Agumbe in Thirthahalli taluk, synonymous with incessant downpours that have earned it the title of Cherrapunji of South India, appears to have lost the wettest place tag to neighboring Udupi district.
According to data from the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), various places in Udupi district received the highest rainfall in Karnataka five times in the past seven years between 2015 and 2021.
Except for 2015 and 2018, Udupi district tops the rainfall rankings. Experts said it was a sign of things to come and attributed the development to deforestation and global warming.
According to the data, Bairampalli in Udupi district recorded the highest rainfall in 2016 (5,916 mm). The following year, Shiralu in Karkala taluk recorded 6,936 mm of rain.
In 2016 and 2017, Agumbe, located in Shivamogga district, recorded rainfall of 5,524 mm and 5,345 mm respectively,
Similarly, in 2019, Hebri in Udupi recorded 9,340 mm of rain, while in 2020 it was Innanje’s turn with 7,988 mm. Also during these years, Agumbe was not far from these figures.
Remarkably, over the past decade, Hulikal in Hosanagar taluk of Shivamogga district has outstripped Agumbe when it rains. Over the past seven years between 2015 and 2021, Hulikal recorded more rainfall than Agumbe.
TV Ramachandra, a scientist at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, blamed it on climate change.
Mono-tree plantations and deforestation in the Western Ghats region are major causes of climate change, he said.
“According to our study conducted in the Western Ghats, some areas of the region receive heavy rainfall and some areas receive less rainfall in a year,” he said.
“Karnataka has only 20% forest cover against the expected 33%. The Western Ghats region in the state has only 18% forest cover and has lost 10% forest in the last ten years” , Ramachandra said, warning of the water crisis and more unseasonal rains. in the coming days.
Climate expert BM Kumaraswamy said rainfall has been erratic in recent years. “Climate change is nothing but the unpredictability of the weather,” said Kumaraswamy, who was a former member of the Western Ghats task force.
“Deforestation, global warming and carbon dioxide emissions along with many factors are causing the current situation. Karnataka recorded 60% excess rainfall between October and December last year. The regime precipitation has therefore completely changed,” he said.