Climate change: Threatening situation in Pakistan
CLIMATE change is the change of global surface temperatures. It refers to an abrupt increase in temperature which causes disastrous effects on agriculture, economy, health, aquatic life etc.
In Pakistan, temperature is increasing at an alarming pace and the main cause of climate change in Pakistan is an industrial revolution of 19th and 20th century, burning of fossil fuels, natural processes and other anthropogenic activities. There are some major reasons due to which Pakistan is facing climate change.
Some of which is that the electricity is generated by fossil fuel which produces carbon emissions.
Along with that, the clothes that are manufactured in the factories, the plastic used by the common people in the form of plastic bags and bottles and the burning of waste material also cause carbon emissions. Additionally, in Pakistan, the engines are not very efficient. Catalytic converters that reduce the toxic gases and pollutants do not work properly because of poor fuel.
Therefore, pollutants which are emitted by the vehicles directly spread into the air. Over the last 20 years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of vehicular traffic in Pakistan which produces pollution in the form of carbon emissions.
Global warming is the main cause of climate change. There are different greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, CFCs, methane gas etc., which absorb heat from the sunlight. These gases are increasing rapidly than the normal routine.
When these gases increase in the atmosphere, they absorb more heat and due to the absorption of more heat, the temperature increases to a higher extent. Therefore, due to increase in temperature, the climate changes and disturbs the environment and natural cycles of the ecosystem.
Hence, there are some disastrous effects of climate change. The exceeding temperature in Polar Regions badly affects the habitat of polar bears, puffins, penguins and other arctic creatures.
It negatively affects their mating cycle and hence reduces the reproduction rate. The warmer temperature reduces the ice packs and further increases the sea level and due to increase in sea level, it further changes the temperature of oceans and eventually disturbs aquatic life.
Along with that, the melting of glaciers causes floods in the nearby cities. The increase in sea level melts glaciers. The melting glaciers evaporate water vapours which increase the ratio of rain more than usual.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index Annual report (2020), Pakistan is ranked 5th in the most affected countries by climate change.
Hence, the unusual rains and the melting of glaciers in Pakistan resulted in the disastrous floods in July 2022.
The exceeding rain can cause drastic effects on agriculture as well because the rain has a different impact on the cities, villages and crops. Therefore, as an individual Pakistani, if we work to replace fossil fuel with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, it will not produce greenhouse gases.
Regulations are badly needed such as air cleaning filters for factories. Public transportation should be promoted because the increased number of vehicles can produce more carbon emissions. Government should set the vehicle’s retirement age.
Modern technology for burning solid waste should be used to prevent the atmosphere from pollutants.
Additionally, planting more trees in the cities will also clean the environment. As the condition of climate change is getting worse due to which the authoritative bodies of Pakistan should also work on the different sectors which are responsible for the change in climate.
There is a statement of America’s 44th President Barack Obama, “No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”. It means we should work for the betterment of climate change and should take it as a serious matter because it is a great threat for posterity.
—The writer is associated with Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi.