Heavy rain that caused Devastating floods across Pakistan Scientists have found that global warming has made matters worse, which increases the likelihood of future floods.
Climate change could have increased the most intense rainfall over a short period in the hardest-hit regions by about 50%, according to the A study by an international team of climate scientists.
The scientists said the floods were a one-in-100-year event, but that similar events are likely to recur in the future as global temperatures continue to rise.
Scientists have not been able to quantify the likelihood of flooding due to the climate crisis, due to the high degree of natural variability in the monsoons in the region. However, they said there is a 1% chance of such heavy rains occurring each year, and an event like this summer’s flood would likely be less likely in a world without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
Frederic Otto, Senior Lecturer at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, said the “fingerprints” of global warming can be clearly seen in Pakistan Floods, which were in line with what climatologists have predicted for severe weather.
We can say it with high confidence [the rainfall] They were less likely without climate change.” “The intensity of the precipitation has increased quite a bit.” The scientists found that historical records have shown that heavy rainfall has increased dramatically in the region since humanity began pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Otto added: “Our evidence suggests that climate change played an important role in the event, although our analysis does not allow us to quantify the role. This is because it is an area with very different weather from year to year, which makes it difficult to see long-term changes in the data.” Observed climate models.
About a third of Pakistan was affected by the floodsMore than a tenth of the country was covered by water after more than three times the rainfall rate in August. Nearly 1,500 people died and 33 million people affectedwith 1.7 million homes destroyed.
For the country as a whole, it was the wettest August since 1961, and for two southern provinces, Sindh and Baluchistan, it was the wettest on record, with roughly seven to eight times the usual amount of rain.
While increased rainfall has been affected by climatic changes, local factors have also played a role in flooding and its effects. for example, Forests in the area have been cut down over many decades, removing mangrove swamps, while man-made dams, irrigation, and other changes in waterways have also had an impact on natural flood patterns. Poor infrastructure, such as dilapidated homes in flood-prone places, has also left more people suffering as a result of the floods.
Aisha Seddiqi, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge, said:[Flooding] It has infected places where local social and ecological systems were already highly vulnerable. This catastrophe was the result of a weakness that had been built up over a number of years, and should not be seen as the result of a single event.”
Pakistan faces a cost of at least $30 billion in damages, with the loss of food crops alone amounting to about $2.3 billion, a particularly heavy burden at a time of soaring food prices around the world. About 18,000 square kilometers of farmland, including about 45% of the cotton crop, one of Pakistan’s main exports, was destroyed, and about 750,000 head of cattle were killed.
The report on Pakistan’s floods came from the World Weather Attribution, a group of scientists from around the world trying to characterize the impact of human-caused climate change on extreme weather events. They analyze such events in real time to produce rapid responses about whether climate change has affected extreme weather, a process that has been taking years.
Previous studies have found that climate change has exacerbated heat waves in indiaand Pakistan and UK earlier this year, floods in Brazil. Last year, the WWA found that a heat wave in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States was “virtually impossible” without climate change.
A recent analysis of the Guardian revealed To what extent the climate crisis “exacerbates” weather phenomena, with serious consequences.
Otto said that the countries that will meet this November for the UN COP27 Climate Conference In Egypt, you must take into account the severe weather conditions the world has experienced this year and in recent years. The lesson is that this will become more likely, and possibly more likely. Becoming more flexible is very important.”