With much attention on the effects of global warming on the climate system, the recent severe winter weather has heightened global warming scepticism among the general public. Analysis of the most recent observational and modelling data supports links between strong regional cooling trends in the winter and warming trends in the prior seasons
Mumbai and several parts of the country are reeling under the cold and chilly weather. Some think it is the extended winter. However, the sudden drops in minimum temperatures (between 2°C to 4°C) at many places are not because of just random variations, but in fact are side effects of the global warming phenomenon. According to researchers and scientists, the global warming might be causing more cooling and snow in many parts of the world.
In an article published in Environmental Research Letters, a team led by Judah L Cohen of Atmospheric and Environmental Research (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014007), wrote that, “Evidence suggests that summer and autumn warming trends are concurrent with increases in high-latitude moisture and an increase in Eurasian snow cover. And that dynamically induces large-scale wintertime cooling.”
Rajan Alexander, who keeps a track of various things through his blog, reported that earlier this week, the Sahara desert witnessed snowfall. A 24-hour cold spell brought snow and rain to the Bechar province in western Algeria. Bechar is located in the northern Sahara, about 36 miles south of the Moroccan border. Similarly, the Gulf countries are facing extreme cold waves, Mr Alexander wrote. According to the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) forecast for Tuesday, minimum temperatures were set to dip to 0°C in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) mountainous regions while internal areas could see temperatures dipping to a nippy 5°C and coastal areas could see minimum temperatures of 13°C.
Back home, Leh in the Ladakh region recorded its coldest night at minus 21.8°C of the season with Kargil recording a minus 21°C was the second coldest place in India on Tuesday. The harsh cold weather, on 17 January 2012, broke records in many places, with Madikeri (Karnataka) registering its lowest in 132 years at 4.8 degrees Celsius, Mysore’s coldest day in 120 years was at 7.7 degrees Celsius and Bangalore’s coldest day of January in the past 19 years with minimum temperature dropping to 12 degrees Celsius.
Many climatologists believe that the Arctic Oscillation (AO) affects the probability of certain weather events occurring in certain places. However, the heightened chance of a phenomenon by no means assures it, nor does the lessened likelihood exclude it. When the AO index is positive, surface pressure is low in the polar region. This helps the middle latitude jet stream to blow strongly and consistently from west to east, thus keeping cold Arctic air locked in the polar region. When the AO index is negative, there tends to be high pressure in the polar region, weaker zonal winds, and greater movement of frigid polar air into middle latitudes.
The AO fluctuates stochastically between negative and positive values on daily, monthly, seasonal and annual time scales and despite its stochastic nature, meteorologists have attained high levels of predictive accuracy in recent times, at least for the shorter term forecasts.
While the AO may not have much effect on Indian-sub continent, it’s the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which may have some co-relation with Indian monsoon. A study, “Interannual and long-term variability in the North Atlantic Oscillation and Indian summer monsoon rainfall” was done by Dugam, Kakade and Verma of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=2068184) to investigate the co-relation based on data of over 108 years.
The study found that: “The decadal scale analysis reveals that the NAO during winter (December-January-February) and spring (March-April-May) has a statistically significant inverse relationship with the summer monsoon rainfall of Northwest India, Peninsular India and the whole of India. The highest correlation is observed with the winter NAO. The NAO and Northwest India rainfall relationship is stronger than that for the Peninsular and whole of India rainfall on climatological and sub-climatological scales.”
In short, fluctuations in the AO and NAO caused due to global warming can be blamed for the cold, chilly and extended winter across the globe. According to the article published in the Environmental Research Letters, the Arctic is warming more strongly than other parts of the globe and also sees more sea ice melt all the way into late summer and early fall.
It said, “The warmer conditions over open Arctic waters (remember, dark waters absorb heat from sunlight while light-coloured ice reflects it) lead to higher moisture levels in the air. More moisture means more clouds that can bring on more precipitation. Over Siberia, where it’s still cold enough for snow instead of rain, those additional clouds and moisture mean more snow than normal, especially in the fall.”
“Increased autumn snow cover in Siberia can help bring on the winter phase of what’s called the AO, a variation in surface atmospheric pressure patterns. That can affect the jet stream and other prevailing wind patterns, bringing blasts of Arctic air deep into lower latitudes, especially in the eastern United States, southern Canada and northern Eurasia,” the article added.
Here is the anomaly in temperatures provided by WXMaps.org and published by Steven Goddard in his blog real-science.com. The graph and pattern shows all heat trapped is causing temperatures 10°C below normal across the northern hemisphere.
So what is in store for India in next week? According to WXMaps.org report, the temperatures may go back to their normal averages at most places. However, places like northern India and south India would continue to see temperatures 2°C to 6°C below their normal range during this season. Some parts in central India is likely to be little warmer. See the image below…
1. Rajan Alexander from http://devconsultancygroup.blogspot.com/
After successful seminars at Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Nashik, and Chennai, Moneylife Foundation partnered with Indiabulls Housing Finance, for the fourth time to captivate Hyderabad with the flagship programme, “Investor, Empower Yourself”
Moneylife Foundation enthralled a packed audience at Taj Banjara in Hyderabad on 22 January 2012. After successful seminars at Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Nashik, and Chennai, Moneylife Foundation partnered with Indiabulls Housing Finance, for the fourth time for this event. The flagship programme, “Investor, Empower Yourself”, was addressed by Sucheta Dalal, trustee of the Foundation, and Debashis Basu, editor & publisher, Moneylife magazine. The day-long seminar focussed on the dos and don’ts for savings and investments that most people are unaware of. The programme also included topics relating to wills & nominations, mutual fund investing and real estate.
