Friday, June 2
‘Human making Ladakh more vulnerable to climate change’

‘Human making Ladakh more vulnerable to climate change’


LEH: Eco-sensitive Union Territory of Ladakh is experiencing the impacts of climate change since rise in temperature over years have brought multiple climatic changes in the region including melting glaciers, erratic monsoons, and increased instances of flash floods, and other calamities.

The same changes which have forced the UT administration to prepare the local communities for any possible disasters.

According to data from the India Meteorological Department, the average temperature in Ladakh has increased by 2.4°C in the last decade, which is higher than the global average temperature rise.

Maximum temperature irregularity was more than 4°C over parts of Ladakh, Jammu, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, According to the IMD Annual Report 2021.

One of the climate activist said that melting of glaciers in Ladakh is a serious concern as it poses a threat to the region’s water security. The Indus River, which is the lifeline of the region, originates from the glaciers in the Himalayas. Decrease in the size of glaciers has reduced the water flow in the river, affecting agriculture and other livelihoods that depend on it. “The erratic monsoons in the region have led to irregular precipitation patterns,” he said.

The region has also witnessed an increase in the frequency and intensity of flash floods, other disasters which from time to time cause considerable damage, he said and added that the increased temperature has led to the melting of permafrost, making the region more vulnerable.

To tackle climate change, there is a need for both mitigation and adaptation measures. Measures like promoting renewable energy since Ladakh has a high potential for solar and wind energy, he said.

Ladakh’s water resources are limited, and there is a need to manage them more efficiently. UT needs desirable measures promoting rainwater harvesting, improving irrigation practices, and reducing wastage.

Apart from the mentioned measures, it would be suitable to say that the infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and buildings should be designed to withstand the impacts of climate change, besides steps to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint and minimize its impact on the environment.

One of the senior citizens said that Ladakh has a rich heritage of traditional ecological knowledge, and it could be harnessed to develop sustainable practices that are adapted to the region’s unique environment since it is us humans who are making the region more vulnerable to climate change with our silly activities and pitiful gains.

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