For Pakistan, this summer has turned out to be one of the hottest in its history. On Saturday, many cities across the country sweltered under the scorching sun as temperatures soared higher than 49 degrees in Sibi and Larkana, while five people died and many more fainted due to the humidity.
Weather forecasters, however, predicted that the first spell of pre-monsoon rains could begin soon in northern Pakistan – including Azad Kashmir, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Sargodha, Lahore, Gujaranwala, Malakand, Peshawar, Hazara, Kohat, Bannu and Fata – and continue for four to five days.
In Karachi, temperatures rose to 44.8 degrees celcius.
A former director general of Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, Asif Shuja, attributed the increase in temperatures to impact of climatic change in the country.
“There has been a rise in the Earth’s average temperature from 15.5°C to 16.2°C over the last 100 years due to which we are experiencing such extreme weather conditions both in summers and winters,” he added.
The rapid increase in urbanisation, construction of high-rises, deforestation and growing number of road vehicles are also contributing the climate change, Shuja said. “The last 30 years – from 1993-2012 – had been warmer than the last 1,400 years. Scientists envisage a rise of 1-6.67°C in temperature till 2100 which will be disastrous,” he warned.
Shuja further said that Pakistan lacked the technology to predict extreme weather events which caused human and material losses.
Data revealed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on June 16 shows that global temperature in the first five months of 2015 have been the hottest ever recorded, with May pushing the mercury to the highest.