Campaigning for Greener Mysore

Ecological awareness

HEat wave: With mercury levels going high, girls try various methods to beat the scorching heat, in Mysore. The girl in the photo above covers self with dupatta to seek refuge from the sun, (top left) another uses the umbrella. (Right) Couple of friends join hands to keep their eyes cool by sporting glares. DH photos by prashanth h gOn April 22, the World Earth Day brought billions of people together worldwide to campaign for a Green Earth. The World Earth Network’s campaign and promotion of Environmental Education attained 40 years of mobilising support for its cause - educating masses on acts of environment services.

As one more Earth Day passes off with a low-key mention and barely any understanding of what future holds for us, the raging mercury levels should spark every sense with ideas to mitigate damage to ecology.

Though, it is difficult to analyse the impact of four decades of campaign of Earth Network across world, given the continued deterioration of environment and Mother Earth, the effect of climatic change and ecological degradation restricted to bigger cities is becoming visible in small cities too.

The city like Mysore is no exception and it is evident with heat levels increasing every consecutive summer.

By 0.5 degree celsius

According to two and half decades of statistics available with the Integrated Agro Met Advisory Service, Organic Farming Research Station of University of Agricultural Sciences, Naganahalli the average Mysore temperature has increased by 0.5 degree celsius, equal to the national average.

The experts attribute the temperature rise to urbanisation, deforestation, deterioration of water bodies in the urban centre and its surrounding ecology, and vehicular pollution in bigger cities.

Devaraj, Research Associate, Integrated Agro Met Advisory Service at Naganahalli says though there is little increase in actual temperatures, the external factors like factory and vehicular smoke, lack of green cover in cities, tinted glasses on buildings add more heat to soaring levels of mercury.

At a time when the urban planners are opting for felling more and more trees for the widening of roads, projects like Raja Maarga and related infrastructure works, the trend should ring a warning bell.

Though, the development projects and infrastructure is inevitable for the economic progress, the experts suggests for more holistic approach and sensitiveness to environment and ecology.

Gautham Bharadwaj, a retired official with the Directorate of Economics and Statistics told City Herald that the loss of water bodies in the cities and its surrounding region have also contributed to the rise in temperatures besides the regular factors like contributing to environment pollution.

Mysore is slowly embracing modern amenities and infrastructure which has contributed in great deal to the changes in the climatic conditions and higher temperatures in city, says Bharadwaj.

Scorching days

Highest ever maximum temperature recorded in a day of different months over year (1987-2009) in Mysore.

Month             Max temp   Date

January        37.2              Jan 30, 1987
February      35.8               Feb 3,    1987
March            38.0              Mar 22, 2004
April                38.0               Apr 26,  2003
May                39.5              May 31, 2003
June                38.5               June 01, 2003
July                35.5              July 17,  1998
August           33.5                Aug 1,     2000
September  34.0               Sept 14, 1987
October         33.4               Oct 17,    1990
November   32.7              Nov 23,  1987
December    34.4               Dec 9,      1988

Sizzling hot

There is an increase of 0.5 degree celsius in the sub-continent’s temperature, lower compared to the almost a degree rise in the earth temperature.
However, the increase in average temperature of Karnataka has seen increase of less than 0.5 degree celsius. There could be various factors for it like the south-west monsoon, smaller period of days during winter besides others. The summer days have become more warmer in the past one decade.

  - B Puttanna, Director, India Meteorological Department, Bangalore

Drastic shift

There is drastic shift in ambient temperature. We can find an element of randomness in temperatures everywhere, including Mysore.

The temperatures and climatic conditions have become unpredictable due to global warming and extreme weather conditions.

This has been all man-made.Over indulgence and interference with environment and its natural mechanisms have done irreparable damage to the ecology.

Nuclear tests that were carried out, deforestation, chemical effluents from industries, pollution have altered the biogeochemical cycle of environment.

 - V Jagannath, Scientist, ISRO (on depuration at ATI, Mysore)

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