Uttarakhand: Dip in rainfall, sunshine hours in Terai may threaten crops, say scientists

The decline in sunshine hours is linked to more cloudy days and increased pollution, which absorb the sun's radiation

Representative image of Uttarakhand (photo: National Herald archives)
Representative image of Uttarakhand (photo: National Herald archives)
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PTI

The Terai region of Uttarakhand has recorded a significant reduction in rainfall and a noticeable shift in temperature patterns over a 40-year period starting from 1981, and this might negatively impact crop production in the area, according to new research.

The research conducted by scientists at the G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology in Uttarakhand found that the minimum temperature in the region has risen noticeably, while the maximum temperature has not changed significantly, indicating a narrowing temperature range.

This shift could cause crops to mature prematurely, leading to reduced crop yields, according to the study published in the Mausam Journal of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) last week.

"The actual decrease in rainfall, sunshine hours and evaporation over 40 years in the Terai region of Uttarakhand is about 58.621 mm, 1.673 hours and 1.1 mm," the study said.

The decrease in these climate factors could be attributed to reasons such as population growth, urbanisation, global warming, increased pollution leading to dimming effects, and an increase in the number of cloudy days, the scientists said.

The decline in sunshine hours is linked to more cloudy days and increased pollution, which absorb the sun's radiation. This reduction in sunshine hours and evaporation collectively impact the condensation process, leading to an adverse effect on rainfall in the region.

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