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7/10/2007

Rise in sea level temperature not a good omen for city

Breaking Earth News
Pakistan
Photo: Rising seas ... report warns of cost of inaction. Photo by Stephanie Johnson

The sea level temperature in the Arabian Sea is rising gradually as a result of global warming, threatening the costal areas of Pakistan , including Karachi, according to experts. “The sea level temperature of the Arabian Sea has risen between 0.2 Celsius to 0.8 Celsius over the last decade or so. That is also contributing in the increase of extreme weather events in our coastal areas. The tropical cyclones or monsoon depressions in the Arabian Sea were quite rare weather events but during the last 10 years or so the frequency of these extreme weather events has been on the rise." Global warming will also disrupt food security to millions of people because it paves the way for drought, disease and cyclones. In fact, droughts are the first sign of global warming. Countries such as Pakistan, which mainly depend on irrigation, will be badly affected by global warming, thereby making it difficult to feed their fast growing population. “Plants that cling on through heat and drought by special adaptations will suffer greater stress. Climate change will make life tougher because even the small amounts of water available will evaporate more quickly, reducing the growing time available. One of the problems of drier soils is erosion. This is made worse when people remove the natural vegetation to make room for crops." Pakistan is already suffering immensely due to salinity and land degradation and hundreds of thousands acres of fertile land are becoming uncultivable. Almost 37 per cent of the irrigated area of Sindh and 17 per cent of Punjab has become water logged and saline. These areas have not only lost their soil fertility but the underground pockets of sweet water have also become brackish and saline. As a result of global warming, desertification has started in Pakistan and sandy tracks generated by moving sand dunes are engulfing productive areas in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan.”
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