KUFOS: Salt Spray Behind Scorching of Plants

Scientists also observed that the phenomenon was a gradual process, and that the public came to know about it only at a later stage.

Published: 05th July 2015 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th July 2015 05:51 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI:The scorching of plants and trees reported in various parts of the State was caused by the salt spray, according to a study conducted by scientists at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS).

 KUFOS.jpgAn expert committee comprising oceanographers, geologists, meteorologists, biologists and chemists arrived at the conclusion by scientifically analysing samples of sea water, soil and plants collected from the affected areas. They, however, ruled out the possibility of heat burst.

“The atmospheric temperature is low during the monsoon season. Heat bursts are local occurrences in a maximum of three kilometre area, and are very rare. Since the scorching phenomenon occurred all along the coast of the State, we rule out the possibility of heat burst,” said prof S Suresh Kumar who leads the committee. 

“The interim report by the Committee pointed out that salt nucleus formed from the salt sprayed in strong winds caused the wilting of plants. “Aerosols with high salt content are formed by the action of wind on wave surfing. Intermittent rain and sunshine during the monsoon may have aggravated the situation. Scientists also observed that the phenomenon was a gradual process, and that the public came to know about it only at a later stage. “Local inquiries confirmed similar occurrences in the previous years, during the August-September period. This year, it happened in June,” report stated.

“This is more likely an oceanic process, and should be studied in detail with reference to the atmospheric, oceanographic and chemical aspects,” said KUFOS Vice-chancellor B Madhusoodana Kurup. He Committee comprised C V K Prasad Rao, S Rajendran, N N Raman, K Ranjeet,  Anu Gopinath,  S M Raffi and Benny N Peter.

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