Global warming, man-made factors worsened Pakistan floods: Study | Floods News

Human-caused climate change likely contributed to the deadly floods in Pakistan recently, experts say in a recent scientific evaluation that checked out how much global warming was guilty.

The World Weather Attribution, a group of mostly volunteer scientists from world wide who do real-time studies of maximum weather, released their report on Thursday.

The study said global warming was not the largest reason behind the catastrophic floods that at one point submerged one-third of the country, affecting 33 million people, killing greater than 1,500 thus far, and destroying greater than one million homes.

“The identical event would probably have been much less likely in a world without human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, meaning climate change likely made the intense rainfall more probable,” the study said.

Human-caused “climate change also plays a very vital role here,” said the study’s senior writer Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College of London.

“What we saw in Pakistan is precisely what climate projections have been predicting for years … Additionally it is in step with historical records showing that heavy rainfall has dramatically increased within the region since humans began emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” she said.

Otto said while it was hard to place a precise figure on the extent to which man-made emissions drove the rainfall, “the fingerprints of worldwide warming are evident”.

The study found that August rainfall within the worst-hit Sindh and Balochistan provinces – together nearly the scale of Spain – was eight and nearly seven times normal amounts, while the country as an entire had three and a half times its normal rainfall.

The scientists not only examined records of past rains, which only return to 1961, but they used computer simulations to match what happened last month with what would have happened in a world without heat-trapping gases from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas – and that difference is what they may attribute to climate change.

Study co-author Fahad Saeed, a climate scientist at Climate Analytics and the Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, said quite a few aspects made this monsoon season much wetter than normal, including La Nina, the natural cooling of a part of the Pacific Ocean that alters weather worldwide.

But other aspects had the signature of climate change, Saeed said. A nasty heatwave within the region earlier in the summertime – which was made 30 times more likely due to climate change – increased the differential between land and water temperatures. That differential determines how much moisture goes from the ocean to the monsoon and means more of it drops.

“This disaster was the results of vulnerability that was constructed over many, a few years,” said study team member Ayesha Siddiqi of the University of Cambridge.

Muhammad Irfan Tariq, an Islamabad-based climate expert, told Al Jazeera the World Weather Attribution report is an try to “understand linkages between climate change and the variety of developmental paradigm being pursued”.

Tariq, who can also be a member of a working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body, said natural disasters will grow to be more frequent and extreme because the climate crisis intensifies.

“We reported this earlier as well and you only need to take a look at events that unfolded this yr in Pakistan. We’ve had heatwaves, now we have had droughts, now we have had extreme monsoon. The cycle is changing a lot and so rapidly that the whole lot is now becoming a serious disaster,” he told Al Jazeera.

The World Meteorological Organization this week said that weather-related disasters similar to Pakistan’s had increased five-fold during the last 50 years, killing 115 people every day on average.

The warning got here as nations are gearing up for the COP27 climate summit in Egypt in November, where at-risk countries are demanding that wealthy, historic polluters compensate them for the climate-drive loss and damage already battering their economies and infrastructure.

Study co-author Saeed said the floods showed the necessity for richer nations to radically ramp up funding to assist others adapt to climate change – one other key ask at COP27.

“Pakistan must also ask developed countries to take responsibility and supply adaptation plus loss and damage support to the countries and populations bearing the brunt of climate change,” he said.


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