Global warming causes flash floods in Pakistan

09:58, December 18, 2010      

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The latest research showed that global warming caused by emission of greenhouse gases in industrial countries was to blame for flash floods which killed over 2,000 people in Pakistan in July and August 2010, environment analysts told Xinhua on Friday.

Th worst flood in Pakistan's 63-year history made 20 million people homeless and devastated one-fifth area of the country.

According to sources, the government of Pakistan has planned to turn the tables on cash-rich industrial countries, mainly responsible for greenhouse gases emission, in the United Nations by presenting a linkage between global warming and devastating floods.

Pakistani representatives also raised the issue at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico from Nov.29 to Dec.10 this year.

To discuss the global warming effects on Pakistan, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) held a conference on "SERVIR-Himalaya Inception cum Needs Assessment Workshop" in Islamabad last week.

SERVIR is an earth observation, monitoring and visualization system that integrate satellite and other geospatial data for improved scientific knowledge and decision-making.

Basanta Shrestha, from Nepal, explained that the SERVIR- Himalaya initiative was developed in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and with the support of U.S. to improve environmental decision-making in the Himalayan region.

Dr. C. Inayatullah, a regional coordinator of ICIMOD Pakistan, told Xinhua that efforts would be made to build the national institutions to use remote sensing and geographical information systems for science-based decision making to cope with the disasters risk reduction and to better utilize the natural resources.

"There are about 39 million people living in the mountainous areas of Pakistan and their survival depends upon the judicious use of natural resources and ecological sustainability," said Inayatullah.

During the floods in July-August 2010, Pakistan space & upper atmosphere research communication (SUPARCO) and ICIMOD worked together in rapid response, satellite based information and maps for guidance.

Environmental economists believed that the recent floods had clearly proved that Pakistan was one of the worst victims of the global warming despite it discharges just 0.4 percent of world greenhouse gases.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has already identified South Asia as a most vulnerable region with the bad impacts of global warming.

Hameedullah Jan Afridi, the minister for environment of Pakistan, wanted UN to be productive and substantive in the matter and make the world agree to reduce emissions by improving the governance and creating a new global climate change fund.

But international commentators are of the view that there has been no sign so far that major emitters are offering to do more to combat climate change.

Inayatullah also pointed out that due to global warming snow- clad areas in north Pakistan are melting fast, posing a big threat to the country in the future, especially in summer.

Source: Xinhua
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