• Wednesday, April 12, 2023

  • CUI

  • CCRD

Climate Change Investigations in Pakistan 

Prof. Dr. Athar Hussain, Head CCRD, gave invited talk titled ‘Climate Change Investigations in Pakistan’ in Seminar on Climate Change: Act Now organized by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and Department of Meteorology, CUI, held at CUI, on 6 December 2022, and in 7th International Water Conference 2022, held at PCRWR, on 29-30 December 2022 (Co-hosted by CCRD). The summary of the talk is as follows:  

Essentially all the recent published works and reports related to state of climate of Pakistan are indicative of the fact that the climate of Pakistan is changing its manifestations including the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events, resulting in heat waves and floods. This tendency is witnessed in Summers of 2019 and 2022 in Pakistan, as well as globally too. The current rate of warming in Pakistan is about 0.34 degree Celsius per decade, when averaged over recent 30 to 35 years. This means that starting from year 2000, by 2030, a more than 1.0 degree Celsius warming is predicted. By same reasoning, a 3.5 to 4.0 degree Celsius warming is predicted by 2099. This clearly indicates an overshoot of temperature limits (relative to 1.5 to 2.0 degree Celsius), as suggested in Paris agreement at COP 21.

A more integrated and bottom-up approach is needed to address the various issues arising from such a high rate of warming in Pakistan. For comparison, the cumulative rest of world warming rate is somewhat lower than this one, for the same period. This 7th edition of Conference thus has the following four sub-themes: 1. Climate Change & Maritime Security, 2. Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF), 3. Water Pollution & Waste Water Management, 4. Islamic Perspective on Climate Change, Water Pollution & Water Management.  The above four sub-themes of this International Water Conference have rightly and timely addressed the selected issues, since contemporary community-based solutions are always key to any adaptation and mitigation strategy against adverse consequences of regional change in climate.   

Additionally, the changing precipitation patterns and rising temperatures in Pakistan are redistributing the occurrence patterns of vector borne diseases, including Dengue and Malaria. In particular, a northward moving tendency is noticed for both diseases, in Pakistan. The north west ward shift of monsoon in recent decades in Pakistan is also corroborating this tendency, as this shift contributes towards spatial re-distribution of freshwater resources. This is because of the availability of more favorable environment for mosquito larva to grow (temperature and humidity). These noticed tendencies require a carefully planned coordination between water resources management and health care providers, starting from grass root level.

Being from Climate Science community, through this gathering of experts, I would like to draw attention of all those concerned towards the fact that Pakistan still does not have a weather forecasting model nor a climate prediction model tuned specifically to address the peculiar geography induced factors causing uncertainties in weather forecasting and climate predictions of Pakistan. Having such tuned models will help us in reducing uncertainties that in turn have considerable economic impacts on all sectors of our society. The world around us has already realized significance of this resource development and have addressed it domestically and are benefiting from it. 

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