Gilgit-Baltistan and Climate change

Gilgit-Baltistan is one of the most beautiful places in the world. This area has its own unique status in the world. There are natural lakes, mountains, rivers, plains, waterfalls, glaciers, and beautiful lush valleys that look beyond the definition of indescribable nature.

Impacts of Climate Change in Gilgit-Baltistan
Impacts of Climate Change in Gilgit-Baltistan

This paradise is prone to floods, landslides, the eruption of glacial lakes, earthquakes, and other hazards because of the surrounding mountains.

Natural Disasters

According to a survey, the average speed of glaciers melting in Gilgit-Baltistan is 48.60 cm per year. This is the era where along with other scientific institutions experts have access to facilities and information available for conducting research on natural disasters. Thanks to the institutions which are actively participating in preventing natural disasters and reducing loss of life and property. Several agencies are working to raise awareness about climate change and its impact on human lives. Some the organizations such as the Meteorological Department, The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and Focus Pakistan are working on climate change in Pakistan.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, lightning strikes, floods, and flash floods are melting glaciers. The erosion of lakes beneath the glaciers is causing floods and they also harm human lives. These natural disasters leave many valleys desolate. A great example of this is the creation of Ataabad Lake in Hunza Valley Gilgit-Baltistan due to landslides and devastation.

Dangerous Glaciers and Glacier Lakes In Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan has 5218 glaciers and 2420 glacier lakes. 52 of the lakes have been declared dangerous for the human population. According to a recent research survey by the Pakistan Meteorological Department, there are 36 endangered lakes in Gilgit-Baltistan. According to the survey, 7 of these 36 lakes are extremely dangerous, 12 dangerous, and 13 less dangerous. Extremely dangerous lakes can erupt at any time, causing massive damage to local populations. Less dangerous lakes can be dangerous during rains and earthquakes.

Areas of Gilgit-Baltistan which have glacier lakes include Hunza, Nagar, Astor, Shigar, Khaplu, Kharmang, etc. In Gilgit, the lakes of Bagrut, Hunza, Upper Hunza, Ashkuman, Yasin, Astor, and Gopis are dangerous and could cause damage due to eruption. The eruption of these dangerous lakes threatens to damage fertile lands, crops, forests, roads, water channel pipelines, and populations. The Indus river is damaging fertile lands, crops, and forests in the Baltistan division.

Important Factors of Climate Change

According to scientists at the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ECMOD), research on the rapidly melting glaciers has revealed that black carbon is a major cause of melting glaciers in the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. Glaciers are also melting rapidly due to environmental pollution. Carbon dioxide is a dangerous toxin for health as well as the environment. Burning wood in these areas emits more black smoke than diesel-powered vehicles.

Black Carbon melts ice faster. The recent cold has made it clear that due to major climate change, rainfall, and snowfall, the Climate cycle is changing.

Impacts of Climate Change in Gilgit-Baltistan
Impacts of Climate Change in Gilgit-Baltistan

Deforestation

Experts further say that due to population growth, deforestation has increased and trees are becoming extinct, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, which in turn causes climate change. He added that rapidly melting glaciers increase the amount of water in the lakes.

Experts believe that if deforestation is stopped and alternative sources like gas are used in household chores, more electricity is increased by increasing the amount of electricity. Environmental pollution can be reduced by preventing deforestation.

There is a need to implement the recommendations of the relevant institutions, scientists, and experts to minimize the damage caused by global warming in Gilgit-Baltistan. The political leadership, bureaucracy, and all stakeholders of Gilgit-Baltistan together should be on a single platform. Try to minimize the damage. The government machinery should be ready for immediate action and non-governmental organizations should also be bound in this regard.