Another day, another record broken. Earlier, it was Skardu where mercury levels dropped to -21°C, breaking a 25-year-old record. Now in Lahore, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) recorded temperatures as low as 2°C. This temperature was last recorded 35 years ago.
A severe cold wave has enveloped the country in the last couple of days. Northern areas have experienced heavy snowfall while dense fog continues to disrupt everyday life in Punjab, Sindh, and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).
According to Muhammad Riaz, Chief Meteorologist, the cold weather will prevail until mid-January. A shallow cold wave from the west has entered the country that will further lower the temperature in the western and northern areas.
Furthermore, Gilgit-Baltistan and Upper parts of KPK will experience intermittent snowfall while Punjab and upper Sindh will remain engulfed in dense fog. Unlike northern areas, cold and dry weather will prevail in the rest of the country.
The fog continues to disrupt traffic on the motorways and highways. Authorities have advised citizens to avoid unnecessary travel during night time due to zero visibility. Railway traffic has also taken a hit due to the continuously high fog levels and routine operations at the airports remain largely suspended.
Climate Change Affecting Pakistan
Although Pakistan’s carbon contribution to global warming is minimal, the country is one of the worst affected ones in the world.
Pakistan’s annual mean temperature has increased by 0.5°C during the past 50 years. As a result, the number of annual days of heatwaves in Pakistan has increased five-fold. Moreover, sea intrusion is also on the rise as sea levels have increased 10 cm over the last century. Areas adjoining Indus delta have seen rising sea levels and fast depleting mangroves that once safeguarded the region.
Rivers will flow with even more intensity in the future as rainfall increases and glaciers will melt rapidly. With the rise of temperature, evaporation will increase as well, increasing the demand for water for irrigation purposes. The yield of wheat, rice, and cotton will decline which can result in a food shortage.
Via: Express Tribune