ISLAMABAD: The impact of climate change is getting visible in the shape of rise in temperatures in January – considered as one of the coldest months – in most parts of the country coupled with persistent dry spell.
Considering the ongoing weather patterns, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted that this year the winter will soon come to an end on the plains of the country, including Punjab, Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
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The mercury will rise three to five degree in February in above parts of the country. This will bring an end to the winter season and usher in the spring season. However, it is expected that the spring season this year will hardly last a few weeks and the summer will begin earlier than its normal time.
Talking to The Express Tribune, PMD chief Dr Ghulam Rasul said: “While considering the sudden changes in weather patterns mainly due to the impact of global warming it is difficult to predict accurate weather situation in the coming months.”
However, Rasul, who is also the vice president of Asia-Pacific Region of World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), said no ‘good’ showers are expected in January and February in most parts of the country.
He said clear skies are causing rise in temperature. Since December last year and January this year the country has not experienced intense winter season except in Northern Areas and a few places in Balochistan, he said, adding that due to climate change the winter has started shrinking and the summer is extending.
“It is expected that the dry spell would further aggravate water shortage in the country during the next few months. Short and low intensity showers are expected in February but they will not help fill major water reservoirs and recharge ground water,” he said. “The rise in the temperature in February coupled with short spells of rains will have an impact on the seasonal crop,” he added.
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Meanwhile, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) spokesperson Khalid Rana said the authority had already anticipated 36% water shortage in the country and informed provinces about this.
“This year, however, water outflow is better from the major water reservoirs of the country as compared to previous year but inflow is the worst as compared to the previous year,” he said, adding that the reason behind better outflow is that some of the provinces conserve water by extending the closure of canal.
“Currently only 2 million acre feet of water is available in both reservoirs. If this situation continues, the rise in temperature in February will definitely have an adverse impact on the grain yield of wheat crops,” he said.