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Increasing problems in burning cities – Statetimes

VIJAY GARG

There is some scientific evidence that rising temperatures create a situation called ‘seasonal affective disorder’. This causes rapid changes in the neurotransmitters found in people’s brains. These changes motivate people to take suicidal steps, such as suicide.
In 2018, researchers at Stanford University identified a strong link between warm weather and rising suicide rates. Led by Stanford economist Marshall Work The study claimed that expected temperature rise by 2050 could lead to an additional 21,000 suicides in the United States and Mexico. Examples of how heat, heat and humidity have become deadly are visible in cities around the world.
Cities in India are seen as hubs of better infrastructure, excellent public amenities and employment opportunities. The people who live there expect a good lifestyle. But now cities themselves are becoming a problem for the world. Population Burden These cities, which are groaning and facing terrible pollution in the name of amenities, are becoming the center of dilemmas instead of convenience for the people living there, due to heavy pressure on infrastructure, inflation and increasing distance between homes and workplaces. Here he has been surrounded by a new problem in recent years.
The problem is that there is more heat in cities than in villages. Scientists call this problem ‘urban heat’. It is also called urban heat wave. This urban heat wave was noticed in the year 2018, when ‘US Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’Sciences’ had published a report on rising temperatures in forty-four cities around the world. That research report, which focused on urban heat in six major cities in South Asia, said that the city of Calcutta, which used to experience severe heat waves for 16 days a year, now experienced severe heat waves between the years 1979 and 2005. with severe heat waves. such days.
The number has increased to forty-four. Research has shown that the risk of urban heatwaves has increased four times in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, with a population of crores. It was also warned that cities will now have to live with this ‘urban heat’ and bear its constant threat.
Here, the Center for Science and the Environment has exposed this problem in a detailed report in its journal Down to Earth. This raises the question of how much heat people can tolerate in the greenless cities that are turning into concrete jungles. The question is also: what is there in the big cities or metropolises that produces many times more heat than the naturally occurring heat waves?
The serious side of this is that urban heat waves can show their effect not only in May-June, but also in severe winters.
A research paper titled ‘Urban Heat Island over Delhi Punches Holes in Widespread Fog in the Indo-Gangetic Plains’ was published in the ‘Geophysical Research Letters Journal’ of the ‘American Geophysical Union’. It was said that the country’s capital Delhi had the least impact of natural fog in 2018 compared to the last seventeen years as the pollution and heat generated here had created holes in the fog. head Not just Delhi, cities across the world saw a drastic reduction in fog density in winter due to urban pollution.
IIT, Mumbai and ‘University of Petroleum and Energy Studies’ based in Dehradun, after analyzing seventeen years of satellite data from ‘NASA’, named the process of fog clearing ‘Fog Hole’ and reported that in January 2018 in Delhi there were ninety There were more gay holes then.
Researchers had said that the heat of cities burns the fog, making the temperature in cities four to five times higher than in rural areas. The degrees are getting higher.
It was said that due to rapid construction in the cities, increasing urbanization, rapid deterioration of green belt and structures made of concrete, the heat in the ground is getting trapped in the surface or close to the surface .
The truth today is that the urbanization taking place keeping in view the needs of about 12 to 15 crore residents of twenty-three cities of the country, including Delhi-Mumbai, has turned the cities into such ‘heat’ and ‘gas chambers’, which cause extremes. of the weather. To be made.
Why did these cities become this way? There are some obvious reasons. Such as building large numbers of tall buildings in less space and indiscriminately using electricity to keep them cool, bright and clean. Be it at home or office, they are air-conditioned to combat the weather and increasing use of cars etc. for commuting.
If millions of air conditioners and refrigerators (AC refrigerators) are running simultaneously in a city, and millions of cars running on petrol and diesel emit heat into the atmosphere along with greenhouse gases, then there is no possibility of artificially generated energy. air in the cities.
The destructive potential of this heat wave can be estimated. The question is how to deal with this urban heat wave.
So far, it is not possible that we can combat the urban heat wave without making some changes in the means and measures tried to combat the normal seasonal changes. Naturally, this will require rethinking the urbanization plans.
Currently, our planners are looking for a solution to the housing problem in view of the increasing needs of the country’s population and the population moving from villages to cities.
There is no blueprint for the things that can spoil the climate. According to some Indian planners, urbanization based on tall concrete buildings is actually an attack on the Gandhian vision of India’s development. Architect AGK Menon had said in this regard that it would be better that we do not copy the so-called developed western countries when it comes to building future cities and that we make plans keeping our traditions in mind.
Only if this happens will we be able to combat urban heat waves and other similar urban tragedies.
(The writer is an education columnist)