General Science and Ability: Climate
“General science and ability” is the scoring subject of CSS and PMS compulsory papers. If you make sure to attempt it in the right way you will get maximum marks. It includes the Food Sciences, Information Technology, Chemistry, and Physiology portion. Previously it was Everyday Sciences (EDS), but now it is GSA. It also includes an ability portion that is related to scientific methods, trigonometry, and Algebra.
Here, in this blog, we will discuss the major climate issues of Pakistan, which is a major topic of general science and ability.
Heatwaves, Glacier Melting – Everything Obvious But Neglected
The rapidly changing climate is one of the biggest dangers to the long-term sustainability of life on Earth. Global warming is one of the most critical factors contributing to environmental harm. In addition to polluting the air, burning fossil fuels increases the number of greenhouse gases (GHG) released into the atmosphere, which increases the planet’s average temperature.
Numerous impacts of climate change are expected for Pakistan in the coming years, including decreasing agricultural productivity, improved water supply unpredictability, and extreme weather events.
As per the Germanwatch report, Pakistan is among the top 10 nations in the world most affected by climate change during the past 20 years, along with Japan, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and others.
Main Perils of Climate Change in Pakistan
There are various symptoms of climate change and global warming such as simultaneous floods and drought in different parts of the country, heatwaves, landslides, glacier melting, and much more. Pakistan is expected to enhance the intensity and frequency of these events owing to continuous increments of greenhouse gas emissions.
Smoke is actually a combination of smoke + fog. Smog composition includes ozone (O3); primary particulate matter; secondary particulate matter e.g, sulfur oxides; nitrogen oxides (NOX), and ammonia gas.
According to the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), smog is to be the fifth season in the year, particularly in Lahore and its nearby areas. Its intensity is continuously enhancing for the last few years.
It reduces visibility everywhere, slows down daily tasks, leads to major accidents, and often delays flights. Approximately 2.8 million people are killed every year due to household exposure to smoke from fuels and dirty stoves. Data by WHO reveals that every 9 out of 10 people live in places that contain pollutants in the air exceeding WHO guidelines.
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2. Disturbed Rainfall Patterns
Food quality and access are also impacted by climate change, which can also affect the food supply. Reduced agricultural output may be the result of projected temperature rises. Modifications to precipitation patterns, modifications to extreme weather events, and decreases in water availability can also cause reduced agricultural output.
The patterns of Pakistan’s rainfall have significantly changed, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD). Both total dryness and heavy rains may sometimes destroy crops. This sudden tendency has caused a catastrophe in the agricultural industry.
3. Sweltering Heat Waves
In Pakistan, record-breaking heatwaves in April with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius affected millions of people. The “unprecedented” heatwaves were consistent with the effects of climate change that experts had projected would occur. Around three million people were also in danger of glacial floods as a result of the severe temperatures. The Guardian reports that Jacobabad, Pakistan recently had one of the warmest April temps ever, with a temperature of 49 degrees Celsius.
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4. Extensive and Frequent Floods
Massive monsoon rains strike Pakistan every year, which can result in floods and other disasters. We had the worst floods in Pakistani history in 2022.
In Pakistan, floods have claimed the lives of 1,717 persons since June 14, 2022. They were brought on by monsoon rains, which are related to climate change, and glaciers melting after a very hot spell. Pakistan proclaimed a state of emergency on August 25 due to the heaviest floods since the South Asian floods of 2020. South Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan are the regions most severely impacted by recent floods.
5. Thawing of Glaciers
Indications tell that there is a significant increase in temperature all around Pakistan which will be the cause of the melting of glaciers. And, this melting will eventually affect the Indus river flow. Agriculture is the main source of income for 42% of the population in Pakistan and River Indus and its tributaries support 90% of farmlands in Pakistan. River Indus flow is being altered because of glacier melting which will be harmful to farmlands. It will also suffer in infrastructure and lives, as we have seen in the floods of 2022.
The recent Shisper glacial outburst and subsequent damage to the bridge in Hunza’s Hasan Abad valley blocked the Karakoram highway. It predicted a dire need to prevent all the negative impacts of climate change.
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6. Wild Fires
Wildfire refers to an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as grassland or forest. Its causes can be natural or synthetic. Natural causes include lightning and man-made causes can be any human activity in that area that leads to wildfire.
In Pakistan, the wildfire hazard is classified as high which means there is more than a 50% chance of encountering weather that could support a significant wildfire. It can result in both life and infrastructure loss. Its recent example is the wildfire in the Pine forests of Koh–e–Sulaiman in Balochistan province. In this, three persons lost their lives and four were injured, while according to an estimation, 4000 people were displaced.
Overall, Pakistan is recognized as one of the most affected countries by climate change. There is a dire need to contain these issues.