Indus Delta vulnerable to climate change
ISLAMABAD: The Indus Delta is the most vulnerable area to the challenges of climate change as it may face increased requirements of irrigation water due to higher vaporisation at elevated temperatures in the face of limited availability of water.
The data prepared by Research and Development Division of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) showed that the climate change would cause uncertainty to timely availability of irrigation water caused by changes in river flows due to glacier melting and altered precipitation pattern.
Other adverse impacts of the climate change in the Indus Delta region would include reduced productivity of crops and livestock due to heat stress; erratic and uncertain rainfall patterns affecting particularly the rain-fed agriculture; increased frequency and intensity of extreme climate events such as floods, drought and cyclones resulting in heavy damages to both crops and livestock; abundance of insects, pests and pathogens in warmer and more humid environment; degradation of rangeland and further deterioration of the already degraded cultivated land areas such as those suffering from water erosion, wind erosion, water-logging and salinity; and intrusion of sea water into deltaic region affecting coastal agriculture, forestry and biodiversity.
The data stated that the Arabian Sea making the southern border brings lot of moisture in the form of summer monsoon to nourish the water needs for agriculture, power generation, industry and domestic usage.
It is due to rise in temperature, visible changes in hydrological cycle have been observed in the form of changing precipitation pattern, cropping pattern, droughts, water availability periods, frequency and intensity of heat waves, precipitation events and weather-induced natural disasters.