The concrete jungle heats up fast in the absence of greenery and lack of ventilation

Mumbai : With a 10- 11 degree difference between day and night temperatures, dehydration cases, respiratory ailments and viral fever are on the rise, say doctors. A five-minute walk in the sun is enough to give people headache due to the soaring mercury and the dipping humidity.

Other than cases of viral fever, dengue and conjunctivitis, city doctors have also reported a rise in cases of asthma and dry cough. On Saturday, Colaba recorded a maximum temperature of 33.5 degree Celsius, up from 32.9 degrees recorded on Friday. Santa Cruz recorded 34.3 degree Celsius on Saturday as against 34.1 degrees on Friday.
On the other hand, the minimum Saturday temperatures were 21.9 degree Celsius in Colaba and 25.9 degree Celsius in Santa Cruz, thus marking a difference of 7.6 degrees for Colaba and 8.4 degrees for Santa Cruz.
The Met department said this is the hottest November in last three years with temperature expected to rise to 35 degree Celsius. “Till last year, the difference between the maximum and minimum temperature had not been more than 4 to 5 degrees. This year it has gone up to 7.6 to 8.4 degrees. It is expected to rise till mid- November by 10 degrees,” says V K Rajeev, Director of Weather Forecast, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai.
According to the Weather Department, the temperature difference will rise by 10 to 11 degrees in next week. On Sunday, the maximum temperature is going to be 34 degree Celsius, however minimum will be 22 degrees. Over the next few days, the temperature is expected to be constant with a maximum of 33 degree Celsius and minimum of 21 degree Celsius.
Winter is however expected to set in on time, that is in the beginning of December. “We can already feel dipping temperature at nights and fall of daytime temperature since last week. Winter will gradually take up the November heat and is expected to begin on time in December,” added Rajeev.
Experts studying climate change assert that rampant concretization in global cities is not only leading to fluctuations in temperatures worldwide but also causing shifts in microclimates. In cities like Mumbai, where poor urban planning has left little space for water to get absorbed into the ground, the impact may be severe.
“A big portion of Mumbai is concretized and this process is again on the rise. Solar radiation is absorbed by concrete, triggering urban heat island effect, where temperature within the city rises. The circulation of the warm air from the city with cooler air currents from less urbanized areas can cause extreme weather conditions,” says Subimal Ghosh, an associate professor in the Civil Engineering Department of IIT-Bombay.
Experts say the temperature recorded at the weather stations is mild compared to the heat felt by those in congested areas because of the `heat island’ effect. The concrete jungle heats up fast in the absence of greenery and lack of ventilation, leading to higher temperatures in dense localities such as Bhendi Bazar.

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