Human-caused climate change was reason behind floods in Pakistan

Research looking at how much global warming was responsible for the recent devastating floods that swamped portions of Pakistan suggests that human-caused climate change played a role.

The World Weather Attribution group’s multinational team of climate experts reported that rainfall in the hardest-hit areas had increased by up to 75% recently and came to the conclusion that human activity was probably responsible for the record August precipitation in Sindh and Balochistan.

Over 33 million people were affected, 1.7 million houses were demolished, and nearly 1,400 people died as a result of heavy flooding.

Senior lecturer at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute Friederike Otto said, “What we saw in Pakistan is exactly what climate projections have been predicting for years.”

The scientists analyzed weather data and computer simulations of the current climate to assess the probability of such an event occurring at the roughly 1.2 degrees Celsius of warming that human activity has caused since the Industrial era. This analysis helped them determine what role global warming played in the torrential rain.

They then compared that likelihood to information and computer models of former climatic circumstances, which were 1.2C colder than the present.

They discovered that climate change may have resulted in an up to 50% increase in the 5-day total rainfall for Sindh and Balochistan.

According to the analysis, given the climatic conditions we are currently experiencing, there is a one percent probability that such an event will occur in any given year.

The World Meteorological Organization said last week that the frequency of weather-related catastrophes, like the one in Pakistan, had increased fivefold over the previous 50 years, killing 115 people daily.