Pakistan city hits nearly 50C as blistering heatwave grips nation | Climate Crisis News

Elements of the nation already scorched by temperatures of almost 50Cs as officers warn of acute water shortages and a risk to well being.

Pakistan is within the grip of a blistering heatwave, with elements of the nation already scorched by temperatures of almost 50C as officers warn of acute water shortages and a risk to well being.

Swathes of Pakistan have been smothered by excessive temperatures since late April, in excessive climate the World Meteorological Group (WMO) has warned is in keeping with local weather change.

On Thursday, the town of Jacobabad in Sindh province hit 49.5C (121F), the Pakistan Meteorological Division (PMD) mentioned, with temperatures forecast to stay the identical till the tip of the week.

Nationwide, the PMD alerted temperatures have been between 6C (11F) and 9C (16F) above regular, with the capital Islamabad, in addition to provincial hubs Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar, recording temperatures round 40C (104F) on Friday afternoon.

“This 12 months we’ve got jumped from winter proper into summer time,” mentioned PMD Chief Forecaster Zaheer Ahmad Babar.

Pakistan has endured heightened heatwaves since 2015, he mentioned, centered in higher Sindh province and southern Punjab province.

“The depth is rising, and the period is rising, and the frequency is rising,” he mentioned.

Punjab province irrigation spokesperson Adnan Hassan mentioned the Indus river – Pakistan’s key waterway – had shrunk by 65 p.c “on account of a scarcity of rains and snow” this 12 months.

Sheep have reportedly died from heatstroke and dehydration within the Cholistan Desert of Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province which additionally serves because the nationwide breadbasket.

“There’s a actual hazard of a shortfall in meals and crop provide this 12 months within the nation ought to the water scarcity persist,” Hassan mentioned.

On Tuesday, Local weather Minister Sherry Rehman warned residents within the jap megacity of Lahore “to take cowl for the most well liked hours of the day”.

Pakistan, residence to 220 million folks, says it’s accountable for lower than one p.c of worldwide greenhouse gasoline emissions.

Nonetheless, it ranks because the eighth most affected nation by excessive climate occasions, in accordance with a 2021 research by environmental group Germanwatch.

Whereas excessive warmth has apparent results, it might probably additionally set off cascading disasters which pummel Pakistan’s usually impoverished inhabitants.

The mountainous parts of Pakistan are residence to greater than 7,000 glaciers, a quantity bigger than any area exterior the poles.

Rapidly melting glaciers can swell lakes which then burst their banks and unleash torrents of ice, rock and water in occasions often known as glacial lake outburst floods.

Final weekend, a key freeway bridge within the Gilgit-Baltistan area was swept away in flash flooding brought on by glacier soften.

In April, officers warned there have been 33 lakes in Pakistan at risk of unleashing related harmful deluges.

The heatwave has additionally ravaged India, with temperatures in elements of Rajasthan state hitting 48.1C (118.5F) on Thursday.