The well-known components of a warming world were visible: sweltering heat, hotter air holding more moisture, wilder extreme weather, melting glaciers, vulnerable populations, and poverty. In Pakistan, a fragile country, they combined to produce relentless rain and fatal flooding.
Though the flooding has all the signs of a disaster fueled by climate change, it is too soon to formally blame it on it. It happened in a nation that contributed little to global warming but continues to be struck, much like the constant rain.
“This year Pakistan has received the highest rainfall in at least three decades. So far this year the rain is running at more than 780% above average levels,”. “Extreme weather patterns are turning more frequent in the region and Pakistan is not a exception.
While pointing out these well-known signs of climate change, scientists have not yet completed the complex calculations comparing what occurred in Pakistan to what would occur in a world without warming. The results of that study, which are anticipated in a few weeks, will formally establish how much, if any, climate change is a factor.
The “recent flood in Pakistan is actually an outcome of the climate catastrophe … that was looming very large,”. “The kind of incessant rainfall that has happened … has been unprecedented.”
Pakistan is accustomed to monsoons and heavy rains, but “we do expect them spread out, usually across three months or two months.”
There are typically breaks and less rain; nonetheless, 37.5 centimetres (14.8 inches) of rain fell in one day, about three times the national average for the previous 30 years. “It’s also not that long. … After eight weeks, we may get another rain in September.
The unprecedented floods was brought on by a 400% increase in the average rainfall in places like Baluchistan and Sindh. Dam breaches number at least 20.
Just like the rain, the heat has been nonstop. Pakistan experienced temperatures that were consistently above 45 °C in May. (113 Fahrenheit). In locations like Jacobabad and Dadu, scorching temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) have been recorded.
Warmer air retains more moisture—roughly 7% more per degree Celsius (4% per degree Fahrenheit)—and this moisture finally falls, in this case in torrents.
Globally, “strong rain storms are getting more powerful,”. Once the clouds pass, mountains, like those in Pakistan, aid in removing additional rainfall.
The severe heat in Pakistan speeds up long-term glacier melting, which causes water to rush from the Himalayas to Pakistan in hazardous phenomenon known as glacial lake outburst floods. This causes flash flooding in Pakistan in addition to the usual flooding caused by overflowing rivers.
According to experts and government officials, the tragedy is occurring in a developing nation that has made just a little contribution to the global climate crisis. Since 1959, Pakistan has produced only 0.4% of the heat-trapping carbon dioxide that the United States and China have produced (21.5% and 16.4%, respectively).
Courtesy : Sneha Swaminathan