Pakistan's Floods: A Glimpse of the Future

“Terrible devastation.”

With those two words, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif summed-up the 2022 monsoon season in Pakistan, home to one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable societies … and one having made only scant contributions to the mounting carbon dioxide emissions at the heart of human-caused climate change.

On top of historically damaging flooding in 2010, this year brought a far worse monsoon season to the country, which has the most glaciers (7,253) of any country outside of the polar arctic region. Those glaciers, many at risk of melting and too many already at various stages, are critical for providing the strategic country’s population, agriculture, and water supplies.

Meteorologist and Yale Climate Connections regular contributor Bob Henson says in Peter Sinclair’s new “This is not Cool” video for this site that the 2022 summer’s monsoons are “a normal feature of the summer season,” this time “run amok.” He concisely explains the reasons.

University of Michigan scientist Meha Jain explains how climate change is affecting “the intensity, the frequency, and the duration” of precipitation in Pakistan, providing periods having little or very minor rain followed by periods of intense rainfalls. She points to damaging effects on the country’s drought, crop failures, and water resources.

In video footage from 2014, Ohio State University scientist Lonnie Thompson points to the strategic importance of the Indus River, running through China, Pakistan, and India, all “geopolitical hot spots” vulnerable to adverse climate change impacts. He grimly warns that the only options for addressing the region’s challenges are major reductions of climate pollutant emissions, adaptation to them… or “suffering.”

Peter Sinclair

Peter Sinclair is a Michigan-based videographer, specializing in climate change and renewable energy issues. He has created hundreds of educational videos correcting climate science misinformation,...