Bridge Collapse Amid Heat Wave in Pakistan Raises Fears of Massive Glacier Melt Flooding
Record-high temperatures in Pakistan caused Shisper glacier to melt rapidly, triggering the collapse of the Hassanabad Bridge along the Karakoram Highway last week. With 7,253 known glaciers, Pakistan is home to more glacial ice than any other country on earth outside the polar regions. If these start melting in increasingly severe heat waves, there could be massive flooding in the country. Pakistan is among the most vulnerable to climate change.
|Hasanabad Bridge Collapse in Pakistan
India and Pakistan have been hit by a severe heat wave very early this summer. Jacobabad, a city in Sindh province, hit 122ºF (50ºC) in April, one of the highest April temperatures recorded in the world. Dadu, another city in Sindh, recorded 117ºF (47ºC). "This is the first time in decades that Pakistan is experiencing what many call a 'spring-less year," Pakistan's Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman said in a statement. The consequences of rising temperatures in South Asia could be very severe, ranging from crop losses, food shortages and floods.
|Record High Temperature in Jacobabad, Pakistan
Pakistan's contribution to global carbon emissions is less than 1% but it is still ranked among countries most vulnerable to climate change. The energy-hungry nation needs help to finance climate-friendly development of clean energy sources and climate-resilient infrastructure. Last year at COP26 conference in Glasgow, Pakistan provided its NDCs 2021 (national determined contribution 2021) to the United Nations ahead. Some of Pakistan's NDC targets are voluntary while others are contingent upon the receipt of financial assistance from the rich nations most responsible for the climate crisis. Some of Pakistan's solution are nature-based such as its Billion Tree Afforestation Project (BTAP) while others require significant increase in low-carbon energy from wind, solar, hydro and nuclear.
1. Pakistan wants to be a part of the solution even though it accounts for less than 1% of global carbon emissions. . Extreme weather events are costing Pakistan significant losses of lives and property.
|Pakistan Power Generation Fuel Mix. Source: Third Pole
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