Unprecedented temperature pose serious GLOF risk

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Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Sherry Rehman on Monday said, Pakistan is right now bracing for a heatwave, with unprecedented high temperatures creating climate emergencies from north to south of the country.

Senator Rehman said the human and infrastructure costs could be very high. “Because of our northern mountain ranges and glaciers, we anticipate Global Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF), where glacial lakes first form due to snow melt on the glaciers”, she added.

The catastrophe, she said arises when the melting snow unleashes these lakes as a racing flood that rips out everything in its way. “These pose serious risks and vulnerability for the local and downstream population as Pakistan right now has over 3,044 such lakes identified in the mountains”, she said.

The minister said, “The mountains are also exposed to forest fires and sudden bush combustion events, which we struggle to cope with. So far, our response teams are vigilant, but of course one cannot predict what will happen with a higher scale of sudden and extreme weather events.”