Glacial ice is melting as the planet warms. According to the UN Development Programme, glaciers in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces are melting quickly and producing more than 3,000 lakes. This is ultimately going to result in excessive floods in Pakistan.
Pakistan is receiving the worst floods of all time. The catastrophic floods have resulted in massive destruction in about one-third of the country. The ongoing situation has cost more than 1100 lives and a million houses have been wrecked, and to make it worse, 33 million people have had direct consequences!
In recent decades, extreme weather has resulted in heat waves, droughts, floods, etc. due to global warming. Nearly 70% of the population at risk for flooding, according to a World Bank assessment, resides in South and East Asia.
The largest estate agency in Pakistan, Agency21 International, is going to highlight how climate change significantly contributed to floods in Pakistan.
How does Climate Change Affect Floods?
Like other disasters, flooding involves a variety of competing factors that may have a conflicting impact on its frequency and intensity. An increasingly significant component of the mix is climate change, which is making excessive rainfall in many storms worse.
It is a matter of fact that floods will increase all over the world due to global warming and climate change. Heat waves are at their peak and the atmosphere is getting warmer by the day.
More precipitation will occur as a result of rising temperatures, which will also enhance the air’s capacity to store moisture. Controlling floods is next to impossible due to this nature phenomenon.
Science reveals that the excessive release of greenhouse gases will discourage the Earth from cooling itself. For every degree the atmosphere warms, it can hold about 6%-7% more moisture, which results in more rainfall, and thus more floods.
How are Floods Caused?
There are a few main factors that affect the formation of floods. Precipitation, terrain, glacier melt, snowmelt, and the amount of moisture in the soil are some of them. Some aspects might be more important than others depending on the type of flood.
It is pertinent to state that flooding can also occur in places where there are no adjacent water bodies. Particularly anywhere that sees heavy rainfall for a brief amount of time, flash floods can form.
Why are Floods Targeting Pakistan?
Floods are ferocious in Pakistan due to many reasons. It can be seen that Pakistan’s massive glaciers are a factor that makes the country vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.
It is important to know that despite producing less than 1% of the greenhouse gases that warm our planet, Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to its geographic location.
Furthermore, Pakistan is situated in a region of the world that experiences the full force of two significant weather systems. One can bring about drought and high temperatures, while the other provides monsoon rains. The science connecting a changing climate to stronger monsoons is pretty straightforward.
Facts state that flooding in Pakistan can be excessive because the famous Indus river, which swells and can flood during monsoon rains, is where the majority of Pakistan’s population is concentrated.
As mentioned before, the increase in air and ocean temperatures brought on by global warming increases evaporation. Rainfall during the monsoon increases because warmer air can hold more moisture.
What Does the Future Hold?
Scientists believe that floods will be a more common occurrence now since greenhouse gas emissions from humans are continuing at their current rate. Consequently, the Earth will continue to produce heat waves, increasing moisture in the atmosphere, and thus more rainfalls and floods.
It is suspected that initially the sea levels will rise, and coastal flooding will get worse. Ice sheets and glaciers melting increase the ocean’s volume, while the water itself expands as it warms.
Moreover, with excessive greenhouse gas emissions and precipitation, there will be an increase in flash floods. More moisture is discharged as rain or snow when the temperature is warmer because evaporation is increased.
Additionally, scientists anticipate that as the climate warms, flash floods will shorten their duration while increasing their magnitude. For obvious reasons, floods with greater flash might be more harmful and destructive.
Climate change is a problem in Pakistan. Climate change has significantly contributed to the ongoing floods by intensifying this occurrence even further.
Pakistan has approximately 7000 glaciers in its northern region, and the heatwaves only cause them to melt faster, thus resulting in excessive flooding. The ferocious flooding has caused immense damage and suffering to approximately one-third of the country.
It is crystal obvious from projections that Pakistan will become a hotspot for increases in extreme rainfall as a result of further climate change.
To prevent comparable or even greater catastrophes, the nation must be prepared for future flooding. To do this, international investment for adaptation must rise to keep pace with the wealthy nations’ massive contribution to this new climate.