Bhubaneswar: A recent study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bhubaneswar has revealed how local temperatures have risen sharply in recent years.
The local surface temperature, according to a report in The Hindu, has gone up by 40-50 per cent between 2001 and 2010. The regional temperature increase is 0.9°C while the absolute local temperature rise is 0.5°C. The cause is urbanisation, the report stated.
A 30-year data collected from more than 22 places across Odisha shows the effect of land use cover and its changes. The local warming in cities is double than that of rural areas, said the report. This data is comparable to other developed regions in the world that have undergone urbanisation within a similar timeframe.
Bhubaneswar’s urbanisation had increased by 83 per cent between 2000 and 2014. The IIT study also found that dense vegetation has reduced by 89 per cent and crop fields have shrunk by 83 per cent.
Cropping pattern changes from Kharif crops (July-October) to Rabi crops (October-March) is also to be blamed. During 1991-2000, the western part of Odisha witnessed more land use resulting in increase in temperatures, while during 2001-2010, the north-eastern part of the state more land usage.
This study will be important for policymakers to understand surface temperature and land usage correlation and plan the future accordingly, noted Prof. J. Dash from the University of Southampton, UK and a co-author of the paper.