Micro Climate

A micro climate is a local set of climatic conditions that differ from the atmospheric conditions in the surrounding areas. The microclimates typically exist near water-bodies which may cool the local atmosphere than the surrounding air.

Key Points

  • It may also exist in heavy urban areas where brick and concrete absorb the sun’s energy and re-radiate that heat to the surrounding air. This results in urban heat island, which is a kind of microclimate.
  • Urban Heat Islands are the urban areas, which is significantly warmer than their surrounding rural areas, due to the increase in human activities, predominantly construction.
  • Sometimes, the slope of an area may also create a micro-climate. South-facing slopes in the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa are exposed to more direct sunlight than the opposite slopes. As they are warmer for longer periods, the slope will be a warmer microclimate than the areas around the slope.

Council on Energy, Environment and Water Study

  • Recently, the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water has released a study stating that more than 75% of districts in India are hotspots of extreme climate conditions like heat and cold waves, droughts, cyclones, and floods. It is the 1st time that extreme weather hotspots have been mapped in the country.
  • As per the study, the unpredictability, intensity, and frequency, of these extreme events have risen in India in the last some decades. As per the study, India experienced 250 extreme climate events in 35 years between the years 1970 and 2005 while the country has witnessed 310 such extreme weather events in only 15 years since 2005.
  • According to the study, the frequency of floods in the country has increased by 8 times in the last 50 years. Events related to floods like heavy rainfall, cloudburst, landslides, thunderstorms, etc. have increased by 20 times.
  • The frequency of floods has also increased in the last two decades.
  • As per the study, the present trend of climatic events is the result of 0.6 degrees Celsius rise in temperature in the last 100 years.
  • The study has also highlighted the shift in the pattern of extreme weather events like some drought-affected regions are now flood-prone and vice-versa.

Microclimatic zones shifting

Microclimatic zones are the regions where the weather is different from surrounding regions. The zones are shifting across many districts of the country. A shift in microclimate zones can result in severe disruptions across sectors – every 2 degrees Celsius rise in annual mean temperature will reduce agricultural productivity by 15-20% in India.

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