Pakistan devastated by climate change

Pakistan devastated by climate change

Pakistan devastated by climate change

For Pakistan, 2022 could remain the year of all climate disasters. In the first place, there was an infernal heat in spring, which reached, in May, 50 degrees in some places and aggravated the melting of the glaciers in the high mountains and the drought in the plains; then, from the beginning of the monsoon to mid-June, torrential rains combined with floods engulfed a third of the country.

That “exceeds any limit, any standard observed in the past”Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman – including the 2010 floods, which claimed 2,000 lives – warned in an interview with AFP on 29 August. The current toll, worsening by the hour, is very provisional due to the difficulty for rescuers to reach villages located in remote mountainous regions and cut off from the rest of the country by the destruction of roads or bridges, carried away by the waves.

“We are used to the monsoon every year, but we have never seen anything like it”the minister recalled. “Eight weeks of continuous showers” which hit the regions already heavily hit by the high spring temperatures the hardest.











Former Territories
federal tribal







by Siachen

K2, 8,611 m

by Shipper

from Arabia

Nok Kundi, 47.5 ° C
June 27

Nawabshah, 50.5 ° C
May 14

Jacobabad, 51 ° C
May 14

Jhelum, 47 ° C
April 14




Mirput Khas



She said









Between March and June, unprecedented heat waves

Maximum temperatures in May

Peak temperature recorded during the spring

Glacier whose melting is accelerated by high temperatures

Since July, the heat has been combined with torrential rains

Flooding of rivers, 29 August

medium level

high level

Dam in critical condition from 26 August

Another dam

Since 1 August, the densely populated areas have been flooded

Flooded area between 1uh and August 29

High population density area

This disaster affects most of the country

District classified in a state of disaster

Another flooded district

During this period, both Pakistan and northwestern India recorded temperatures between 6 and 9 ° C above seasonal norms, according to the Pakistani Weather Service.

The monsoon started in June, earlier than expected. July 2022 was the wettest month in over sixty years (1961).

Balance sheet at 1uh September 2022

  • 33 million One in seven Pakistanis affected
  • 1,208 dead confirmed
  • 50 million moved
  • 1.2 million damaged or destroyed houses
  • Moreover 730,000 head of cattle e 1.8 million hectares of agricultural land lost

Map made with the help of Jean Luc Racinegeographer and research director emeritus at the CNRS, e Magali Regitudine-Zittgeographer, lecturer at the Training Center on the environment and society (Ceres) / ENS

Sources: Copernicus; European Commission ; Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority; Unosat; Meteorological Department of Pakistan; Unocha

Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to climate change. It ranks eighth among the countries most affected by extreme weather events, according to a study by the NGO Germanwatch published in 2021. Its population, weakened by poverty and growing inequalities, is particularly exposed to climate risks. And public authorities, mired in repeated political crises, have not yet been able to implement effective risk prevention and management strategies. Pushed to the limit of its ability to adapt by climate change, Pakistan may take some time to recover from this new disaster.

The child

The cold equivalent of the phenomenon El Nino causes a cooling of part of the surface waters of the Pacific, affecting the cycle of precipitation and the climate of some regions of the globe. While its usual duration is two years, the conditions of The child persist for the third consecutive year.


This classic seasonal phenomenon (from July to November) is due to the inversion of the trade winds that, laden with humidity, collide with the Himalayan barrier. These heavy rains traditionally punctuate agriculture in the region.


The country experienced severe drought with below-normal rainfall between October 2020 and May 2021 (–36.1%) and between January and April 2022 (–21.6%). The soils no longer absorb the heavy and abundant rains.

Soil artificialization

With over 200 million inhabitants and a population growth rate of 2.4% per year, urbanization is accelerating. Cities sometimes develop in areas prone to flooding, rivers are modified and their approaches are concretized. The artificialization of the soil reinforces the phenomenon of runoff.


Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to floods. Already in 2010 these had caused the deaths of 2,000 people and caused damage amounting to 40 billion dollars. Since then, these violent phenomena have become more frequent.

Glacier thaw

As temperatures rise, glaciers are melting and feeding the flow of rivers. High-altitude glacial lakes fracture and suddenly release huge amounts of water. Thirty lakes threaten more than 7 million people.

Habitat vulnerability

In precarious housing areas, sanitation systems are often faulty. With heavy rains, unsuitable infrastructures fail and cause new floods.

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