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January 9, 2012

Snowfall on the Margallas not unusual weather phenomenon


January 9, 2012

Snowfall on Margalla Hills is not result of any unusual weather phenomenon and there is no need to worry about. However, the region would continue to suffer from some impacts related to climate change, Arif Mehmood, director general of the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) told this correspondent here on Sunday.
“I must say the snowfall on Margalla Hills has nothing to worry about because I think the climate change is causing somewhat diversion in the weather conditions and it happens all over the world,” he said.
Snowfall on Margalla Hills was certainly a matter of joy for the residents of the capital, but at the same time climate change experts have started examining the situation in the light of weather phenomenon emerging in the entire region. He said that a rain spell was likely to start on January 16 after which it would continue with intervals till the next month. “We are expecting normal rain spell in this area and the temperature will remain low in the coming weeks,” he said.
The residents said the area received heavy snowfall in 1984 when this part lost contact with lower parts of the city for many days. “That was indeed heavy snowfall and it took us a couple of days to clean roads for normal vehicular traffic.
Arif Mehmood said they cannot predict that Margalla Hills would start receiving snowfall every year because they have to closely watch the weather phenomenon in the coming years. Dr. Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry, a climate change expert, told this scribe that the main reason of snowfall on Margalla Hills was cold air that led to freezing of water in the air.
“The snowfall occurs when clouds appear in the atmosphere amid highly cold air and water vapours transform into snow particles. But we cannot say that the phenomenon would repeat itself every year,” he said. He said snowfall in this area has no significance in terms of water resources and agricultural production, as there are no sufficient fields or large water

streams that can provide water to the people.
To a question, he said they are monitoring the weather situation across the country keeping in view the growing challenges related to climate change and global warming. “We must keep it in mind that climate change has started showing its impacts on the region and now we are examining whether upcoming changes would impact positively or negatively,” he said.
Dr. Zaman said Pakistan has been ranked first in the list of countries that have been facing severe negative impacts of climate change despite the fact that it has no role in emission of greenhouse gases or causing any damage to the ozone layer.

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