The familiar ingredients of a warming world were in place: searing temperatures, hotter air holding more moisture, extreme weather getting wilder, melting glaciers, people living in harm’s way, and poverty. They combined in vulnerable Pakistan to create unrelenting rain and deadly flooding.
The flooding has all the hallmarks of a catastrophe juiced by climate change, but it is too early to formally assign blame to global warming, several scientists tell The Associated Press. It occurred in a country that did little to cause the warming, but keeps getting hit, just like the relentless rain.
“This year Pakistan has received the highest rainfall in at least three decades. So far this year the rain is running at more than 780% above average levels,” said Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute and a member of Pakistan’s Climate Change Council. “Extreme weather patterns are turning more frequent in the region and Pakistan is not a exception.”
Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said “it’s been a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions.”
Pakistan “is considered the eighth most vulnerable country to climate change,” said Moshin Hafeez, a Lahore-based climate scientist at the International Water Management Institute. Its rain, heat and melting glaciers are all climate change factors scientists warned repeatedly about.
While scientists point out these classic climate change fingerprints, they have not yet finished intricate calculations...
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