Another heatwave expected next year


On Tuesday, secretary to the minister of climate change, Arif Ahmed Khan, informed the parliament that there is a 90% chance of another heatwave next year.

His statement in the national assembly was in reply to a complaint made by MNA Imran Zafar Laghari, that the government was not informed beforehand of the current heatwave, otherwise necessary safety measures could have been taken. Mr Laghari said that no early warnings were issued to the public either, by the ministry, which resulted in more than 1300 deaths in Sindh. He said that it was a duty not fulfilled.

In response to this, the secretary informed the lawmakers that Pakistan was in the list of countries observing severe climate changes; therefore the public should be prepared to expect extreme weather in any season. He referred to international scientific studies over change in climate and said that countries which are experiencing extreme climates would continue to do so and most probably with a greater intensity each year. He said that it may not be Karachi each time; this pattern of extreme climate may shift to other cities of Pakistan next year, giving examples of Lahore and Gujranwala. He said that 50% of Pakistani population or 22% of the land is under high risks for future years. According to statistics of the Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan is losing almost Rs365 billion yearly to climate change due to medical issues and problems in crops.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has announced chances of urban floods due to heavy monsoon rainfall. This endless rainfall after extreme sun and humidity in major cities of Northern Punjab including the capital city Islamabad has raised the chances of an emergency. Experts are taking these extreme climate changes very cautiously and have called the next 48 hours crucial.