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Climate Change: Impact of Untimely Snowfall on Nomads of Kashmir

Climate Change: Impact of Untimely Snowfall on Nomads of Kashmir

Kashmir has been witnessing unusual weather conditions and climate changes for the past several years now. And everybody in Kashmir be it the humans, flora or fauna or any animal everyone has been drastically impacted due to the recent climate changes.

In Kashmir for the first time, June witnessed the coldest day and the hottest day in the same year. March this year which previously was known to be comparatively cold, was really hot this year. The chillaiKkalaan period went without any snowfall. Kashmir currently is witnessing extreme weather events or conditions. Extreme weather or climate events are phenomena that can have catastrophic effects on human communities, agricultural systems, and natural ecosystems. Extreme weather-related events, such as heat waves, freezing temperatures, torrential downpours, etc., are frequently transient.

Talking about how this whole climate change phenomenon began, reports shared by several media outlets suggest that, climate change began in 2018. Where Kashmir witnessed an early but heavy snowfall in the first week of the month of November, both in 2018 and 2019. The heavy snowfall had destructive effects on the horticulture of Kashmir. In the years 2020 and 2021, Kashmir witnessed extreme winter conditions. This also made it difficult for the locals because the water pipes froze, causing a shortage of water.

But this year, Kashmir is witnessing an extreme heatwave which previously caused a visible decrease in water levels, causing a drought-like situation. But soon after the drought-like situation was witnessed in parts of South Kashmir and North Kashmir, the incessant rainfall caused a flood-like situation. Not only this but unseasonal and unusual snowfall was also witnessed in parts of the valley. The unusual snowfall affected the rural and higher reaches of the valley. The snowfall affected the tribal and nomadic clans drastically.

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Nomads usually migrate to Kashmir during the Summer seasons to provide for their livelihood and for their cattle as well. But the unseasonal snowfall has created alot of problems for these poor people. In June this year when parts of Kashmir received unseasonal snowfall the nomads were left in distress.

The meadows were all covered with snow. And a huge loss was caused to the livestock as a result of the snowfall. Besides this, the unseasonal snowfall also created extreme cold conditions, which resulted in a panic-like situation amongst the Gujjars and Bakerwaals. The Gujjars and Bakerwaals do not have any permanent residence in Kashmir and often live in tents in different settlement colonies.

Experts are of the belief that extreme climate changes occur as a result of global warming.

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