Extreme Temperature Diary- Saturday August 27th, 2022/Main Topic: The Latest Victims of a Climate Changed Ramped Up Monsoon in Pakistan

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: The Latest Victims of a Climate Changed Ramped Up Monsoon in Pakistan

Dear Diary. From May into June across India we saw a historic heatwave. Now, after the heat broke once the monsoon kicked in, about 1000 people have been killed in Pakistan from historic flooding:

I think I see a pattern, and many other scientists do, also. Climate change is making late spring heatwaves across Southern Asia stronger. When these break, the monsoon is stronger, and of course, Warner Air can hold more moisture. This is not good news at all for residents of India and Pakistan.

Here are links to some of the latest research from dw.com (Click the link for all graphics and pictures, some of which I did not repost.):

https://www.dw.com/en/indian-monsoon-climate-change-rainfall/a-57187793

ENVIRONMENT

Climate change makes Indian monsoon season stronger and more chaotic

Heavier rains that wash away crops could worsen hunger for a country in which farming makes up 20% of the economy.

Heavy monsoon rains are disrupting life across the Indian subcontinent

The monsoon rains that batter India each summer, unleashing 80% of the country’s yearly rainfall in four months crucial for its farmers, are at the whim of forces far beyond its borders.

Summer dust storms in the Arabian Peninsula and fossil fuels burned in countries across the world are causing heavier seasonal rains in India, according to two separate studies of a precarious climate system upon which more than 1 billion people rely on for food.

The first study, a paper published in the journal Earth-Science Reviews in April, found that dust particles swept into the atmosphere from deserts in the Middle East grow so hot under sunlight that they change the air pressure over the Arabian Sea. This creates a kind of heat pump in the sky, which drives moisture from above the ocean to the Indian subcontinent, leading to a wetter monsoon season that then strengthens winds and could whip up even more dust particles.

The second study, published in the journal Earth Systems Dynamics on Wednesday, found that human-wrought climate change is making the Indian summer monsoon wetter and more erratic. Using the latest climate models, researchers from Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) found that every additional degree of warming is likely to increase monsoon rainfall by 5%.

The Earth has already warmed by more than 1 degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since the Industrial Revolution, and a November United Nations report found world leaders’ plans to keep it to 1.5 C this century “woefully inadequate,” adding that global heating is on track to more than double that. The countries least responsible — such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh — are typically poorer and more reliant on agriculture than historical emitters, and already suffer from worsening weather extremes.

“The summer monsoon is even more sensitive to global warming than previously thought,” said lead author Anja Katzenberger from PIK. “We have the power to shape the intensity of these changes via [our] greenhouse gas emissions.”

Heavier Indian summer monsoon rains

The English word monsoon comes from the Arabic mawsim, meaning season. It refers to the twice-yearly shifts in prevailing wind direction that bring warm rains to land in the summer, and send cold, dry air to the sea in the winter. In parts of India like the Western Ghats, the coming and going of the summer monsoon is strong enough to turn semi-arid mountains into lush green landscapes.

For thousands of years, farmers have timed the planting and harvesting of staple foods like rice and wheat to the beat of the monsoon, which varies naturally from year to year. But as greenhouse gases clog up the atmosphere, trapping sunlight and warming the planet, scientists expect the monsoon to become increasingly chaotic.

“More erratic rainfall in the future poses a challenge for farmers to cope with a broader range of potential rainfall amounts,” said Katzenberger. At first glance, an increase in rainfall might seem good for crops — but too much can significantly lower yields for some plants during the growing season, she added.

Crops like rice are particularly vulnerable to changes in the timing and quantity of monsoon rains

Most Indians rely on agriculture for their livelihood, and their crops are highly sensitive to rainfall variability. Climate scientists from three separate institutions told DW via email that the PIK study is in line with previous climate modeling that projects Indian summer monsoons will get wetter and more chaotic as greenhouse gas levels rise.

“This new paper, based on the most recent models, supports earlier research,” said Andrew Turner, an associate professor in monsoon systems at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. 

Crops like rice are particularly vulnerable to changes in the timing and quantity of monsoon rains

Most Indians rely on agriculture for their livelihood, and their crops are highly sensitive to rainfall variability. Climate scientists from three separate institutions told DW via email that the PIK study is in line with previous climate modeling that projects Indian summer monsoons will get wetter and more chaotic as greenhouse gas levels rise.

