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Pakistan’s Apocalyptic Flood Suggests a Greater Global Crisis

Pakistan is facing the worst flood in its history, with water covering 140,000 kilometers of dry land. This modern-day Noah’s flood has affected 33 million people, which is more than 75 times the population of Miami. 7 million people living in at least 500,000 homes have been forced to escape their homes at the hands of the natural disaster.

Ever since the first humans settled in Pakistan, there has always been seasonal flooding in Pakistan. Like in India and the rest of South Asia, monsoon winds are one of the culprits. Monsoon winds are caused by an increased difference in the temperature of seawater and land, in this case, Pakistan and the Indian Ocean. The rain monsoons cause comes from seawater evaporating into clouds, which are blown over to Pakistan by the winds. 

Another source of seasonal flooding comes from glaciers melting in Northern Pakistan and swelling rivers with more water than they can hold. 

Global warming and climate change in general directly worsen monsoons and all-natural disasters, even the hurricanes that threaten Florida and the southeast U.S. every year for half a year. A heat wave before the floods caused the highest temperatures recorded in South Asia since 1901. In fact, 21 out of 25 of the hottest temperatures recorded in Pakistan since 1931 have occurred in the 21st century. Furthermore, there has been a high amount of evaporation in the Indian Ocean recently, forming more storm clouds. With all this increased heat, evaporation, and timing, the perfect storm had a chance of forming, and when nature took it, Pakistan was not ready. 

Even worse, Pakistan isn’t responsible for its climatic and traumatic misfortune. Today, Pakistan is responsible for 1% of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions, despite making up 2.83% of the global population. This is another reminder that ALL of humanity is suffering the consequences of human-caused (anthropogenic) climate change, even if you aren’t responsible for it. 

What Pakistan is going through at this moment may not seem like a big deal to people not from there, but it will and already is a big deal here in Miami, Florida. Hurricane season in the southeastern U.S. follows similar patterns to monsoon season, in that it is seasonal and causes increased evaporation. As ocean water heats up more and more each year, as it did in Pakistan, hurricanes and storms will get worse. Out of the top 50 most expensive hurricanes in U.S. history, 35 have occurred ever since Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida in 1992.

Pakistan’s problem will soon be everyone else’s problem too.

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