Crop Damage Due to Untimely Rain in Kerala Points Climate Change?
The untimely rain in Kerala, the southern state of India, which hit the entire region since March 14, 2008 has caused crop damage and flooding. Experts suggest that this phenomenon is a clear evidence of climate change which results unexpected variations in the climate and it interferes with the seasonal crop production.
Kuttanad, a well-known centre for paddy production, is the worse hit area along with few other regions in the state. It is estimated that farmers could not harvest paddy worth about Rs. 128 crores (1280 million rupees) due to unexpected flooding in the fields. Although, the state government is doing a bit to compensate the loss, the farmers are in high disappointment and according to them, it is far from repairable. This loss is immediately reflected in the price of rice in the state which is already in an all time high.
In a report in the news daily, the Hindu, it is noted that the abrupt temperature changes is an indicator of climate change. The summer rain usually comes to the state as a relief to the inhabitants in the month of March and April as it may ease the water shortage. The present rain has so far claimed five lives and heavy crop loss in about 2,000 hectares which is quite unusual with the normal summer rain.
The Hindu reports “abrupt changes in precipitation and temperature are the main characteristics of climate change. Rising global temperatures will bring changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather”. It is also a matter of concern that the untimely rain may cause an outbreak of infectious diseases. The state had witnessed infectious diseases in the last few years during rainy season, particularly with Chickungunya and Dengue fever. There had been reports of jaundice attack at many places in the state.
As this is a clear indication of climate change, both the government and the people must be vigilant to cop up with untimely eventualities which may be a regular phenomenon in the coming years.