Climate Change ? : Extreme cold in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu, Southern most state of India is experiencing record low temperatures with hill stations recording temperatures as low as 5 degree Celsius. Munnar, hill station close to Tamil Nadu border recorded temperatures as low as -2 degrees.

Is it part of ongoing climate change the world is experiencing ?

Climate change is a vague term referring to increase in average temperatures across the globe which in turn is linked to global warming.

Well what is Global Warming ?

It all starts with CO2 or Carbon-di-oxide which is produced in excess due to burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are literally carbon, which when burned produces carbon-di-oxide.

CO2 has a unique property of storing heat. CO2 along with some other gases which can store heat is known as green house gases ( Named after green house effect). Now these gases are responsible for keeping temperature of our planet at reasonable level.

When produced in excess, the excess CO2 traps excess heat in our atmosphere which in turn increases average temperatures across the planet. And thus, Global Warming.

But how does change in average temperature by a degree or two result in climate change ?

The answer is Oceans. Oceans is one of the important controlling factor in climate. Water vapour from the ocean rise above which in turn produces storms and thus rains. In short term, water vapour combined with other factors like wind is cause for rains, storms,cyclones and also cold.

Water has capacity to absorb heat and store them. Water has high heat capacity meaning that water can absorb lots and lots of heat. As temperatures around us increase by a degree or two, temperatures of oceans increase times fold. As oceans temperature increase, the amount of vapour produced also gets increased. As more and more vapour gets produced, more violent the storms become. This may be the reason why every low pressure formed in the Bay of Bengal strengthened to cyclonic storm.

That’s the story with cold too. Like low pressure during monsoon, it causes high pressure during winter causing drop in temperature.

Now I am not an expert in weather or anything. This post does not contain any scientific research, but rather an opinion on how climate change may be contributing to abnormal weather which we are experiencing recently.

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