Cold Wave Hits Bangladesh:Is it An Indication of Climate Change?
The winter in Bangladesh was generally considered as pleasant.Usually lifestyle change in this season and many activities like,visiting countryside with family and friends, picnic,travels,sightseeing,festivals,fairs,ceremonies take place in this season.Many exotic and indigenous vegetables and fruits give the markets a colorful look and consumers make delicious food items.One special activity in the winter of Bangladesh is making of various types of country cakes(locally called pitha) with rice,coconut,molasses made from the sap of date palm,spices and many other ingredients.People generally relish these traditional food items when the invasion of imported foreign and locally machine made packaged food items flood the market.
Foreign tourists also enjoy the pleasant winter weather of Bangladesh as it is almost similar to the summer of the west.This is why many foreigners from the whole world and the migrant Bangladeshi people visit Bangladesh during winter.Cool temperature without any trouble of mud making rain give delightful experience.
But,this winter that has started in December,2012 and rolled to January,2013 is different.Several cold waves have crippled the life of common people.They are struggling frantically to protect themselves from the bite of the shivering cold.Most people lack sufficient warm clothing and this they are helpless in the foggy and wintry weather.Many children and old people have fallen victims of biting cold weather.News media reported 22 cases of death of humans up to 10 January.2013 .
The temperature in this winter has been recorded as the lowest in 58 years.Though the variation of temperature in different areas of the country may present a wrong picture about the severity of cold wave in particular places.The lowest temperature recorded in Dinajpur on 9 January,2013 was 3.2 degree Celsius while the highest was recorded in Coxs Bazaar which was 11.8 degree Celsius.
Historically,the lowest temperature was recorded in Bangladesh in Srimangal, Moulvibazaar.The temperature was 2.8 degree Celsius and the day was 4 February,1968.The cold temperature is mostly influenced by various phenomena of weather.It has been observed that the adverse effects are many.Many kinds of diseases affect people in cold weather,domestic animals suffer badly in such weather.Crops like paddy and potato production are badly affected by cold weather.The seedlings of winter paddy,called Boro rice get stunted by severe cold while potato may be damaged by fungal diseases like early and late blight.Mustard is another major crop of Bangladesh of winter which adds beauty to the nature by its vast expanses of yellow flowers.This crop may be devastated by the attack of an insect pest called Aphid in the foggy weather.
The winter is one of six vital seasons of Bangladesh.It would be a blessing unless the the people is devastated by cold waves.
This year the cold waves are biting hard causing great sufferings to peoples.Should we view the current winter as any indication of climate change?