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Climate change of Pakistan and its effect on agriculture

Hina Mustafa

Pakistan is the 7th most vulnerable country to climate change.  In the last 50 years, the annual mean temperature in Pakistan has increased by roughly 0.5°C. The number of heat wave days per year has increased nearly fivefold in the last 30 years.

Annual precipitation has historically shown high variability but has slightly increased in the last 50 years. Sea level along the Karachi coast has risen approximately 10 centimeters in the last century. By the end of this century, the annual mean temperature in Pakistan is expected to rise by 3°C to 5°C for a central global emissions scenario, while higher global emissions may yield a rise of 4°C to 6°C. Average annual rainfall is not expected to have a significant long-term trend, but is expected to exhibit large inter-annual variability.

Due to this climatic condition Pakistan has faced catastrophic floods, droughts, and cyclones in recent years that have killed and displaced thousands, destroyed livelihoods, and damaged infrastructure. The main causes of climate change include the emission of greenhouse gases, burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, increasing livestock farming, excessive use of fertilizers, use of aerosol sprays and many more. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and other fluorinated gases. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas which is added to the atmosphere by burning of the fossil.

Most all the causes of climate change are due to human activities. Humans are cutting down trees, burning fossil fuels at an alarming rate, using a lot of fertilizers and increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Due to these anthropogenic activities, the ozone is also depleting. The biggest effect of climate change is global warming, increase of earth’s temperature, which is the main cause of acute drought conditions.

The availability of water for domestic and agricultural uses is badly affected by it. Pakistan’s greenhouse gases emissions have doubled in last 2 decades. On the global scale Pakistan ranks 135th in per capita GHG emissions in the world.

The agriculture sector is the victim of abrupt climate change in a country. 65-70% of country’s population is directly or indirectly related to agriculture. The seasonal changes are changing sowing time for crops which consequently changes irrigation requirements which modify the properties of soil and increase the risk of pest and disease attack, negatively altering agricultural productivity.

There are many solutions to climate change which involve community, individuals, governments and other agencies of the world. More and more trees should be planted, Energy should be used efficiently. Renewable power sources should be adopted.

The garbage should not be burned or burry in landfills. It may be made composts for kitchen gardens. The loss of water in any form should be checked.

Electric automobiles should be preferred. Recycling is one of the most effective ways to check carbon emissions. Media should spread awareness regarding the effects of climate change. Use eco-friendly appliances.

The treatment of industrial waste should be made mandatory all over the world. Governments should start taking this problem seriously. They should implement Paris agreement in their countries.

They should start investing in projects which can try to minimize climate change. Plastic should not be used. Environment-friendly shopper bags should be used. Use of aerosol sprays should be minimized. The misuse of fertilizers should be avoided. Water should be used wisely. The power generation should be done by environmental friendly means. Conservation practices should be adopted regarding agriculture.



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