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Country Profiles of Climate Risks-Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Warning of temperature rise of up to 2. 5 degrees Celsius over the next two decades, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB) estimate Pakistan faces annual economic damage up to $3. 8 billion due to climate change.

A joint study titled "Country Profiles of Climate Risks" for Pakistan released by two international lending agencies (i.e. ADB & WB) ranked the country among the countries most at risk for average temperatures.

“Pakistan faces an increase in mean temperatures above the global average with a potential 1. 3°C to 4. 9°C increase in the 2090s over the 1986-2005 baseline,”

the study also notes that Pakistan faces

“some of the highest levels of disaster risk in the world, ranking 18th out of 191 countries according to the 2020 Information Risk Index”.

The country could face a temperature rise of up to 2. 5°C by 2050, study warns He noted that annual increases in maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to be larger than average temperature increases, potentially putting pressure on human health, livelihoods and ecosystems. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are projected to increase, increasing disaster risk, especially for the poor and vulnerable ethnic minorities.

Coastal flooding each year by 2070-2100 will show reduced yields in many staple crops and food crops, including cotton, wheat, sugarcane, maize, and rice, while rising temperatures could cause stress for city dwellers and outdoor workers, increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses and death. The study states that

"changes must be seen in the context of the growing impact of the urban heat island effect, driven by urbanization, and identified in cities such as Lahore and Peshawar".

The energy system is also vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather events, which are projected to intensify with climate change. Pakistan's disaster risk is also driven by social vulnerability.

The report says Pakistan has regularly experienced some of the highest maximum temperatures in the world, with an average monthly high of around 27°C and an average high of 36°C in June. Many parts of Pakistan experience temperatures of 38°C or more annually when weather patterns converge to produce prolonged heat waves, which can have severe effects on human health. Pakistan experienced 126 heatwaves between 1997 and 2015, about seven per year, with an increasing trend.

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