- 4th April 2021
- Mumbai, India
- Climate Change
Written By: Srijita Gupta
Ever wonder why some of the earth’s seasons have been longer or shorter for the last couple of years, than it ought to be? Yes, you guessed it right, Climate Change. The Journal of Geophysical Research Letter published a study which revealed that climate change is altering other seasons in order to make our summers hotter and longer.
According to an article by NBC News, scientists conclude that these alterations could possibly have multiple effects on agriculture, human health and most importantly, the environment. They have been collating data related to climate from 1952 to 2011 in order to analyse the duration of each season and while doing so, they realised that over a period of sixty years, the average length of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere has grown from 78 days to 98 days. Winter, Spring and Autumn seasons on the other hand have shortened by 3, 9 and 5 days respectively.
Climate Change often referred to as “Global Warming”, as we all know has been on the rise since 1880, and while a rising of 1 or 2 degrees may not seem alarming right now, it has been causing significant damage to our planet for which human beings are largely responsible. For instance, our over utilisation of resources for burning fossil fuels, increased agricultural practices for meat production, emitting pollutants into the atmosphere through factories and most importantly, cutting down forest which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, all of these factors largely contribute to the greenhouse effect.
The findings are being used by scientists to build a prototype of a model which can predict how the seasons may change in the future. According to their discovery, if there is a delay in monitoring seasons, summers in the Northern Hemisphere may last up to as long as six months.
Why should this be alarming?
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the distribution of sun’s energy on the surface of the earth, relies upon the rotation of its axis which is tilted at 23.5 degrees. Every year, when the earth orbits around the sun, the northern and southern hemisphere receive direct radiation and energy during given seasons. Hence, if there is a change in the earth’s seasons, it poses a great threat to the environment and human health.
Seasonal changes in temperature and rainfall can affect soil moisture, water body levels, glacier melts and more. These changes in vegetation can impact the type of food available for all living organisms. Seasonal variations and climate change could also disrupt the life cycle of plants and animals and their ability to adapt. If the earth’s summers get longer and warmer, it can lead to increase in migration and survival of disease carrying pests in new areas or it can affect the pollination of flowers when they come out of the ground but there aren’t any bees to pollinate.
Scientists are trying to understand the extent to which climate change will impact our changing seasons and food production. They say that Global Warming plays a major role in where and when crops grow but also how much they can survive. It is a well known fact that food shortages can have a global impact and cause massive loss of population. Shifting seasons and climates can result in chaos as everything is interconnected with seasons.
Source: NBC News, National Geographic, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Image Source: Google