Long term change in weather patterns in a specific area or region is known as “climate change”.
These changes may be reflected by rise in mean temperature, pressure, time and occurrence of rainfalls/snowfalls, moisture, winds, and others factors of weather, while weather change mean short term changes in weather pattern.
The study of climate change demands investigations on long term weather pattern to develop a scientific ideal whether climate has been changed or was occurred in the region, several studies on climate change and their impacts on Gilgit-Baltistan, reveal that Climate variability and its impacts are gratifying progressively more evident in fragile ecosystems of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), especially Glaciers hub of the area and other fragile ecosystems are considered to be more sensitive indicators to global warming and climate change and their associated hydro-metrological hazards of the area confirm the climate change impacts on different sectors undoubtedly , as climatologist know that even minor disparity in weather can lead to momentous shifts in the local minor climate, which can in turn drastically affect fragile ecosystems ,rural life, livelihood and infrastructure. Causes of climate change in world are carbon emissions, rapid urbanizations/industrialization, and unplanned development, exploitation of natural resources, environmental degradation and deforestations.
The general overview about the climate change and their sectoral impacts are common ideals and emerging issues of glob, but discussions and research on climate change, their associates hazards and long term sectoral impacts need to be addressed on priority bases in Gilgit-Baltistan as well as in Pakistan.
Loss of habitat, species extinction, less grasses in pastures, diseases in wild animals, pest attacks, increased frequency and intensity of melting of glaciers, high turbidity in water bodies, heat waves, cold spells, droughts, could bursts, land sliding, water born epidemics, avalanches, heavy rain falls, heavy snow falls, lake outburst floods, flash floods were identified in the area, disrupted social infrastructure, commotion, limited livelihoods options, fragmented crops, and moribund poor economy are clear evidences of climate change and their sectoral impacts on Gilgit-Baltistan
The most recent and high frequents hydro-metrological disasters in the area were flash floods, droughts, cloud burst, avalanches, Glacial lake outburst floods, heavy rain falls and secondary hazards like landslides, mud-flow and debris falls from 1999, 2000,2001,2002, 2005, 2006, and 2010 provide an overview to vulnerability and risks of climate change and their sectoral impacts on Gilgit-Baltistan.
Climate change induces hydro-metrological hazards and harsh climate conditions create obstacles and limitations particularly to livelihood options in the area. Due to heavy rain falls and land sliding in the area all roads among districts within the GB, as well as with the capital city, continuously remain blocked in different periods of time and years, which are ultimate menace to transportation sector, micro business sector, communication sector, demand and supply of goods in local markets, local agriculture sector, labor work security, new invested construction project, and other means of livelihoods options in the area.
The contributor is a Gilgit based Environmentalist.