KARACHI: The Pakistan Meteorological Department said on Friday weather was likely to improve for the residents of Karachi who sizzled on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
According to the World Bank, Karachi, the world’s thirteenth largest city, is one of the planet’s climate hotspots.
The global financial institution also maintains that Pakistan is the fifth most vulnerable country to environmental catastrophes that can impose significant economic cost on the country.
“The nights of 15th and 16th September were extremely hot as the temperature reached 30.5°C [86.9°F] ,” Sardar Sarfraz, a top official at the Pakistan Meteorological Department, told Arab News. “But the very hot conditions have eased out today. We are expecting the temperature to drop further from 19th September when sea breeze is fully restored.”
Sarfraz said the hottest night in September was recorded on the 20th day of the month in 1988 when temperature in Karachi touched 30.8°C (87.44°F).
He added that the city’s temperature also reached 37°C (98.6°F) with 49 percent humidity at 1pm before beginning to drop down.
Pakistan is estimated to have lost nearly 10,000 lives and $4 billion in environmental disasters between 1998 and 2018, says the Global Climate Risk Index.
In June 2015, a severe heat wave killed about 2,000 people in Karachi due to heatstroke and dehydration. The extreme weather also killed zoo animals and agricultural livestock.
The heatwave in Karachi followed a similar weather pattern in Indian state of Gujarat where 2,500 people lost their lives in May 2015.
Karachi’s overall weather has become hot during the last decade, and officials believe the pattern is likely to continue in the future.
“We should not attribute each unusual weather event to climate change,” Sarfraz said, “but it is clear that global temperatures are on the rise by 1°C compared to the pre-industrial era and Pakistan’s average temperature is also rising.”
He also maintained that Karachi’s weather pattern was also getting more erratic due to the climate change phenomenon.