Monday, 24 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
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Why is our planet experiencing erratic weather patterns  

Published : Monday, 20 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 389

Why is our planet experiencing erratic weather patterns  

Why is our planet experiencing erratic weather patterns  

Around the globe, people are experiencing an unprecedented and erratic weather pattern that defies traditional expectations. In certain regions, unanticipated heavy rainfall is causing severe flooding, disrupting lives and infrastructure. Simultaneously, other parts of the world are enduring extreme heat waves, pushing temperatures to record-breaking highs and leading to hazardous conditions. Meanwhile, some countries are grappling with unendurable cold spells, plunging temperatures far below normal. Adding to the chaos, some areas are facing prolonged droughts when rain is typically expected, while others are experiencing unusually warm periods during what should be cold seasons. This complex and unpredictable climate behaviour highlights the growing volatility and uncertainty in our global weather systems.

Very recently deadly storms have inundated Dubai and killed over 20 people in Oman. Human-induced heat in the atmosphere increased the record rainfall by 10-40%, though the natural weather pattern El Niño also played a role in intensifying the storms. Scientists from the World Weather Attribution group note that limited data due to the rarity of rainfall in the region makes the climate change link uncertain. The design of urban areas further worsened the storms impacts. Dubai experienced over 250mm of rain in less than 24 hours, shattering 75-year records, compared to its annual average of 97mm. The storm on April 15, following months of hotter-than-average sea surface temperatures partly due to El Niño, led to fatalities in Oman and the UAE and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights at Dubai International Airport. Higher ocean temperatures added more atmospheric moisture, increasing the likelihood of heavy rainfall.

Similarly, Northern Saudi Arabia has been hit by floods and heavy rain, leading to road closures and the cancellation of in-person school attendance, as meteorological authorities issue travel warnings. Footage from Sky News and social media shows flash floods in the Al-Ula and Al-Madinah provinces, which include Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi, Islams second holiest site and the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad. Videos shared online also depict heavy rain near the mosque.

Since April 2024, Southeast Asia has faced record-breaking temperatures, causing numerous fatalities and severe disruptions. In the Philippines, temperatures soared to 53°C (127°F) in Iba, prompting school closures and surging energy demands. Laos experienced an all-time high of 42.7°C (109°F) in Luang Prabang, leading to warnings against outdoor activities. Indonesia saw a significant rise in dengue fever cases, with 475 deaths reported by early April. Myanmar, already struggling with civil war, faced temperatures up to 47°C (117°F) and severe health crises, resulting in at least 1,473 heat-related deaths. Malaysia reported 45 cases of heat-related illnesses, while Thailand recorded 30 deaths and a spike in electricity demand, with severe drought affecting water levels at key reservoirs.

In Bangladesh, the month of April was marked by relentless and unbearable heat waves, creating severe discomfort for all living beings. The oppressive heat persisted without relief, as there was no rain, no cooling breezes, and no respite in sight. The situation was so dire that special prayers were held across the country, pleading with the Almighty for rain. Eventually, after enduring extreme, record-breaking temperatures, the long-awaited rain finally arrived, bringing much-needed coolness to the weather. However, the reprieve was short-lived, as the fear of further extreme heat waves continues to loom over the country. Despite the brief relief provided by the rain, the intense heat remains a pressing concern, with temperatures still soaring and the threat of future heat waves ever-present.

In March and April of this year, the people of different districts experienced a harrowing nightmare as a powerful hailstorm swept over the regions, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Unlike anything witnessed before, the hailstones were as large as tennis balls, adding to the terror and chaos of the situation. As the hailstorm unleashed its fury with large hailstones, fear gripped the people. This unfamiliar force of nature left them feeling helpless and unsure of what to do. The deafening sound of hail pounding against rooftops and windows only intensified their fear, echoing through the night and adding to their sense of vulnerability. Homes, vehicles, and crops bore the brunt of the onslaught, with the impact of the hailstones causing widespread damage. Windows shattered, cars were dented glasses were broken, and fields of crops lay ravaged.

To the people of Sylhet, for example, the night of March 31st will be remembered as a dreadful night full of unforgettable experiences. The sheer size and intensity of the hailstones left an indelible mark on the community which provides a reminder of the unpredictability and ferocity of extreme weather events in an era of climate change.  In the aftermath of the storm, a scene of widespread devastation unfolded across Sylhet as the extent of the damage became apparent. Vehicles parked on the streets or left exposed in open parking lots bore the brunt of the hailstorms fury, with shattered glass covering the ground like a blanket of ice. From cars to trucks to motorcycles, no vehicle was spared as hailstones the size of tennis balls rained down mercilessly, leaving behind a trail of destruction. The once-clear windows and windshields now lay in shards, a testament to the sheer force of nature unleashed upon the unsuspecting city.

In addition to the hailstorm, the people of Bangladesh are now experiencing another terrifying force of nature: lightning accompanied by ear-splitting thunder. The sky crackled with electricity as bolts of lightning streaked across the darkened heavens, illuminating the night with flashes of brilliant light. Each thunderous clap reverberated through the air, shaking the very foundations of buildings and sending shivers down the spines of those who bore witness to natures awesome power. The combination of lightning and thunder added another layer of fear and apprehension to an already terrifying ordeal that made residents tremble with awe and uncertainty as they sought shelter from the storm. The intensity of the lightning and thunder served as a stark reminder of the raw and untamed forces of nature.

Human beings made the natural environment unnatural by their cruel activities towards nature and now it is the duty of them to make the nature pleasant and liveable. William Wordsworth, a romantic poet well-known as a poet of nature, says, "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her". We all should love our nature for ourselves. If environmental pollution continues in this way, the next generation will suffer in the long run undoubtedly. It is high time we took effective steps to curb this pollution.

The writer is an Assistant Professor of English, Principal Kazi Faruky College, Lakshmipur

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