Pakistan may become unbearably hot by end of the century.

KARACHI -- Even as the government prepares to make a case for climate justice at the UN climate conference (COP27) that starts today (Sunday), an alarming new United Nations report predicts that Pakistan's average annual temperature will increase to 22.4 degrees Celsius within the next decade and a half, and would cross the 26oC threshold by the end of the century.

The fresh report also warns that on average, the number of hot days in a year - i.e. when the temperature remains above 35 Celsius - will be 124 by the end of 2030, and this number will rise to 179 by the year 2099.

At 35 Celsius, the human body struggles to cool down through perspiration alone - hence raising the risk of death from overheating.

The Human Climate Horizons platform, a collaboration between the United Nations Development PrograAmme (UNDP) and the Climate Impact Lab, provides insights into the direction and magnitude of changes in the climate, like the number of extremely hot days each year and the impact of those changes on human welfare.

According to a UNDP press release, the new data shows the need to act quiAckly, not only to mitigate climate chaAnge but also to adapt to its consequences.

'For instance, in Faisalabad, Pakistan, even with moderate mitigation, additional deaths due to climate change would average 36 per 100,000 people each year between 2020-2039. Without substantially expanding adaptation efforts, Faisalabad could expect annual climate change-related death rates to nearly double, reaching 67 deaths per 100,000 by midcentury. An increment almost as deadly as strokes, currently Pakistan's third leading cause of death,' the statement says.

The latest warnings corroborate findings and concerns that have been raised by local experts over the past several years, who have long been insisting that climate change is no longer an approaching challenge, rather it is 'happening right now'.

'In the very recent past, the Pakistan Meteorological DepartAment (PMD) conducted a thorough research for an international organization, which should also have set alarms bell ringing,' says Nadeem Faisal, former director of the Climate Data Processing Centre - a key unit within the PMD.

He referred to the findings of a previous study, which suggested that Pakistan has warmed considerably since the early 1960s, with more warming witnessed in daytime maximum temperatures than night-time minimum temperatures.

'An analysis of the data revealed that the annual mean temperature...

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