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Friday Feb 03, 2017

The unseen threat to Karachi's coastlines

KARACHI: For most Pakistanis living in the rest of the country's landlocked cities, Karachi brings recollections of the beautiful sights of its seashore. But the picturesque view of the coastline also has a darker side.

Recent studies show that an alarming spike in the temperature on Earth will cause sea levels to rise in megacities.

Climate Central, a US-based research group, predicts that a 4-degree Centigrade increase in world temperature would submerge land covered by approximately 600 million people.

Karachi is among one of the affected megacities. It lines up with Shanghai, Mumbai, New York, and others.

"Karachi is already on the verge of sea level rise. If water intrudes, it would inundate the entire old Karachi area," said Dr. Moazzam Ahmed, an environmentalist at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pakistan.

Speaking to Geo News, he further elaborated, "There is no planning done to save Karachi from nature's fury. No government has paid heed toward the upcoming climate challenges."

Scientists in the Climate Central study predict that such a rise in temperature is expected in the coming 100 years.

"Sea level is rising due to glacier melting. However, high temperature causes distance in water molecules and, as a result, oceans expand," said Dr. Moazzam, who thinks these two factors will be responsible for sea to intrude land.

While mentioning endangered areas, he pointed out, "Kharadar, Lyari, Clifton, Saddar, Landhi, Ibrahim Hyderi and Korangi."

"Living in such areas in coming decades will be a tricky task. Streets of such areas have only seen rain and sewerage water. They cannot weather the thrust of sea water," he said.

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