Himachal Pradesh Experiencing Rapid Temperature Rise

The hill State of Himachal Pradesh has been gradually witnessing less snow in the past decade and the area under snow is also decreasing.

The trend triggered by climate change has alarmed environmentalists, considering the importance of seasonal snow cover as a major input in controlling the hydrology of the river basins in the ecologically fragile State.

Decrease of area of Satluj, Ravi, Chenab and Beas

A recent study, conducted jointly by the State Centre on Climate Change and the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad, using Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) satellite data has revealed that all major river basins, including the Satluj, Ravi, Chenab and Beas, have witnessed an overall decrease of 18.5% in area under snow in 2020-21 winters in comparison to 2019-20.

The snowfall in peak winter is reducing slightly and, in fact, is shifting towards the late winter months or even the early summer months.”

This phenomenon is attributed to the rising temperatures. Rapid deforestation, extensive construction and unregulated activities are the contributing factors.