By: Fatima Javed
Climate change and its impact on Pakistan
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining peak moment. As it is clearly visible the major shifting in weather patterns that threaten food production, the rising sea levels that increase the risk of tragic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unequalled in scale.
Climate change is defined in different ways by different environmental scientists and climate organization, united nation defines climate change as it refers to long term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural but unfortunately in contemporary era human activities are responsible for main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, which produces heat-trapping gases. The main gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapor
Burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests and farming livestock are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth’s temperature. This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming.
More frequent and intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans can directly and indirectly harm animals, destroy the places they live and cause great damage on people’s livelihoods, lifestyles and communities.
Impact on Pakistan
The global climate crisis composes enormous number of threats to the well-being and prosperity of the people of Pakistan. Pakistan had already witnesses several climate and weather concerned natural hazards due to its geographical diversity and a varied tropical, continental climate which are obviously hot summers and cold winters. The country experiences on and off heat waves and droughts and flash floods including landslides, and sea storms or cyclones. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of these events as well as it inflames people’s vulnerabilities. It is stated that there will be significant increases in temperature across the country and especially in the snow covered mountainous north, which lead to faster glacial will melt resulting in changes to the Indus River flows downstream.
Add on the heat waves are likely to become more frequent and intense all over Pakistan, and the number of hot days and nights are expected to increase significantly. Changes in rainfall trends will also be observed, though there may be some shifting of seasons, peak summer rain shifting to August and peak winter rains shifting to March. Extremely wet rainy days will most probably to increase across all of the country and hot cities such as Multan, Jacobabad, Sibbi, Rohri, and Nawabshah will likely experience high boiling temperature that can reach to highest degrees of Celsius.
Plantation activities throughout country is the easiest way to reduce this sudden change in climate, at least we can contribute on our behalf and plant a seed to save life because what you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make