There are 7,253 known glaciers in Pakistan, hence it has more glacial ice than any other place outside arctic polar regions. Normally, these glaciers serve to be an important reservoir of fresh water for the country. However, under current circumstances, they are only adding to the disaster faced by Pakistan.
The rising temperatures around the globe have been threatening the glaciers in Pakistan for several years, until finally the glaciers in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions have started melting rapidly.
More than 3,000 lakes emerged due to this rapid glacial melting. According to the UN Development Programme, around 33 of these lakes are constantly at risk of bursting.
This glacial melting, accompanied by the unprecedented record-breaking monsoon rains, has caused the current catastrophic flooding situation in the country.
Climate Change and Glaciers of Pakistan:
It is yet undetermined whether or not climate change is linked to the severe rains in Pakistan this year. But it is certainly responsible for the melting of glacial ice in northern regions of Pakistan!
As a consequence of glacial melting, the number of glacial lake outbursts in Pakistan has visibly increased.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Pakistan’s Meteorological Department Member Sardar Sarfaraz commented on a recent reporting of lake outburst that such incidents occur after glaciers melt due to a rise in temperature, and climate change is the basic reason for such things.
Pakistan having to face the consequences of climate change deems unjust to the nation. A big reason of which is that the country contributes to less than 1% of the overall global emissions of the greenhouse gases.
The geographic positioning of Pakistan is both favourable and unfavourable for the country. The glaciers that were once the pride of Pakistan are now causing it massive destruction.
Pakistan’s climate minister Sherry Rehman complained “We have the largest number of glaciers outside the polar region, and this affects us.” She said, “Instead of keeping their majesty and preserving them for posterity and nature, we are seeing them melt.”
Climate Change and The World:
Climate change will soon take over the globe, as it is not something that affects one region and not another. Moreover, proven by the current crisis in Pakistan – one bears the brunt even if one is not responsible for it.
Glacial melting and disastrous flooding in Pakistan should serve as the warning sign for the rest of the world. Curtailing the emissions of planet-warming gases should be the first step towards stopping global warming. This threat has not gone unnoticed the United Nations, as their Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned the world community, “Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country!”
He made an international appeal to take the threat our globe faces seriously. He asked the nations to “stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change.”