DAA Daily

Pakistan floods possibly worsens due to global warming

By Lauren Chalouhi, Editor-in-chief, The Pawprint

Scientists have said that it is likely that global warming played a role in the disastrous floods in Pakistan.

Researchers from the World Weather Attribution group, which is an international attempt to study possible effects of climate change on weather events like storms, droughts, heavy rainfall and hate waves. They said it is possible that climate change may have increased the extremity of rainfall.

Although there were many doubts and uncertainties in the results, they weren’t able to assess the scale of how bad it was.

Scientists believe that there is a 1% chance that an event like this will happen again in the next year.

Within the last two months since the flooding started, over ten million people have been affected. Over 1,500 people have died because of the rising water levels.

The intensity of the rain made the Indus Tributaries burst its banks. That has created water levels to rise even higher, and landslides and flash floods wash out many areas.

Politicians from the start have signaled climate change as being one of the main contributors to the floods, however the first analysis scientists have made says the issue is more complicated.

Earlier this year the heatwaves in Pakistan were much easier to account for, researchers finding that climate change made it 30 times more possible for the heatwaves to happen.

Although rainfalls are harder to investigate. Pakistan is on the edge of the monsoon area, where the rainfall pattern varies every year.

More issues involve the impact of large weather events like La Niña. Also playing a role in the last flood in Pakistan in 2010.

Through the course of the 60 day heavy rainfall, scientists have recorded an increase of around 75% over the Indus river basin, (which is one of the most important drainage systems in India.) While the heaviest five day period recorded a rise of around 50%.

Then researchers used climate models to see the possibility that these events would occur in a world without global warming.

Some models show that the increase in heavy rainfall could be because of human caused climate change, but there were many uncertainties in the results.

One of the report’s authors from Imperial College London, Friederike Otto, said, “Our evidence suggests that climate change played an important role in the event, although our analysis doesn’t allow us to quantify how big the role was,”

Researchers said that the rainfall Pakistan has gone through this year, has around a 1% possibility of recurring in any given year. However, this probability does have a large range of uncertainties.

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