Thursday, January 24, 2013

'Climate change in Pakistan turning extreme'

Suhail Yusuf in Data presented at a seminar on climate change in Pakistan highlighted trends where this South Asian country, which stretches from high, snow-capped mountains to a deltaic coast, could be in for a sharp rise in average temperatures and extremely erratic weather.

The seminar, held last month (29 December), analysed data in a new report produced by top non-government organisations, LEAD-Pakistan and the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan, with funding from the European Union.

Data gleaned from 56 meteorological stations showed heat waves increasing from 1980 to 2009, a period marked by glacier retreats, steadily rising average temperature in the Indus delta and changes in temperature behaviour in summer and winter.

The report, titled Climate Change in Pakistan, forecast low agricultural productivity from lack of water for irrigation and erratic rainfall. Conditions in the fertile Indus delta, already facing saline water intrusion and coastal erosion, are expected to deteriorate further.

Ghulam Rasul, chief meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department and author of the report, told SciDev.Net that although Pakistan's contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is low, it is among countries highly vulnerable to climate change....

Photo of a Pakistani village by Hi781, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

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