The heat wave continues in Pakistan. The country was again confronted, on Friday, May 13, with abnormally high temperatures, reaching 50 ° C in places. Large swaths of the country have been experiencing a record-breaking heat wave since late April, which the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) estimated was “consistent” with climate change.
Heat waves are one of the most glaring manifestations of climate change that we know of, as reminded the IPCC in its latest report. Since the 1950s, heat peaks have become more frequent and intense, as a result of human-induced climate change and the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas).
40°C in Islamabad and Karachi
Thursday, May 12, temperatures rose to 49.5°C in Jacobabad, in the center of the country, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Service, which specifies that it could be so until the end of the week . Nationally, temperatures are between 6 and 9°C “above normal”the thermometer showing Friday around 40 ° C in the capital Islamabad and the major cities of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.
The country is also suffering from drought. The flow of the Indus River has been reduced by 65% this year “due to the lack of rain and snow”, according to a local official. Taking its source in Tibet, the Indus crosses India then Pakistan before emerging in the Arabian Sea. Its basin provides 90% of Pakistan’s water supply, according to the UN.
The Pakistani press reported that sheep had died of sunstroke and dehydration in the Cholistan desert in Punjab, the country’s most populous province and breadbasket. And the same alert manager: “There is a real risk of shortage of food and crops this year in the country, if this lack of water were to persist.”