Heatwaves to Increase as Annual Average Temperature Rises by 0.5°C in Pakistan

Over the last five decades, the annual average temperature in the country has mounted by roughly 0.5°C, which raised the number of heat wave days per year nearly fivefold during the last three decades.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Climate Change, Mohammad Salem, said that according to Climate Change Profile of Pakistan Report – published by the Asian Development Bank – 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, devouring thousands of hectares of coastal lands, according to the Asian Development Bank’s report. He said, the report further warns that the annual mean temperature in Pakistan is expected to rise by 3°C to 5°C due to a central global emissions scenario, while higher global emissions may yield a rise of 4°C to 6°C.

Predicting the future scenario of the sea-level rise, the report said that the sea-level will to go up by a further 60 centimeters by the end of the century and affect the low-lying coastal areas south of Karachi toward Keti Bander and the Indus River delta.

Referring to the report findings, the spokesperson highlighted that climatic changes might potentially bear various negative effects on the country’s farm productivity, water availability, increase coastal erosion and seawater incursion and frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

“Therefore, coping with climate risks through adaptation and mitigation efforts – particularly in the agriculture, water, energy and health sectors – is now inevitable for the country, which can be achieved only through well-coordinated efforts and programs by federal ministries, provincial and district departments,” he added.

He also said that role of non-governmental policy research and development organisations in helping the government agencies for climate change policies and action-plans is of paramount significance to protect lives and livelihoods of the people and make the public infrastructure, agriculture, water, energy and health sectors climate-resilient.

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