KARACHI: The possibility of the first heat wave of this year will hit the province of Sindh including Karachi.
The intensity of heat will increase throughout the province including the provincial capital from February 16, which is likely to continue until February 21.
In the Arabian Sea, sea winds will be suspended due to high pressure of air. Hot air from Baluchistan will enter Sindh.
Karachi is likely to record maximum temperature of 37 to 38 degrees Celsius. In interior Sindh, temperature will be 38 and it is possible to record up to 39 degrees centigrade.
The average temperature in Shahr-e-Quaid is 25 to 28 degrees centigrade. This year, there is a possibility of record breaking heat in the city, meteorologist Jawad Memon.
The latest warnings corroborate findings and concerns that have been raised by local experts over the past several years, who have long been insisting that climate change is no longer an approaching challenge, rather it is “happening right now”.
“In the very recent past, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) conducted a thorough research for an international organization, which should also have set alarms bell ringing,” says Nadeem Faisal, former director of the Climate Data Processing Centre — a key unit within the PMD.
He referred to the findings of a previous study, which suggested that Pakistan has warmed considerably since the early 1960s, with more warming witnessed in daytime maximum temperatures than night-time minimum temperatures.
“An analysis of the data revealed that the annual mean temperature has risen for the country as a whole by 0.74°C over the last 58 years by 2019, which is quite alarming,” he said. “The recent changes in weather conditions very much manifest the authenticity of this finding.”
The change in the mean temperature has been accompanied by a large increase in extreme temperatures. Since 2011, the number of extreme heat records being set in Pakistan has increased significantly. The frequency of very warm months (May–August) has also increased manifold over the recent decade.
While high-temperature extremes have increased significantly, low-temperature extremes are less frequent, the report says. The observation supplements a warning in latest UN reports, which predict that Hyderabad in Sindh is likely to become the hottest city in the world by the year 2100, with its highest average temperature reaching 29.9°C to 32°C. It is expected to outrank Jacobabad, Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur by that time.
These revelations, coming on the eve of COP27, are not lost on decision-makers. Apparently cognisant of the gravity of the challenge facing the country, Climate Minister Sherry Rehman is expected to be will be pushing other world leaders to raise the “loss and damage” issue at Sharm el-Sheikh. This issue, she says, will be central to this year’s conference.