Pakistan ranks third in climate-risk index 2013 | Pakistan Today

Pakistan ranks third in climate-risk index 2013

Despite severe flooding in 2011, Pakistan managed to drop itself from first last year, to third position this year in the league table for countries that were worst hit by extreme weather events in 2011, according to a ‘climate risk index 2013’ published here on Tuesday.
In 2011, the ranking of the most affected countries is led by Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, El Salvador and the Philippines.
The index, compiled by a European NGO, Germanwatch, was announced during an address at the United Nations Climate Summit in Doha, Qatar.
This is an annual pointer of which countries are most in need of shoring up defences against the extreme weather, which climate expert believed are expected to further increase, potentially with large scale dangerous impacts if the global community does not immediately scale up its action to mitigate climate change and to adaptation.
An exceptional accumulation of very severe natural catastrophes makes 2011 one of the highest-ever loss years on record. Remarkably, whenever an event of 2011 is addressed the attribute “worst in countries’ history” is awarded, the index says.
According to the index in total, more than 530,000 people died as a direct consequence from almost 15,000 extreme weather events, and losses of more than 2.5 trillion USD occurred from 1992 to 2011. The tough monsoon season in Southeast Asia also caused substantial damage in Thailand’s neighbours. In Cambodia, the extreme rainfalls resulted in the worst flooding in decades killing about 250 people just as destroying houses and ruining rice crops. The same applies for Laos, where 300,000 people in 10 of the countries’ 17 provinces were affected by heavy flooding.
Pakistan, which suffered the worst flooding in the countries’ history in 2010, was again struck by a rough monsoon season in 2011 killing over 500 people.
Pakistani climate experts and CEO LEAD Pakistan Ali Tauqeer Sheikh says that Pakistan has many development and governance challenges and climate change is having a multiplier effect on these. He said that the increased risk and impact of climate extremes and disasters, particularly flooding, is the most visible example.
“The government has recognised that climate change and development go hand in hand. They are proactively looking at how to build the resilience of the country,” he added.
2011 was also an extreme year for the United States as they suffered through a combination of exceptional and severe weather events including a series of devastating tornadoes, record-breaking high temperatures and an intense hurricane season, including Hurricane Irene in August 2011.
In recent years thousands of people across the globe had to face severe extreme events, exceptional both with regard to their economic damages and lives lost as well as their meteorological magnitude. While a couple of years ago there was hardly any event where science experts made a clear link to climate change, the research community has progressed.