The Global climate change has started affecting the climate of Pakistan; especially of Lahore where huge anomalies have been observed both in temperature and precipitation in the current winter of 2017.
The impact of global climate change is of such a magnitude that this year winter departed as early as the first decade of February 2017. After February 10, temperatures were continuously recorded that were above 80 F in the day time. This a huge anomaly as such temperatures are unknown at this station before the start of March.
The nights also followed suit and on a number of occasions the nighttime low crossed 59 F whereas the long term average is 49 F – a deviation of 10 F.
The precipitation was also severely affected as the total monthly rainfall was not more than one-fifth of an inch whereas the long term average is 1.5 inches- a deviation of -34 % from the normal.
This all resulted in shirking of winter season which is becoming a norm at this location for the last few decades. In the era prior to the 1970s, the winter season at Lahore used to begin in November and continued up to the end of March. Presently the onset and withdrawal months are December and February so consequently winter season has been reduced by full two months in the past forty years.
In terms of long term average if we take into account the data of the last 100 years, the average temperature of the Month of February at Lahore has already increased by 4 degrees F which is more than double the world average.
These temperature and rainfall anomalies pose a serious threat to cash crops of Central Punjab where Lahore is located. Wheat being on the hit list. This is going to be ultimately affect the economy of the country which is mainly agro based.
Although there is a difference of opinion between meteorologists regarding the temperature projection of Lahore for the coming 50 years, but the dominant opinion is that the temperature may increase 5-10 degrees F in the coming decades. If this happens then considering the rapidly diminishing rainfall amount, the crops will have to face severe hydrothermal stress that will impede their growth and development.
In short the developing countries are bearing the brunt of global climate change and the climate change phenomenon is posing a real threat to the economies of these countries. The need of the hour is to take effective measures globally to check or a least slow down the global warming trend in the coming years.