Climate change likely made Pakistan’s extreme rainfall more intense: study

Buffaloes walk past a gas station amid floodwaters on the Indus Highway after rains and floods during the monsoon season on September 13, 2022 in Sehun, Pakistan. — Reuters
  • The study says that the cyclonic monsoon was a one-hundred-year phenomenon.
  • Climate change makes five-day maximum precipitation 75% more intense.
  • So far more than 1500 people have died due to flood.

London: The Stormy Monsoon More than a third of Pakistan has been inundated, scientists said on Thursday, a once-in-a-hundred-year event likely to be exacerbated by climate change.

In the worst-hit areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces, where rainfall in August was seven to eight times higher than normal, the climate change made the average five-day maximum rainfall almost 75 percent more intense. Reports Through World Weather Attribution (WWA), an international research collaboration that explores the role of climate change in extreme events.

Across the Indus basin, scientists found that climate change has increased maximum rainfall during the two-month monsoon period by about 50 percent.

They used 31 computer models in their analysis, along with real-world observations.

WWA previously analyzed the deadly heat wave that scorched India and Pakistan in March and April, with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius. Climate change has made heat waves 30 times more likely, he said.

Their results were less conclusive for heavy rains in Pakistan.

“The role of climate change in heat waves is much larger than in extreme rainfall,” said WWA co-leader Friedrich Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London.

Analyzing the role of climate change in Pakistan’s floods is also difficult, as there are many drivers behind this year’s extremes, scientists said.

Ongoing La Niña conditions – a global weather pattern that can affect ocean temperatures – combined with a negative dipole in the Indian Ocean – which causes heavy rainfall in the eastern Indian Ocean – are feeding the monsoons. .

Current weaknesses

The floods have so far claimed more than 1,500 lives and displaced millions, washing away roads, homes and farmland. Disadvantages A total of over $30 billion is expected.

Pakistani officials say it could take up to six months for the floodwaters to recede completely, raising fears of water-borne diseases such as dengue and cholera.

Although climate change has made monsoon rains worse this year, the havoc they cause cannot be attributed to heat alone.

Scientists pointed out that the construction of houses and agricultural land on known flood plains, as well as inadequate infrastructure such as dams, worsened the effects of heavy rains.

“The lower Indus basin has drainage problems, even in non-flood years,” said Ayesha Siddiqui, a geographer at the University of Cambridge.

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