News Analysis |
The effects of climate change, which are vivid across the globe for over a few decades, have become more visible for the South-Asian country, Pakistan. One of the cities of Pakistan, some 276 kilometers off Karachi, named Nawabshah, have endured the highest-ever temperature recorded for the month of April.
According to Etienne Kapikian, a meteorologist at Meteo France, the temperature recorded in Nawabshah city on April 30 was the highest ever for Pakistan and Asia at large. Christopher Burt, a global expert on weather extremes, went a mile further in his assessment and suggested that the temperature might have been the highest ever recorded in the world in the given month. Although the highest-ever temperature was gauged at 51.0 Celsius in Santa Rosa, Mexico, in April 2001, Burt claims that it was of dubious reliability.
Burt’s assertion cannot be verified independently as the World Meteorological Organization does not keep a record of temperatures, but his peers are confident that Burt was meticulous in his observations. Nawabshah, whose revised name is Shaheed Benazirabad, is in the metrological news for the first time, as it recently set a monthly record for the highest temperature in Pakistan, during a heat wave last month.
The Billion Tree Tsunami project of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government can be a ray of hope and guidance for the upcoming regimes to tackle the issue seriously, otherwise, cities of the violence-battered country would be registering fresh records in terms of temperature.
Moreover, in March, Nawabshah set a new monthly temperature record for Pakistan, as the heat wave catapulted the temperature to a national record of 113.9 degrees or 45.5 Celsius.. Pakistan has been setting new records for highest-ever temperatures for several years. In May 2017, the temperature of Turbat city, located in southern Balochistan, surged to 128.3 degrees or 53.5 Celsius, tying the all-time highest temperature for Pakistan and the world-record temperature for that month.
In May 2010, the same temperature of 53.5 Celsius was recorded in Moenjo Daro, the archaeological site in the province of Sindh, implying that the spike was not an instantaneous development, but a catastrophe under development. Moving on, the population of Nawabshah is far too less and according to the latest census conducted in 2017, the city ranks far beyond the 25th rank in terms of headcount. Furthermore, Nawabshah also has a dismal number of automobiles. With this in mind, the rising temperature in the city is a harbinger of the fact that, besides population growth, global warming was the cause of escalating temperatures.
Although global warming is a worldwide phenomenon and international agreements like Kyoto protocol and Paris Climate Change Agreement have been inked by international players, Pakistan has been placed as the 7th most vulnerable country to climate change by the Germanwatch, a German think tank. The Global Climate Risk Index 2018 gauges death toll, due to climate change, to 523.1 lives per year for Pakistan. Moreover, it narrates that the super floods of 2010 ranked Pakistan on the top among the countries most affected by climate change, as it lost US $25.3 billion and 5.4 percent of the GDP.
According to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the last five floods between 2010 and 2014 inflicted a financial loss of over $18 billion with 38.12 million people affected, 3.45 million houses damaged and 10.63 million acres of crops destroyed, all due to the effects of climate change. Although climate change might appear to be affecting the weather patterns and pushing the temperature beyond bearable limits, its effects are more widened and devastating.
Nawabshah, whose revised name is Shaheed Benazirabad, is in the metrological news for the first time, as it recently set a monthly record for the highest temperature in Pakistan, during a heat wave last month.
According to the Asian Development Bank, the sea level along the Karachi coast has risen nearly 10 cm over the last century, posing a threat to the residents of the port city. Moreover, climate change also dents the availability of water; according to International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan would need 274 million acre-feet (MAF) of water by 2025 while the estimated supply will remain stagnant at 191 MAF. This does not take in to account the dilemma of water wastage, which would deteriorate the situation further.
Read more: Thanks to climate change bread is less tasty
Moreover, Climate change can also lead to the escalation of chronic diseases owing to air and water pollution, which can aggravate the risk of asthma attacks and respiratory illnesses. According to Senator Mushahidullah Khan, Federal Minister for Climate Change, there are already over 14 million Pakistanis who suffer from asthma and climate change can catapult the number of victims.
Although Pakistan announced the National Climate Change Policy in 2013, practical steps are needed to introduce green fiscal reforms. The Billion Tree Tsunami project of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government can be a ray of hope and guidance for the upcoming regimes to tackle the issue seriously, otherwise, cities of the violence-battered country would be registering fresh records in terms of temperature.