PT Special Report
ISLAMABAD: Water flow from the melting of Karakoram glaciers will fall by seven percent due to the climate change pattern known as Karakoram anomaly. This phenomenon will not have any impact on the overall flow and availability of water downstream due to 15-20% rise in water flow from glaciers located in Hindukush and Himalayan mountain ranges of the northern Pakistan. The glaciers in Karakoram range were experiencing either stability or growing in sizes. The decrease in melting of the Karakoram glaciers will reduce the flow of river water in Hunza and surrounding areas located in Karakoram range.
The Director General of Pakistan Meteorological Department Dr. Ghulam Rasul shared these figures while speaking at the ‘Pre COP23 Media Dialogue’ co-hosted by the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) and the Ministry of Climate Change in a local hotel in Islamabad. The dialogue was organized to bring together the media and policy makers to engage in a conversation on the multi-dimensional aspects of climate changes.
He rejected the fears created by misreporting of the results of a research conducted by a group of the scientists at Arizona University. He said all the Pakistani glaciers were not experiencing retreat and the Karakoram Anomaly will not create shortage of water downstream. He said the results of the research at Arizona University actually reconfirms the ‘Karakoram anomaly’, which had earlier indicated that the glaciers in Karakoram range are either stable or have expanded in contrast to glacier retreats in Hindukush, Himalayan and other parts of the world.
Dr. Ghulam Rasul pointed out that the 50 years data of glaciers movement in Gilgit Baltistan and Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shows that 123 glaciers, out of the 7,253 glaciers in political jurisdiction of Pakistan, are experiencing stability or surging behavior. The rest of the glaciers, mostly in Hindukush and Himalayan mountain ranges, are showing increased melting, he added.
He said Pakistan has experienced 1°C rise in temperature during last 17 years and it is expected to experience a 4 to 6°C rise in temperature by the end of 21st century.
The ‘Pre COP23 Media Dialogue’ was attended by Climate change and environment journalists from electronic media, print media and broadcast media, as well as the Secretary of the Ministry of Climate Change, Syed Abu Ahmed Akif, DG Irfan Tariq, Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri Executive Director SDPI, Dr. Ghulam Rasul , DG PMD who spoke at length to help to enhance understanding of the complexities and intricacies involved in addressing climate change challenges , sensitize public opinion, facilitate access to information and provide recommendations on workable strategies for way forward.
Speaking at the event, Aisha Khan, Chief Executive CSCCC, highlighted the importance of engaging media to cover Pakistan’s progress on combating climate change. COP23 is a landmark conference that will set the tone for how the Paris Agreement will be implemented, she said.
Ministry of Climate Change officials shared their perspective on climate change and exchanged views and ideas that affect policy at both the national and international levels, to enable the Pakistani media to better cover climate change and the upcoming COP23 in mainstream media publications.
It is here to mention that World Leaders will begin to gather in Bonn next month, between 6th and 17th November 2017, at the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) to discuss the next steps in implementing the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. The agreement, which Pakistan is committed to, aims to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, and Pakistan, which is a signatory to this agreement, will be actively participating in the conference to portray key climate challenges to the world.