Pakistan is no stranger to strong storms and extreme weather events, with cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons being a common occurrence in the coastal areas, and heavy rains and floods causing devastation inland. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in the frequency and intensity of such events, and experts believe that climate change is the primary cause.

Climate change is a global phenomenon that affects weather patterns and climate systems across the world, and Pakistan is no exception. The country is already vulnerable to extreme weather events due to its geography, with the Himalayas to the north, the Arabian Sea to the south, and the Thar Desert to the east. These features make Pakistan susceptible to flooding, droughts, landslides, and other natural disasters.

One of the most significant impacts of climate change on Pakistan is the increased frequency and intensity of strong storms. The country's coastal regions, particularly the province of Sindh, have experienced several devastating storms in recent years, causing loss of life and property damage. The most notable of these storms is Cyclone Tauktae, which hit the coast of Sindh in May 2021, causing widespread destruction and claiming over 100 lives.

Experts suggest that the warming of the Arabian Sea, caused by rising global temperatures, is the primary factor behind the increase in the frequency and intensity of these storms. Warmer sea surface temperatures fuel the development of storms, making them more intense and longer-lasting. The warming of the sea also causes a rise in sea level, which exacerbates the effects of storm surges and flooding.

Apart from the coastal areas, strong storms and extreme weather events are also affecting inland regions of Pakistan. In recent years, the country has experienced several severe floods, causing widespread damage and loss of life. The floods of 2010 were one of the most significant natural disasters in the country's history, affecting over 20 million people and causing an estimated $10 billion in damage. However, the floods of 2022 surpassed these numbers, with 33 million people affected. In addition to these floods, the recent extreme storm events are causing significant damage to crops in central Pakistan and are among the many impacts of climate change.

Experts suggest that climate change is causing changes in precipitation patterns, leading to more intense and prolonged rainfall in some regions. This has resulted in increased flooding in the country's riverine areas, particularly along the Indus River, which is Pakistan's largest river and a vital source of water for the country's agriculture.

Climate change is also exacerbating existing environmental problems in Pakistan, such as deforestation, land degradation, and air pollution. These issues are further increasing the country's vulnerability to extreme weather events and making it harder for communities to adapt to the changing climate.

To mitigate the effects of climate change, Pakistan has taken several measures, including the adoption of the National Climate Change Policy in 2012 and the implementation of various adaptation and mitigation measures. The country is also investing in renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, more needs to be done to address the challenges posed by climate change, particularly in vulnerable communities. These communities often lack the resources and infrastructure needed to cope with extreme weather events and adapt to the changing climate. There is a need for increased investment in climate adaptation measures, such as flood defences, drought-resistant crops, and early warning systems.

In conclusion, strong storms and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense in Pakistan, with climate change being the primary cause. The country is already vulnerable to such events due to its geography, and climate change is exacerbating these challenges. To mitigate the effects of climate change, Pakistan needs to take more comprehensive measures, particularly in vulnerable communities, to adapt to the changing climate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

About the Author: Maryam Eqan is an Executive In-chief and Founder of The Earth Needs Love. She believes in youth engagement and activism for environment, climate, and sustainable development.