The curious case of missing seasons

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Ever heard of seasons going missing? A new study by the Chandra Shekhar Azad University for Agriculture and Technology (CSAUAT) in Kanpur has discovered that three seasons – spring (Vasant), autumn (Sharad) and fall (Hemant) have gone missing.

Sunil Pandey, a weather scientist at the university and a member of the study team, said: “The temperature increases or decreases so rapidly that these seasons end in less than a week. Vasant, Sharad and Hemant seasons, which used to be two-month long, no longer set in because of temperature anomalies.

“For example, spring used to arrive in the last week of February and stretched to the last week of April. During this duration the temperature should ideally be between 20 to 24 degrees Celsius. However, on average, the temperature during this period has remained 2.5 degrees above normal.”

On the other hand, temperatures in March and ongoing April have broken records this year, he said, adding that the temperature in the middle of April was recorded above 44 degrees Celsius.

This year, after the winter season, people experienced summer straight away, according to Pandey.

In March, the temperature remained above normal for 29 days this year. And for five days it was five degrees more than the normal.

In the past few years, the university has conducted a comparative study of temperatures and it was found that the maximum temperature in March increased by 2.06 degrees Celsius and minimum by 1.3 degrees, on an average.

Pandey said the higher temperatures, particularly caused by the local factors, were contributing to this disturbed season cycle.

The study has underlined Vasant, Sharad and Hemant either do not set in or end within two to five days.

“The green cover has fallen due to rapid development and the increase in number of vehicles on road along with increased use of air-conditioners, have led to an increase in temperatures across the country. This has led to the near extinction of three of the six seasons,” he explained.

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