Gulmarg 2024 jan

Gulmarg, one of the highest ski resorts in the world located in Kashmir, is facing a crisis as the usual winter snowfall has been replaced by brown and barren slopes. This unusual lack of snow not only poses a threat to the ski industry but also has concerning implications for agriculture, the backbone of Kashmir’s economy.

The absence of snow is a stark illustration of the extreme weather conditions caused by the planet’s rapid heating. The impact is deeply felt by businesses dependent on winter tourism, with adventure tour operators like Mubashir Khan facing the risk of collapse and hotel bookings in Gulmarg plummeting by as much as three-quarters.

Even the usually bustling ski lifts, rental shops, and a newly constructed ice rink now stand idle. Climate scientists, including Shakil Romshoo from Kashmir’s Islamic University of Science and Technology, attribute the current dry spell to an extreme weather event, which is anticipated to become more frequent and intense in the future.

Gulmarg 2024 jan

Rising temperatures in Kashmir

he rise in temperatures, about six degrees Celsius higher than normal since autumn last year, is evident in the region. Gulmarg’s picturesque landscape, renowned for its snow in winter and vibrant meadows in spring, now appears brown and bleak. Beyond the immediate impact on tourism, scientists warn of potential water shortages that could have dire consequences for agriculture in the ecologically fragile region.

As global temperatures continue to rise, the cascading effects of extreme weather events, such as prolonged dry spells, are expected to intensify. Kashmir, already experiencing changing weather patterns, faces the challenge of adapting its farming practices to the evolving conditions. The risk of water shortages and forest fires looms large, underscoring the urgent need for sustainable measures in the face of climate change.