Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Heat of Winter in Thimphu

 Amidst the winter here in Thimphu I can still feel the warmness. It’s already so warm. I like the warmness it has to offer.

Thimphuites, do you feel the warmness even at this time of the year? I mean it’s hardly the end of winter and Thimphu is already so pleasant and warm? In fact, I think this is one of the warmest winters in so many years I have lived in Thimphu.  I know winters are dry, cold and very chilly at night. Temperatures drop to negatives. 

I remember during my childhood we would sit around the bukhari all day and night to warm ourselves. Our cheeks turned red and our skin become dry due to the harsh cold weather. We wore layers of thick clothes. We would expect snowfall and the sight of snow on the mountain peak brings smiles on everyone.

What I have observed now is the weather at this time is very pleasant and warm which makes life easier. I have already stopped using heaters. I can manage to wash my dishes with the cold water flowing from the tap.  

Comparing to a decade ago, every year there is less volume of snowfall. Even if it snows at night, the sunlight on the next morning melts the snow. In other words, we can term it as Climate Change.

60% of Bhutan is covered by forest and Bhutan is a carbon neutral country. One of the pillars of Gross National Happiness is conservation of environment.  Our constitution requires us to maintain 60% of our lands under forest cover for all times to come. We don’t produce too much green house gases. We have an Environment Commission to access the impact and regulate the environmental activities.   

However, Bhutan is no exception to Climate change and Global Warming. What will happen to the winters in Thimphu after a decade or two?

Climate change is a reality. Global Warming is inevitable as a country progresses. If left unchecked, Global Warming could cause dire consequences on Bhutan, a country that is increasingly dependent on the Himalayan water resources.  There is risk that the glaciers on the mountain peaks might melt and the lakes would burst causing floods. People living in the plains will suffer. There will be irregularity in rainfall.

 Isn’t it Global warming? Can anyone explain it to me? I want to hear from you readers? Please do share your thoughts!

Thank you for reading la!

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