SHILLONG, July 16 - Meghalaya’s climate would be similar to present day climate of Assam or West Bengal in the next 30 years with environmentalists recording a rise in mean temperature between 1 to 1.5 degree Celsius over the past 30-odd years, according to a study. The study conducted by Meghalaya Government in collaboration with Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Indian Himalayan Climate Adaptation Programme was for the period 1981 to 2014.
Vimal Mishra and Rahul Kumar from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar, who were part of the study, said, there was a rise of 1 to 1.5 degree Celsius from 1981 to 2014 and the projection is that it would continue to rise at the same level over the next 30 years.
“So, overall the mean temperature would increase by three degree Celsius from 1981. There is a genuine fear that the climate would be like that of present day Assam or West Bengal in the next 30 years,” Mishra informed.
He said during this study period, the cold days and hot nights have also shown considerable change. If there were 12 annual cold days during 1981, this number has reduced to four-five days annually on an average.
Moreover, the climate change has also had its impact on the rainfall pattern. On an average the rainfall has increased by 400 mm during the study. The rainfall pattern has changed and has become somewhat unpredictable, Mishra said. He pointed out that such unpredictability, coupled with high rainfall would give rise to flash floods and frequent landslides in the State.
Amongst the worst affected districts of the State, East Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi have witnessed considerable rise in temperature.
There are various socio-economic factors that have affected this change in climate in the region.