Pakistan to experience extreme temperatures, warns ADB

ISLAMABAD (Dawn/ANN) - Afghanistan and Pakistan may have a 20-50 per cent decline in rainfall.

An incr­e­a­­se in temperature of six degrees Celsius has been projected for the Asian landmass by the end of the century, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday.

According to an ADB report, Pakistan is among the few countries which could experience significantly hotter climates with temperature projected to increase by eight degrees Celsius. 

The report — “A Region at Risk: The Human Dimen­sions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific” — said the increase in temperatures would lead to drastic changes in the region’s weather systems, agriculture and fisheries sectors, land and marine biodiversity, domestic and regional security, trade, urban development, migration and health.

The findings highlight the severity of consequences of unabated climate change in Asia. The report warned that more intense typhoons and tropical cyclones were expected to hit Asia and the Pacific region.

Under a business-as-usual scenario annual precipitation is expected to increase by up to 50 per cent over most areas, although countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan might experience a decline in rainfall by 20-50pc, the report added. 

Increased vulnerability to flooding and other disasters would significantly affect the region and the world economically, the ADB stressed, adding that climate change also posed a risk to health in Asia and the Pacific. 

Already 3.3 million people die every year due to the harmful effects of outdoor air pollution, with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh being the top countries reporting such deaths. 

Despite the rapidly emerging risks, Asia’s emissions of greenhouse gases are rising, not only creating global negative externalities but also immediately impacting the region’s own local population in the form of hazardous levels of air pollution. 

According to the report, poor air quality affects the daily lives of citizens of Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Karachi, Patna and many other places. The top four countries in which these deaths occur are in Asia — China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

A warmer climate for the region could endanger energy supply, the ABD pointed out. Climate change can exacerbate energy insecurity through continued reliance on unsustainable fossil fuels, reduced capacities of thermal power plants due to a scarcity of cooling water and intermittent performance of hydropower plants as a result of uncertain water discharges, among other factors. 

Another concern highlighted in the report concerned low storage capacity of dams and reservoirs. Although Asia experienced rapid expansion of dam and reservoir storage over recent decades, said the ADB, the existing storage remained low when compared to many advanced economies. 

Countries such as Bang­ladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakis­tan and the Phili­p­pines exhibited low storage capacity, thus making them vulnerable to discharge variability, the report said.

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