Flooding in Pakistan Shows Devastating Effects of Climate Change

Despite Pakistan’s relatively small carbon footprint, the country is being hit hard by the effects of climate change.  The countries most affected by the natural disasters that come as a result of climate change are also some of the lowest producers of carbon per capita. The people in Pakistan are suffering from these devastating climate conditions, even though they are responsible for less than 1% of the world’s planet-warming gasses. This year Pakistan has faced awful climate conditions, between the heat waves and catastrophic floods, that are only predicted to get worse.

The floods will cost the Pakistani government 10 billion dollars in damages. More than a million houses are damaged or destroyed. This has destroyed nearly all of all farmland in Pakistan, which supported the economy as their main export. Without farming, Pakistan will struggle to receive the funding that it needs in order to rebuild and continue. While the flooding is likely to stop in a few weeks, it is projected to resume in the next decade, due to increasing global temperatures increasing humidity in the air and affecting the water cycle of many coastal ecosystems, causing a cycle of flooding and destruction for years to come.

According to Reuters, over 1,500 people have died from the flooding that is extending as far as 100km (62 miles) inland. This year’s flooding is being compared to Pakistan’s deadliest ever flooding that occured in 2010, which claimed upwards of 1,950 lives. Although downpours during monsoon season are common, this is the worst it’s been since 1961. This substantial amount of water has caused the Indus River to overflow. It’s wiping out crops, buildings and has submerged entire villages and farmland. 

At worst, this will likely cause a collapse of their economy, and at best it will weaken it. Although Pakistan will recover in time, it may not be soon enough to prepare for future floods which have the potential to be as devastating as this one.