“This new paper, based on the most recent models, supports earlier research,” said Andrew Turner, an associate professor in monsoon systems at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. 

Crops like rice are particularly vulnerable to changes in the timing and quantity of monsoon rains.

Most Indians rely on agriculture for their livelihood, and their crops are highly sensitive to rainfall variability. Climate scientists from three separate institutions told DW via email that the PIK study is in line with previous climate modeling that projects Indian summer monsoons will get wetter and more chaotic as greenhouse gas levels rise.

“This new paper, based on the most recent models, supports earlier research,” said Andrew Turner, an associate professor in monsoon systems at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. 

Countries like Indonesia are also adapting to punishing floods from heavy monsoon rains.

The study finds that “even with modest warming projected under the low-emission trajectories, the monsoons are likely to intensify,” said Deepti Singh, an assistant professor in the School of the Environment at Washington State University Vancouver. “One of the key findings is that these latest climate models project even more pronounced intensification of the monsoon.”

But not all of the new climate models used in the analysis simulate monsoon circulation well, and that “reduces confidence in the results,” said Roxy Matthew Koll from the Center for Climate Change Research at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. “There is, however, one factor that all climate model projections agree with: That the extreme rainfall events are going to increase. In fact, this is already visible in observations.”

Heavy monsoon rains can also overwhelm cities.

They also make landslides and flooding more likely.

Local cooling from aerosols

Scientists struggle to assess monsoon patterns because they depend on competing factors. Although climate change is warming the planet, changes in land use along with aerosol emissions — from vehicle exhaust fumes and crop burning, for instance — are cooling factors.

Since 1950, Indian summer monsoon rainfall has actually declined. Scientists think this is because of a solar dimming effect from those energy-absorbing aerosols. The effect could “still partly offset greenhouse gas-induced increases in monsoon rainfall in the next 10 or 20 years or so,” said Turner.

But even though most aerosols lead to less rainfall, some can have the opposite effect.

The heavy layers of black carbon and sulfate hanging over South Asia — home to the most chokingly polluted cities on the planet — cool the surface and reduce monsoon rains. Yet mineral dust blown over from the Middle East heats the atmosphere and can instead increase rainfall.

While most studies agree that these dust aerosols strengthen the Indian summer monsoon, their estimates of how and where rain is likely to fall vary widely, according to the new Earth-Science Reviews paper on dust in the Mideast.

Understanding these processes better could help modelers trying to predict rainfall, said Qinjian Jin, lead author of that study and a lecturer at the University of Kansas in the United States. “Our understanding [of] the monsoon is very limited, even though we have made promising progress during the past several decades,” he wrote in an email

Since the beginning of the century, global warming has overtaken other human activities like aerosol emissions in driving Indian summer monsoon rains, Katzenberger concluded. “This is projected to continue to do so for the rest of the century.”

Correction: This article has been updated to clarify that some climate models do not simulate monsoon dynamics well, rather than not simulating them at all.

Now here is the latest report issued today from the Washington Post on severe flooding affecting Pakistan. This appears to be the one climate crisis item that has unfortunately killed the most people during August 2022 across the planet, although we don’t know how many victims were murdered by fossil fuel company carbon pollution from China’s historic heatwave, which was yesterday’s Diary main topic. Thank goodness the tropics were relatively inactive worldwide this month, but eerily so. This article should have mentioned climate change but did not:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/deaths-from-flooding-in-monsoon-drenched-pakistan-near-1000/2022/08/27/365e0040-25e9-11ed-a72f-1e7149072fbc_story.html

Deaths from flooding in monsoon drenched Pakistan near 1,000

By Zarar Khan | AP

August 27, 2022 at 8:40 a.m. EDT

A Pakistani man looks for belongings from his flood-hit shop in Mingora, the capital of Swat valley in Pakistan, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. Officials say flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains across much of Pakistan have killed nearly 1,000 people and displaced thousands more since mid-June. (AP Photo/Naveed Ali)

ISLAMABAD — Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains across much of Pakistan have killed nearly 1,000 people and injured and displaced thousands more since mid-June, officials said Saturday.

The new death toll came a day after Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif asked for international help in battling deadly flood damage in the impoverished Islamic nation.

The monsoon season, which began earlier than normal this year, has lashed Pakistan with particularly heavy rains and rescuers have struggled to evacuate thousands of marooned people from flood-hit areas. The crisis forced the government to declare a state of emergency.

In northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, flooding destroyed the gates of a major water control system at the Swat River, leading to flooding in the districts of Charsadda and Nowshera, said Sania Safi, a top administrator in Charsadda.

“We preempted the situation and warned and forced hesitating residents to leave their homes for safety and move to relief camps established at government buildings in safe places,” she said.

Safi said there was concern of further rising of the Swat and Kabul rivers, adding to the misery of residents who have already suffered the loss of lives and property.

In Nowshera district, local administrator Quratul Ain Wazir said flood waters submerged streets before the gushing waters headed toward low-lying areas.

“Our administration has evacuated many people and taken others to relief camps where government provided beds and food in safe buildings,” she said. … “We will use police to force those hesitant to leave their homes.”

Khushal Wahab, who lives in a neighborhood in Nowshera submerged in water, said residents recalled catastrophic flooding that took place 2010 and many evacuated fearing similar danger. “People are scared,” he said.

Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said soldiers and rescue organizations were helping people to reach safety in many districts of southern Sindh, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eastern Punjab and southwestern Baluchistan provinces.

“Government has sanctioned sufficient funds to financially compensate the affected people and we will not leave our people alone in this tough time,” she said.

Aurangzeb asked wealthy people and relief organizations to come forward with aid to help flood-affected Pakistanis.

In response to Sharif’s appeal for international aid, the United Nations planned a $160 million flash appeal for donations, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar. He said in his weekly briefing Friday that the appeal will be launched Aug. 30.

The picturesque Kalam Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is one of the areas most affected by the rains and flooding. Waters from overflowing rivers swept away entire buildings, including an iconic hotel.

“The situation is pretty serious as we don’t have any road link left with the rest of the province, we don’t have electricity, gas and communications network and no relief is reaching here,” said Muzaffar Khan, whose grocery store was swept away along with many other shops.

Thousands whose homes were swept away now live in tents, miles away from their inundated villages and towns, after being rescued by soldiers, local disaster workers and volunteers, authorities said.

In Baluchistan, Asadullah Nasir, a spokesperson at the provincial disaster management authority, said all 34 districts of the impoverished province were badly affected by heavy rain and flooding. He said road networks were destroyed and bridges washed away and relief was only possible by deploying helicopters, which are not often able to operate because of bad weather. He said provincial officials have confirmed 235 deaths but the number was expected to increase significantly after communications are restored.

In eastern Punjab province, the Rajan Pur district appeared to be the hardest hit along with the district of Dera Ghazi Khan. Thousands of mud and brick houses were inundated by water, most of them completely demolished or at least partly destroyed.

Residents made homeless by the flood took shelter on higher ground, where they waited for relief goods and other help.

Rahim Hasan, 52, said he lost his home and two children — a daughter and a son ages 14 and 16, respectively.

“I have nothing left in life, my home was destroyed and my children swept away by gushing water and now we are lying helpless on this road under open sky where soldiers are feeding us,” he said.

The National Disaster Management Authority in its latest overnight report said 45 people were killed in flood-related incidents from Friday to Saturday. That brought the death toll since mid-June to 982 with 1,456 injured.

Monsoon rains were expected to continue this week, mainly in the south and southwest. The season usually runs from July to mid September in Pakistan.

Heavy rains and subsequent flash floods have damaged bridges and road networks across Pakistan, disrupting the supply of fruit and vegetables to markets and causing a hike in prices.

Much of neighboring Afghanistan was also hit by heavy rain and flooding. Mohammad Nasim Haqqani, spokesman for the country’s National Disaster Management Ministry, said at least seven people were killed in eastern Nangarhar province over a 24-hour period, and more than 600 others were rescued by Defense Ministry helicopters. The seven in addition to 182 fatalities announced dead earlier in the week.

Associated Press reporters Riaz Khan in Peshawar, Abdul Sattar in Quetta and Asim Tanveer in Multan, Pakistan and Rahim Faiez in Islamabad contributed to this report.

Also, of note:

https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1563502217537081349?s=20&t=hEfqt1FJTgu1Cj9iPGflgw

Here are some more “ET’s” and heavy precipitation notes recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks:

Here is more climate and weather newsfeed from Saturday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid list in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

https://twitter.com/1hakankapucu/status/1563508499119628289?s=20&t=hEfqt1FJTgu1Cj9iPGflgw

(If you like these posts and my work, please contribute via this site’s PayPal widget. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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