Experts say in a new scientific analysis that looks at how global warming is the cause of human-caused climate change that could contribute to deadly floods in Pakistan.
World Weather Attribution, a collection of mostly volunteer scientists around the world who perform real-time extreme weather studies, published their report on Thursday.
Study says global warming is not the biggest cause catastrophic floods at one point engulfed a third of the country, affected 33 million people, killed more than 1,500 to date, and destroyed more than a million homes.
A similar event would probably be much less likely in a world with no anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, meaning climate change could cause extreme rainfall to occur, the study said. out more,” the study said.
“Human-induced climate change also plays a really important role,” said senior author Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London.
“What we see in Pakistan is exactly what climate projections have predicted for many years… It is also consistent with historical records showing that heavy rain There has been a significant increase in the region since humans started releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” she said.
Otto said while it is difficult to give an exact figure on the extent to which man-made emissions have caused precipitation, “the trace of global warming is obvious”.
The study found that August rainfall in the worst-affected Sindh and Balochistan provinces – roughly the size of Spain – was eight and nearly seven times higher than normal, while the whole country got three times as much. half normal.
Not only did the scientists examine records of past rains, dating back to 1961 alone, but they also used computer simulations to compare what happened last month with what is to come. in a world without the gas that traps heat from burning coal, oil, and nature. gas – and that difference is what they can 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, says many factors make this monsoon season much wetter. normal, including La Nina, the natural cooling of part of the Pacific Ocean that alters weather worldwide.
But other elements signed by climate change, said Saeed. A nasty heatwave in the region in early summer – 30 times more likely due to climate change – has increased the disparity between land and water temperatures. That difference determines how much moisture moves from the ocean into the monsoon and means more moisture will drop.
Research team member Ayesha Siddiqi of the University of Cambridge said: “This disaster is the result of vulnerability that has built up over many years.
Muhammad Irfan Tariq, a climate expert in Islamabad, told Al Jazeera that the World Weather Allocation report is an attempt to “understand the link between climate change and the type of development model being pursued. “.
Tariq, who is also a working group member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations agency, said natural disasters will become more frequent and extreme as the climate crisis increases. post-increment.
“We also reported this earlier and you just have to look at the events taking place this year in Pakistan. We’ve had heat waves, we’ve had droughts, we’ve had severe monsoons. The cycle is changing so much and so quickly that everything is now turning into a huge disaster,” he told Al Jazeera.
The World Meteorological Organization said this week that weather-related disasters like those in Pakistan have increased fivefold over the past 50 years, killing an average of 115 people a day.
The warning comes as countries are gearing up for the COP27 climate summit in Egypt in November, where at-risk countries are demanding compensation from historically rich polluters. them because the damage caused by climate has affected their economy and infrastructure.
Study co-author Saeed said the floods underscore the need for richer nations to radically ramp up funding to help others adapt to climate change – another key question at COP27 .
“Pakistan must also hold developed countries accountable and provide adaptation assistance plus loss and damage to countries and populations that are bearing the brunt of climate change,” he said.