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