Environmentalists worried about less snowfall in Himachal

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Environmentalists worried about less snowfall in Himachal

Environmentalists have expressed concern due to relatively less snowfall in Himachal Pradesh recently.

  • A recent study by the State Center on Climate Change (Himachal Pradesh) and Space Applications Center a premier center under the Indian Space Research Organization found that: “All major river basins including Sutlej, Ravi, Chenab and Beas have shown an overall decrease of 18.5 per cent in snow cover in winter season of 2020-21 as compared to year 2019-20”.
  • The pattern of snowfall is also changing gradually. Snowfall is decreasing a bit in extreme winters. Actually, snowfall is more in the last months of winter or early summer months.

Importance of snow cover:

  • Most of the major rivers originating from the Himalayas and their perennial tributaries depend on the seasonal snow cover for their flow.
  • It also helps in controlling the accumulation and erosion pattern of the snow-covered areas.
  • The continuous decline in snow cover will affect the weather cycle. As a result, problems like erratic rainfall, snowfall, increased warming and less availability of water for consumption and power generation will arise.

Possible reasons for the decrease in snow cover

  • Decrease in average rainfall.
  • Increased average temperature due to climate change.
  • Intensified deforestation with extensive construction and other unregulated activities.

Source – The Hindu

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