Hot Winter

I live in Mumbai which is a constantly “challenged” city.

It has a number of problems which makes living difficult for its denizens. However, it is also the most creative and professional place in India as a whole. The competing cities only specialize in certain areas or certain industries, none of them have the vastness and the depth of Mumbai.

It is also a fact that the city has a constant flow of immigrants and huge number of slums around the city. There is huge shortage of space and so it has the maximum premium in the country. Traffic is just short of horrendous and the infrastructure is creaking under the heavy weight of a growing population (of people and vehicles).

Over the past couple of years, the city has also been affected by global warming of sorts. We are in December now, and the day temperature has persistently stayed well above 30 deg Celsius. Today the maximum temperature is reported as 34 deg Celsius and the minimum is 24 deg Celsius. Forecast for the next 10 days is the same, and this is far higher than the usual temperatures in December. As I was travelling on the roads today, I could feel the heat which was more penetrating as the body’s expectation was different.

What do you call this phenomenon when the temperatures are at least around 4 to 5 deg Celsius higher in what is supposed to be winter season ? Actually there is no winter, it is just it should be a little less hot than normal !

Delhi is having its real winter, with temperatures at 10 deg Celsius lower than those of Mumbai. As we enter January, the day temperatures in Delhi are likely to be in single digits.

What we are experiencing in Mumbai is nothing but the impact of global warming. The impact of the sea and the winds has changed over the past few years, leading to higher temperatures.

It is not a great thing, and could be harmful in the long run as the sun’s harsh rays are going to have a bad impact on our skin. What can be done ? I haven’t seen much of a commentary on this phenomenon in newspapers and that concerns me.

So, we at Mumbai are having a “hot winter”.


Vijay Srinivasan
4th December 2011


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