Tropical forests are known as carbon sinks however the carbon turns into carbon dioxide and goes back into the atmosphere when the temperature rises. In fact, rising temperature of one degree Celsius in tropical land surface releases 3.5 pentagrams of carbon dioxide per year
Before the monsoon (JJAS), the rains slowly start marking the arrival of pre-monsoon (MAM) season in the Indian Sub-continent. As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the pre-monsoon season starts from the month of March till up to May. During this, the temperature and humidity arises throughout the day and night boosting the spring summer heat or sometimes heat waves happens. Occasionally, the pre-monsoon rains also bring dust and thunder storms which end in a day or two. According to the IMD, April is defined as the hottest month in the north western and southern parts of India with temperature touching to 40 degrees Celsius or above. At present, the rising temperature starts sweeping in the North eastern States of India including Manipur. This April month, 2023 marked the history of Manipur as the dry seasons of unprecedented length and severity. The heat is overwhelmed by the whole districts of Manipur (both valley & hills). Scientifically, as climate warms, many of the ecological systems are experiencing higher temperature resulting to wildfires and water related problems.
Climate change is ruling the state of Manipur by disturbing the normal temperature, changes in rainfall pattern, fluctuation in precipitation and relative humidity etc. The starting of feel like temperature in most valley districts of Manipur is just uncomfortable. The impact is most intense during the day, but the slow release of heat from the atmospheric heat island overnight is much hotter than the surrounding areas. The feel like temperature is scientifically termed as the Heat Index (HI) which accounts for humidity along with the actual temperature (Montero et al., 2013). In summers, the value of feel like temperature is much higher than that of the actual temperature.
The above table is one way example of calculating the heat index (say Imphal east). The average temperature and Relative humidity is taken during the peak hour (12pm to 3pm) of a given day (say 12th of April, 2023). The result value is then calculated using the heat index calculator (estimates the temperature felt by our body as a result of air temperature and relative humidity). On an average, heat wave event occurs with the total duration of about 3 days or 5 consecutive days (IMD) per season. Some heat wave events may last for more than 7 days. On an average, the effects of increased temperature along with the heat index are already felt by the valley people but there is no report of heat wave from any part of the State till date. There are no report of illness and death, particularly elderly person, the young children and other vulnerable populations (Heat related deaths/ Heat related illnesses). The sign of damaging crops, injuring or killing livestock are nowhere reported. In some cases, addition to temperature spiking, wildfires are raging in some hill corner of the state.
According to the report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007), extremes wet climate is projected to become more severe in many areas whereas mean precipitation is expected to increase and dry extremes are projected to become more severe in areas where mean precipitation is projected to decrease. Further stated that the earth has already warmed by one degree Celsius since the start of the industrial revolution and if the current trajectory is followed, temperatures may reach 1.5 degree Celsius of warming by 2040. Researchers believe that this scenario of increase in temperature (Pattnayak et al. 2017) will continue aggressively in the future as well if no necessary steps are taken to control the pollution level. Moreover, we are making Earth’s atmosphere a more efficient greenhouse by increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases.
Therefore, technical solutions like plantation of indigenous species and fencing are recommended as climate mitigation programme. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report reported that forestry sector has the potential to mitigate approximately 15% of the world’s Greenhouse gases or biophysical mitigation of 5,380 Mt CO2 per year on the average. IPCC’s special report suggest that plantation helps in sequestering about 1.1 to 1.6 gigatonnes of carbon per year.