Saturday August 13, 2022

Temperature in Pakistan to rise beyond global average

June 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Already risen in the last century, the temperature in Pakistan is on course for climbing further in the next 80 years and that, too, beyond the global average increasing the incidence of floods, droughts, and heat waves, warns the country's Economic Survey for the financial year 2018-19.

According to the survey report, the mean annual temperature has gone up in Pakistan with Sindh and Balochistan recording a greater increase than other provinces and regions. The increase in temperature is higher in winters than summers with the maximum being recorded in December and February.

“During the last century, the average temperature across Pakistan has increased by 0.6 degree Celsius, which is in conformity with the increase of average global temperature.

However, the future climate change projections show that the average rise in temperature by the end of the century will be around one degree Celsius higher than the global one causing more warming in the northern regions than the southern ones. The higher temperature will increase the frequency of floods, droughts, heat waves, and cyclonic activity, steady regression of most glaciers except a small minority in the Karakorum Range that supply the bulk of the country's water supply, and changes in the rainfall patterns," it said.

The report also revealed an increase in annual precipitation in most parts of the country with September and June recording the most of it.

According to it, the high incidence of hydrological extreme events has increased flash flooding of mountainous streams in the country’s north. The report feared a reduction in cereal crop yields due to climate change in the days ahead.

“Southeastern side of Pakistan is more vulnerable to the consecutive heat day stress during flowering and ripening stages of wheat. This vulnerability is increasing both spatially and temporally to all the major wheat producing zones from lower Sindh to Potohar region until the end of the 21st century. In the absence of a change in management practices and technology, an overall reduction will be registered for all cereal crop yields.”

The report declared the transport sector as the biggest contributor (43 percent) to the total air pollution in Punjab followed by industry (25 percent), the burning of rice residue (20 percent), and power sector (12 percent).

“Overall, the energy sector occupies 80 percent of the total air pollutants emissions in Punjab. The emissions of NOx, the main pollutant responsible for smog formation, are the highest from the transport sector (58 percent), while industry and power collectively hold 34 percent share in NOx emissions and the rice residue burning nine percent,” it said. Warning Pakistan is facing environmental challenges including climate change impacts, loss of biological diversity, deforestation and degradation of air and water quality, the report suggested the revival of forestry and control air, weather, wildlife, forestation, watershed management, and soil conservation as corrective measures.