The Innocent Victim of Climatic Changes!

12 years back in late July 2010, floods in Pakistan began resulting from heavy monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab, and, Baluchistan regions of Pakistan, which affected the Indus River basin. Approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was affected by floods, with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province facing the brunt of the damage and casualties (above 90% of all the deaths occurred in the province). Nationwide, there were 1,985 deaths. According to Pakistani government data, the floods directly affected about 20 million people, mostly by the destruction of property, livelihood, and infrastructure.

flood in Pakistan

Floods submerged 17 million acres (69,000 km2) of Pakistan's most fertile cropland, killed 200,000 livestock, and washed away massive amounts of grain. A major concern was that farmers would be unable to meet the fall deadline for planting new seeds in 2010, which implied a loss of food production in 2011, and potential long-term food shortages. The agricultural damage reached more than 2.9 billion dollars and included over 700,000 acres (2,800 km2) of lost cotton crops, 200,000 acres (810 km2) of sugar cane, and 200,000 acres (810 km2) of rice, in addition to the loss of over 500,000 tons of stocked wheat, 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) of animal fodder and the stored grain losses.

And now again on 14th June 2022, floods in Pakistan have killed 1,486 people. The floods were caused by heavier than usual monsoon rains and melting glaciers that followed a severe heat wave, all of which are linked to climate change. It is the world's deadliest flood since the 2017 South Asian floods and is described as the worst in the country's history. On 25 August, Pakistan declared a state of emergency because of the flooding. By 29 August, Pakistan's minister of climate change said around "one-third" of the country was under water, affecting 33 million people. The government of Pakistan has estimated a loss of US$30 billion so far from flooding across the country.

Climatic changes and global warming

What is the reason behind the flood in Pakistan?

Climate change is the main factor caused by an increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere mostly from fossil fuel emissions. In Pakistan, environmental degradation and climate change are adversely affecting the economy, livelihood of the poor, and sustainable development.

In carbon dioxide and other fossil fuel emissions, Pakistan contributed less than 1 percent but affecting by climate change the most.

Countries that are responsible for these climatic changes and global warming are the following: (Emission in Million metric tons)

China — 9,877.

United States — 4,745.

India — 2,310.

Russia — 1,640.

Japan — 1,056.

Germany — 644.

South Korea — 586.

Iran — 583 

Canada — 570

Saudi Arabia — 495

How to reduce and minimize the effect of climatic changes?

Put a price on carbon.

End fossil fuel subsidies.

Build low-carbon, resilient cities.

Increase energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.

Implement climate-smart agriculture and increase forest landscapes.

Forestation is the easiest and cheapest way which can reduce the effect of climatic changes and global warming. It has also some health-related benefits.

Why do I need to plant?

 If you're looking for a reason to avoid cutting down trees, this summer's record-breaking heat waves may be the reason to stop cutting trees. According to a recent study, trees can reduce summer day temperatures by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat reduction

Trees provide cool shade for houses, office buildings, parks, and roads. They turn water into vapor while cooling the air inside them. According to a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences, to get the full temperature benefit, tree canopy cover must be greater than 40 percent for cooling. "A single city would need half the coverage of a green network of branches and leaves," the experts wrote.

climate crises

Reduction of air pollution

 Trees absorb carbon which prevents the increase of carbon in the atmosphere.

Reduced energy emissions

 According to one study, trees reduce energy costs by $4 billion annually. "Having these trees shade your buildings will reduce your air conditioning costs. By removing these trees, your buildings will start to heat up, which will run more air conditioning and burn more fuel, causing pollution and Emissions to increase.