Intensified Hydrological Cycle Boosting Frequency Of PK's Disasters

Scientists from PK,US, Switzerland, and Singapore have demonstrated that intensification of hydrological cycle raises the frequency of droughts and floods.

Intensified Hydrological Cycle Boosting Frequency Of PK's Disasters

Devastating floods struck Pakistan from June to October 2022, displacing over 30 million people and causing an estimated $15 billion in damages. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an isolated disaster; just a few months prior to the monsoon flooding, droughts were a significant source of worry. What is causing this string of bizarre occurrences? Scientists from Pakistan (PK), the United States, Switzerland, and Singapore have demonstrated that the intensification of the hydrological cycle, which raises the frequency of droughts and floods, is the root cause of these phenomena.

Tree rings, which “record” the duration and intensity of previous climate conditions, offer scientific evidence in favour of this hypothesis. The Kabul River Basin’s annual precipitation was reconstructed by the researchers using data from the Hindu Kush Mountains for the nearly four-century period from 1637 to 2018.

Dr. Nguyen, the corresponding author, said, “Our precipitation data show alarming trends” (Columbia University). Droughts are becoming more severe, shorter, and frequent, interspersed with more frequent wet periods, according to trends over the past four centuries.

Droughts and floods do not necessarily go hand in hand; they are both aspects of natural hydro-climatological variability. The rate and intensity at which these phenomena manifest themselves, however, are likely to increase in a warmer climate, as we are currently seeing in central Asia.

Dr. Galelli, a co-author from the Singapore University of Technology and Design, further stated that “the consequences for the management of natural resources are vast.”

“We must reconsider how we approach the planning and management of infrastructure because the hydrological cycle has an impact on many socioeconomic sectors. “There is a critical need for climate adaptation and mitigation, which we are just beginning to see.”

The hydrological cycle, also known as the water cycle, is the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth. It involves the transfer of water from the earth to the atmosphere and vice versa through various processes such as evaporation, transpiration, precipitation, infiltration, and run-off.