Wednesday, January 18, 2017

End Result-No Rain Gods

This is a bit from my book Living with Nature.
I have touched on almost every aspect of  environmental catastrophes that are man made.
Current failure of North East Monsoon rain (in fact wind is blowing almost at a cyclonic speed but there are no rain clouds) is due to global warming ably helped by thermal power plants (Coal Power) lifting the warm air along with the residual rain clouds.
This is not a scientific analysis but simple observations, over 15 years in Kandy District.
The effect are magnified in the North and East.
Failure of paddy cultivation was the ultimate byproduct.

End Result-No Rain Gods
In the city and the villages that surrounded it, where I grew up,  almost anything that one throws away grows (plants and seeds) on its own provided they did not rot away due to too much water. There was no need to water the plants and like a clock set, the rain did come in 10 to 14 day cycles even in the dry season.
Inter-monsoon rain was regular and now I understand and believe that the vegetation itself fashion this rain and its cycles.

More trees mean more regular  inter-monsoon rain.

Less trees means less rain, for sure, inter-monsoon period.

Global Warming and its Effects on Cloud Formation
There is a distinct change in cloud patterns with global warming taking it toll on weather, especially the rain clouds. Nimbus and cumulus cloud formations are distorted but cirrus formation is promoted are my beliefs and of course are reinforced by my routine observations.
This is especially so when the wind currents are slow and there is no obstruction from the mountains to the movement and to the flow of the clouds . With the North East monsoon that bows inward from the East of the country the clouds break into two directions, if they hit the Hantana range.
One goes towards Kandy, on the basin and the other lifts uphill and raises towards Katugastota. That is the normal pattern it used to be. If the cloud come low down to the Hantana range it usually rains  either in Kandy or Katugastota. But with a warm air currents below, over the landmass, the clouds remain high and they do not form into cumulus and later rain clouds. In other words the clouds do not increase in height or mass.
Instead they become flatter at the bottom and as they become flatter they lift up as they move towards Kandy city and the gray or dark colour of the cloud changes to fluffy and white. The Kandy city which has lost its tree cover is warmer and that is the very reason the clouds that are normally destined to become nimbus or rain clouds turn gradually to cirrus variety.
At a distance at the same level away from the hills one sees the cirrus clouds and no nimbus clouds.
There is a distinct lack of breaking of the cloud mass into two. Even, if it breaks and move towards Katugastota, those clouds will remain high due to comparably warmer Katugastota landmass.
If I summarize the events from Hantana Range to Heerassagala, it goes like this.
1. Clouds that reach Hantana range from Gampola are cirrus with a touch of cumulus and nimbus (for description cirrus should be taken as High level clouds, altostratus should be Mid level and cumulonimbus clouds are Low level rain clouds). That means cloud has to gather more water for it to become a rain cloud.
The word cirrus means curly or cotton wool and stratus means thin and layered and cumulus means heavy or thick clouds.
2. By Heerasagala within about 20 to 30 minutes and a distance of 3 kilometers (without heavy winds) the clouds break into three to five fragments.
3. This is what happens next.
The clouds breaks into pyramidal lumps as they rise up slowly. As they rise up the pyramids change into the shape of (similar to fuel exhaust tails of air planes) thin tails.
In other words cirrus becomes thin tails.
One never sees more than three pyramids or three tails, simply because in no time tails disappear and the pyramids change to tails and no clouds reach Kandy.
So we have to go to Maligawa and invoke blessing from unseen current Devas. Buddha having attained Parinibbana would not interfere with human affairs until the next in line Metta Buddha appears in time measured in eons.
By that time Kandy becomes a concrete jungle and the only way to have some respite is to sneak into city center before 8.30 P.M., well before the air-conditioning is switched off.
The rain that is used to come by 3 P.M. or late in the evening never comes. Mind you temperature at 3 P.M. is 90 degrees Fahrenheit and it falls to 80 at mid night. If it rains it is well past midnight and towards the morning and the showers are light since they have not become cumulus by the constant warming effect of the landmass. The delay of few hours makes the clouds to move towards the sea which is cooler and the rain lands on the sea or perhaps in India.
So Ceylon has less rain and some parts of India which never has the same amount of rain gets downpours.
These rain clouds hold much more water due to the higher temperature that preceded their formation.
It does not rain but it pours.
I have not watched the South West monsoon but my gut feeling is that this pattern would repeat itself albeit in a minor degree. The reason being in the South West monsoon produce bigger clouds and the atmospheric temperature is little lower in this season.
If the temperature remains as high as 90s my guess would be there will be less rain even in the South West monsoon.
The landmass has to cool below 78 degrees Fahrenheit or below for the precipitation to occur and the temperature is usually above 80 during the North East monsoon.
We are really seeing the effect of global warming.
One of my exotic flowers bloomed and there were two tiny fruits. I forgot to water for three days and the stem which was green is now gone brown and it is bent down and does not have the turgidity to remain erect. 

That is the end of the formation of the fruit.
This is the second time this happened in two seasons.

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