Ms Dalal began the session with an overview of scams and various kinds of questionable schemes that investors usually fall for and suffer, as a consequence. She cautioned investors to stay away from such schemes and not to be lured by deceptive e-mails or fancy advertising. She also gave advice and tips how to avoid being a victim of such things. “Always do your homework”, she said. Ms Dalal said that it is always best to check the credentials of a company or the broker, or the product on offer, before investing one’s hard-earned money. This involves verifying the registration with regulators like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) or the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). “There is no guarantee that you will not lose money, but it is safer to check from regulatory bodies”, Ms Dalal opined.
She also talked about the importance of wills and nominations and how the same ensures proper legacy in a family. The way to do this is through a comprehensive will and by completing nominations and transmission formalities for one’s movable and immovable properties. Getting a will right is crucial if disputes between heirs over legacy are to be avoided. With this in mind, she spoke about the requirements of a will and types of wills, the need for a probate, the cost of a probate, how to make changes in the will and described crucial details involving documentation of nominations.
Mr Basu described the rules for smart investment and stressed the importance of planning for the long-term and the power of compounding. “Patience is one of the important aspects of investing in the long-term”, he said. He said that mistakes happen because investors tend to become overconfident and cocky, which often leads to losses. Mr Basu also spoke about the nuances of mutual fund investing which is very common in India. He explained how systematic value averaging works and how it combats volatility. He advised investors to stick to few right financial products and mutual funds towards creating a good portfolio and to avoid fancy products. "If we look at their track record, we will see that most of these fancy schemes and products have failed to outperform the market. It is better to be wary of them," he added further.
Mr Sachin Chaudhary, director and head of Indiabulls Housing Finance, made a presentation on the housing market and critical aspects to consider when buying real estate. He pointed out that with developers under financial pressure these days, they will do anything to sell a property such as adding unnecessary freebies which are usually of no use. “Lavish complexes attract high maintenance charges. Many regret going for such properties after discovering these hidden charges,” he said. He advised the audience that if prospective buyers could band together, good discounts could be achieved. He also advised investors on how to deal with rising interest rates and suggested that one should keep the tenor of the loan the same and increase the EMI.
Towards the end, the programme concluded with an interactive panel discussion between Ms Dalal, Mr Basu and Mr Chaudhary, which they entertained questions from a lively audience.
Ahmedabad-based Consumer Education and Research Society, in its in-house comparative product testing laboratory found 15 home remedies, commonly found in the kitchen are effective on acidity
Many a time medicines refuse to provide any relief from acidity. Leave alone food, often water also becomes difficult to gulp. In such case, can home based remedies be of any help? Yes, according to a recent study. So roasted chana, a mixture of variyali, popularly known as sonp in Hindi (fennel) and sugar, variyali and a mixture of raw egg and milk could provide longer relief than antacids sold over the counter (OTC).
Ahmedabad-based Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), in its in-house comparative product testing laboratory found 15 home remedies, commonly found in the kitchen are effective on acidity. Interestingly, these items, apart from providing nutrition are also free from any side effect.
According to the findings, roasted chana (gram), variyali (fennel), mixture of variyali and sugar, milk, mixture of raw egg and milk, vanilla ice cream, buttermilk, ripe banana, ripe papaya, dill water, cucumber, coconut water, a mixture of pudina (mint) leaves and water, isabgol and plain chilled water provide relief from acidity. Contrary to popular perception, the study found that, jaggery and soda water, often used by people during acidity, does not provide any relief.
CERS says that some of these home remedies can provide longer or equal relief than OTCs such as Eno Fruit Salt and Gelusil MPS liquid. For instance, roasted chana gives relief for more than one-and-half hours whereas OTCs provide relief for nearly an hour.
The study says, the relief periods of cucumber, dill water, ripe papaya, banana, buttermilk and vanilla ice cream were in the range of 23 to 35 minutes while isabgol, pudina leaves and coconut water provided short-term relief in the range of 5-14 minutes. It says that chilled water provided relief for two minutes only.
Milk and milk-based products are also effective for acidity. However, according to doctors, due to its calcium content, it may cause rebound acid secretion. Doctors say that since home remedies are easily available, there is no harm in using them. But it should be only for mild acidity.
However, “People suffering from regular from acidity or related disorders must be on medication like over-the- counter antacids. Severe acidity should be treated with medicines like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 blockers”, says Dr Avinash Kumar Tank (MS, Mch), surgical gastroenterologist, Shalby Hospitals, Ahemdabad.
Commenting on the side effects of antacids, CERS says that, “Medical experts say that antacids and PPIs are safe and effective drugs; however, there can be certain side effects on their long-term use. Experimental evidence has shown that long-term use of PPIs may reduce absorption of calcium and vitamin B12. They can also reduce bone density and cause fractures and reduce the immunity of the gut due to total knockdown of acid and can encourage infections in the intestine.”