Changing climate and its effects on Pakistan

Saiqa Sharif

“We are the first generation to be able to end poverty, and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Future generations will judge us harshly if we fail to upload our moral and historical responsibilities.” (Ban Ki-moon secretary-general UN).

Changing in weather patterns is called Climate Change. It is a main issue of these days as it is disturbing the world in several ways. The main sources of climate change include the liberation of greenhouse gases, burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, extreme use of fertilizers and many more. Practically all the causes of climate change are due to human deeds. Humans are cutting down trees, burning fossil fuels at very high rate and using a lot of fertilizers and increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Due to these anthropogenic actions, the ozone is also depleting.

According to the 2018 Global Climate Risk Index released by the public policy group Germanwatch, Pakistan is amongst the top 10 countries mostly affected by climate change. According to a 2012 World Wildlife Fund report, Pakistan is located in a geographic region where average temperatures are predicted to rise faster than in another place, increasing 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit per year. In April 2018 the temperature in city of Nawabshah rose to 50.2 degrees Celsius, which was the hottest day on earth ever recorded in April.

Pakistan’s greenhouse gases productions have doubled in last 2 decades. On a global scale, Pakistan ranks 135th in per capita GHG emissions in the world. The major effects of climate change are global warming. Pakistan is frequently facing natural hazards like floods, droughts, and cyclones.

Melting glaciers in the Himalayas and unusual rain falls are increase flooding. Melting of glaciers will be followed by decreased river flows over time as glaciers remove. Freshwater accessibility is also likely to decrease which will lead to biodiversity loss and decrease accessibility of freshwater for the people.

Pakistani population directly or indirectly depend on agriculture for their food. Climate change is predictable to decline crop yields in Pakistan which in turn will affect incomes and food production. Our country’s 65-70% of agriculture area is the victim of abrupt climate change. Relating the decreased yields with the recent rapid population growth and urbanization in the country, the risk of food shortage and food safety will keep on high. The periodic changes are changing sowing time for crops which accordingly changes irrigation requirements which change the properties of soil and rise the risk of pest and infection attack it also negatively changing agricultural yield.

The recent studies show that Pakistan’s 22.8% land and 49.6% population is at threat due to impressions of climate change. The infections which are transferred by vectors for example malaria, dengue cholera etc. that are already cause of low mortality rate in Pakistan are climate sensitive. Climate change situations have given rise to in an increase in the epidemic potential for 12-27 percent for malaria and 31-47 percent of dengue.

There are many solutions to combat climate change, which not only include one person or government, but include public, persons, administrations and other organizations of the world.

The solutions are: Trees should be planted to reduce carbon dioxide which is the main greenhouse gas. Energy should be used efficiently, it is duty of every person to switch off extra electricity buttons and plug out switches when appliances are not used. Use Renewable power sources. The garbage should not be burned, it may be made composts for kitchen gardens. Recycling is one of the most effective ways to check carbon productions. The handling of industrial waste should be made compulsory all over the world. Electric vehicles should be preferred. Use of chemicals like sprays and fertilizers etc. Should be reduced. The power generation should be done by environmental friendly means. Conservation practices should be implemented regarding agriculture. Media should spread awareness regarding the effects of climate change.

If every person take one step then these steps will make a huge change but a one person alone cannot make any change. So wakeup to combat these climate changes to save yourself and your future generations. “Global warming is not conqueror to kneel before- but a challenge to rise to. A challenge we must rise to.” (Joe Lieberman).



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