Research conducted over the last decade by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that average global temperatures have increased by about 0.60C since the industrial revolution, mainly as a result of an increase in concentration of Green House Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. These results have been conﬁrmed in a recent study by showing that 20th century was the warmest century, 1990s the warmest decade of the millennium, and ten of the eleven warmest years in the series have now occurred in the past 11 years (1995–2005).
The temperature data from (1960-2014) obtained for the province of Punjab from Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD). Data contained 24 districts of Punjab. The average maximum and minimum temperature increased 0.960C and 0.930C respectively from 1960-1988 and from 1988-2014 the average maximum and minimum temperature increased 1.210C and 1.030C. Average maximum temperature increased in the districts of Sialkot, Murree, and Faisalabad (3.090C, 2.380C, 2.230C) respectively. The map also show the trend of temperature change in Punjab province in Pakistan.
The world has been warming at the rate of 0.128 ± 0.026 °C per year since last 59 years. In response to global warming, Pakistan is also facing Change in its climate, especially, in the temperature which seems to be risen considerably. Twelve of the warmest years on record occurred in the last decade. These alarming statistics carry a clear message that warming is due. Climate has intrinsic variability and has been changing in past decades, even, before we started measuring the climate parameters. But the uniqueness of this issue in modern world is that human activities are now playing significant role in causing the climate to change. This is evident from the recent rise in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and in response the rise of global temperatures on land and ocean’s surface.
Climate indicators and signals of climate change in Pakistan have been analyzed in this report. Temperature has been the key parameters for climate analysis. Long term data and daily data has been the main focus to calculate the indicators. Signals of climate change in the country are consistent with the global warming. The main findings are:
- Mean Annual Temperature of Pakistan has increased by 0.57°C from 1961 to 2014 and it has risen by 0.47°C in the period from 1960 to 2014. Rise in temperature is even faster in the last decade of the data period i.e. 1961 – 2014
- The rate of increase has been 0.057°C per decade in 20 the century; it has been 0.099°C per decade from 1960 to 2014. There is high variability of climate in Pakistan, so the change is not linear. The highest rate of increase occurred in the last decade. The average annual temperature of the last decade remained 0.6°C above normal.
Author: Ali Hassan Shabbir
MSc (Hons) Agricultural Economics, Institute of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
University of Agricultural Faisalabad, Pakistan.