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2-min read

Who stole my winter?

The minimum temperature is well above 15 degree Celsius and the maximum during the day hovers around 30 degree Celsius.

D P Satish | IBNLive.comdp_satish

Updated:December 28, 2015, 4:51 PM IST
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Who stole my winter?
The minimum temperature is well above 15 degree Celsius and the maximum during the day hovers around 30 degree Celsius.
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Honnemaradu (Shimoga district of Karnataka): I am just back from my most beautiful village in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. It is an idyllic place. My village is surrounded by the vast backwaters of the majestic river Sharavathi and one of the remotest places in Karnataka. It is just 10 km from Jog Falls, the fifth highest waterfalls in the World. The evergreen forests of the Western Ghats are lovely, dark and deep here. Each house is a separate village and life looks surreal.

But, the villagers are worried. They are really worried about the Climate Change. Because, this winter, there is no cold. The entire Western Ghats is unusually warm. The minimum temperature is well above 15 degree Celsius and the maximum during the day hovers around 30 degree Celsius. Earlier it used to be 8 degree Celsius to 25 degree Celsius during November to January. At some places, the lowest temperature used to be 3-6 degree Celsius during the peak Winter.

When we were kids we used to sit before the fireplace or bonfire in the evening and morning. We used to wrap ourselves in thick blankets known as Kambali. The Malnad region (the hilly region of Karnataka is known as Malnad in Kannada) never had ceiling or table fans till early 1990s. The weather was always pleasant. Refrigerator, Air Conditioners etc were unheard of. During the current Winter, I slept with the fans turned on! As my elder sister says it has never happened in the

past.

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What went wrong? Who stole our beautiful Winters? The locals blame the recent Chennai cyclone or unprecedented rainfall for the disappearance of cold. They claim that it was getting colder slowly. And the rain hit Chennai and killed the cold overnight.

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These days Western Ghats is experiencing heavy dew. Everything is dew drenched in the morning and in the evening. Dew falls like drizzle. Normally, heavy dew signals the end of cold days and nights. The Western Ghats receive the dews only post Sankranthi (After January 15), every year.

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The missing cold has caused a huge concern among the people. The cold is needed for the crops like Areca, Coffee, Cardamom, Pepper, Rubber, Vanilla etc grown in the Western Ghats. A good winter also makes the Summer tolerable. The Summer is just two months long (April and May) in Malnad region. The monsoon enters in June and retreats only in September. My place is one of the rainiest places on the Earth.

“Winter is so warm. I have never seen anything like this in my 80 years of life. Something has gone horribly wrong with the Climate. What will happen in Summer? I am scared” says MK Sheshagiri Rao, a farmer at Sagar, a major town in the region. His wife also echoes his sentiments.

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To make the things worse, the Monsoon was very weak this year. The entire region received just 50% of annual average rain. The water bodies are fast drying up sending shockwaves across the region.

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My fellow villagers hope and pray that Monsoon would be normal next year and the beautiful Winter will return after Deepavali.

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