`Kashmir of Orissa` witnesses heatwave

Last Updated: Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 14:21

Berhampur: Kandhamal, known as
Kashmir of Orissa for its cool climate, has now become one
of the hot spots in the state with the temperature rising
above 40 degree Celsius.

With 60 percent area of the district covered with
forest, average annual rainfall recorded at 1587 mm and the
altitude ranging between 300 and 1100 metres contributed
towards its coolness.

The minimum and maximum temperature in the district
was recorded at 1 degree Celsius in December and 35 degree
Celsius in May, sources said.

Most parts of Kandhamal are now reeling under 40
degree Celsius temperatuer since the beginning of June.

Environmentalists and weathermen attributed the rising
temperature to the effect of global climate change. Not only
in Kandhamal the temperature has been increasing in many
places including Simla," a senior forest officer here said.

Simla, well-known of its coolness with maximum
temperature of 15 degree Celsius, is now recording 20 to 25
degree Celsius, he said.

There are several factors including the increase of
population, automobile emission and shrinking of forest cover
are some of the reasons for the increase of temperature, the
forest officer said.

"Effect of global warming and climate change could
have led to rise in temperature in many areas of the state
including Kandhamal," PC Mohanty, an expert in Marine
Science, said.

"We have analysed the temperature data of the last six
years in different parts of the state and observed that the
minimum temperature in most places except Puri increased from
the 1990s," Mohanty, the coordinator of a programme on
Participation of Youth in Real time field observation to
benefit education (PROBE), sponsored by Centre`s Department of
Science and Technology, said.

Under the programme, he said the observatory machines
to record the temperature on daily basis have been installed
in 15 different parts of the Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal and
Boundh districts since last one year.

The school children of the respective areas are
sending their data regularly, he said.

The observatory data have also shown increase of the
minimum temperature in Kandhamal district, Mohanty said.
While he said deep study was needed to find out the exact
cause of it, an environmentalist said deforestation was the
main cause of increase of the temperature in the district.

Deforestation was caused due to various factors
including the felling of trees by the agitators to use the
logs for road blockade, smuggling of timbers and cleaning the
forest by the tribals to get the forest rights.

The forest area of the district is recorded at 5709.08
sq. km out of the total geographical area 8021 sq km, he said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 14:21

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