually in October. Those were the days when celebrating Durga Puja meant putting on one’s warm clothings, complete with woollen socks and other paraphernalia. In a lighter vein, winter was usually understood as the Ber months, meaning it used to be understood as starting from September and stretching to October, November, December with the cold continuing into January, February and till the earlier part of March. When the rain came, usually in May, June and July, it meant putting on the long sleeved shirts on the day it rained and the night meant pulling over a bed sheet or any thin blanket. Air conditioner was unheard of and it was only the better off families that thought a ceiling fan was a necessity. Refrigerator came much later and seldom it was for cooked food to go stale but today a refrigerator is a necessity in almost every household in Imphal. Call it an increase in buying power, but today air conditioner has become a necessity in most of the bigger establishments and even in the private homes of the financially better placed families. Even cars today come with their inbuilt air cooler or air conditioner. Should say something profound that products which are manufactured to make life more comfortable for people living in places which have always been understood as being hot should now be deemed to be necessary here at Imphal and some other places in Manipur. Part of the phenomenon known as global warming, but remember the understanding of this phenomenon also comes with the call of ‘Think Global, Act Local’, a line given currency by all green activists. Let the reality sink in. On April 19, The Sangai Express ran a story on the soaring temperature pegging the average temperature  at 39.6 degree Celsius. A temperature which one used to associate with some of the warmer places such as Guwahati and closer home Dimapur but today which is a reality here and this is cause for concern.
Large scale deforestation, the rapid increase in the number of vehicles plying on the roads of Imphal and other district headquarters, the drying of natural water bodies, the pollution, the ugly practise of numerous individuals cutting down trees and doing away with other greeneries at the compound of their homestead, the growing human population etc are factors which are responsible for the uptick of the mercury and this is where the call for Act Local becomes important. The Sangai Express does not have the figure but it is more than clear that the days are getting unbearably warmer in the last couple of years and as narrated by Joint Director of Environment and Climate Change, T Brajakumar, Manipur recorded a maximum temperature of 39 degrees Celsius between 2015 and 2023. Average temperature rose by 5 degree Celsius in the southern part of the State during the said period of time with Moreh recording 40 degree Celsius in 2015. Hill districts like Noney and Tamenglong have also seen an uptick in the mercury with both recording 39 degree Celsius in 2015. It is also disturbing to note that some places such as Ukhrul and Senapati, which are generally known as cold places recorded 26.61 degree Celsius and 32.66 degree Celsius respectively on April 17. With the India Meteorological Department depicting that the heat conditions in the North East region, including Manipur will continue for the next few days, rain seems to be the only hope for the people. This is perhaps the time for the people here to seriously start acting local and not add to the spike in the temperature. Global warming is real and the best way to deal with this should start from one’s own compound and locality.