January nights in Delhi are getting warmer with each passing year, data collected over 26 years show — bringing the alarming effects of global warming closer home.
The average minimum temperature this January was 9.2 degree Celsius, higher than the 70-year average of 7.6 degrees. It is also the highest since 1990 when the city recorded an average minimum temperature of 9.6 degrees. In fact, 16 of the last 26 Januaries have seen minimum temperatures breach the 7.6-degree average.
“A clear upward trend (in minimum temperatures) is visible. This is very clear when one looks at the data for the past three years. This year, there were a couple of cold days but no cold nights. Also, the lack of rain has helped increase night temperatures,” said RK Jenamani, director in-charge of the India Meteorological Department’s IGI airport office.
Meteorology experts have also blamed a strong El Nino current for the warmer-than-usual winter. El Nino (little boy in Spanish) is a disruption of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific which peaks in October and usually peters out by December-end.