Any change in global or regional climate or a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels is considered as the climate change. Climate change is an established fact and its impacts on water resources, forests, agriculture, environment, health sectors and ENVIRONMENT INCLUDING SEASONS are quite visible around the globe. Climate change has great impacts on the change and shifting of the seasons.
Pakistan has four seasons; a cool, dry winter from December through February, a hot, dry spring from March through May, the summer rainy season from June to September, and the retreating Monsoon period of October and November. But these weather patterns have been altered due to rising temperatures and the increased Global Warming. On the other side, increased rainfalls cause tsunamis and floods including droughts too. Moreover, fogs and smog occur in the extreme winter conditions which disturb the normal human life. The global phenomenon of climate change is changing weather pattern across the country as summers are expanding, winters are shrinking, wet seasons are becoming wetter and dry spell is getting drier. According to the Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), Pakistan’s Monsoon is under strong impact if climate change.
Shifting seasons are directly linked to warmer GLOBAL TEMPERATURES. A slight change in temperature is enough to push the spring earlier and delay the first frost. The environmental changes cause many trees and spring wildflowers to bloom earlier than typical. As a result, winters become shorter, spring arrives earlier, summers are longer and fall arrives later. The growing seasons are shifting. Now the winter season starts from early November and continues till the end January whereas previously it started in mid-October and continued till mid-February. Spring is arriving earlier, winters are shorter and the number of freezing days is declining. These changes affect the timing of many life cycle events such as flowers bloom or when pollinators emerge. Changes in the timing of these events can have adverse effects on the ecosystem.
“Wet spells have become wetter and will become wetter and will become wettest while the dry spells have become drier and will become driest.”
(Mahr Sahibzad Khan)
Scientists have high confidence that the earlier arrival of spring events is linked to the recent warming trends in global climate disruptions in the timing of these events can have variety of impacts of the ecosystem such as, warm weather can create a “False Spring” that triggers the new growth of plants to begin too early, leaving them vulnerable to any subsequent frosts. Also, the prevailing weather patterns adversely affect the agriculture system of the country too. Humans are also affected by the changing weather conditions such as fogs, thunderstorms and windstorms affect normal routine. Food security is also affected due to changes in the seasons. Not only humans are affected, but the warming ocean temperature are also increasing the frequency of Coral Reefs Bleaching.
Discussing the reasons for the change in the weather patterns are the deforestation, rising levels of pollution, change in the land use, rapid urbanization, and unplanned industrialization are some of the contributing factors in enhancing the impacts of climate change in local conditions. These all factors disturb the growth of trees at the right time, floods, droughts, hurricanes, fires (forest fires), cold snaps, winter storms, tsunamis, heat waves, heaviest rainfalls, dust storms, fogs and other disasters that kill thousands of people in Pakistan. Also, the highest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan is 53.5 degree Celsius which was recorded in 2010.
Let us discuss the altering and changing of seasons with respect to the climate change; In the coming years rainfall in January, February and March will decrease further which will alter the plantation of trees and flowers and droughts, rainfall in April and May will increase which can cause tsunamis and flooding, rainfall in June, July and August will decrease and rainfall in September, October, November and December will increase slightly. Also the summer season in the country is expanding by one day per year and for the past 20 years till now the summer season had expanded by almost a month on both sides. Now the summer season starts in April and continue till early October while previously it was from May to August. And the winter season is shrinking by a ratio of half a day per year and so far it had shrunk by five days from both sides.
“WE ARE LIVING ON THE PLANET AS IF WE HAVE ANOTHER TO GO.”