Glaciers in Gilgit Baltistan Started to Melt Rapidly Due to CPEC And Other Mega Projects

The pollution created during the work on major development projects in Gilgit Baltistan has severely affected the natural beauty, eco system and wildlife of Khunjarab National Park. Due to the average temperature rise large glaciers, including Passu glacier located in Hunza Valley, have begun to melting rapidly. According to Meteorological Department of Pakistan due to the rapid growth in the average temperature of Pakistan, the amount of glacier melting is recorded about 40 to 60 meters in last decades. According to the Meteorological Assistant Glacier Inventory report, the average temperature increase in Pakistan has increased the melting of glaciers due to which the number of snow and glacial lake is increasing rapidly. According to the report there are total 7259 glaciers in the Himalayas HinduKush and Karakoram Currently. According to the 2001 Glaciers inventory report, the total number of glacial lakes in Hindukush, Karakoram and the Himalayas region was 2420, which increased 3044 in 2013. 36 of them are declared very dangerous. These lakes can outburst any time and can cause a huge devastation in Gilgit Baltistan.

According to meteorologists, global warming increases due to increasing worldwide temperatures, but compared to other countries, average temperatures in Pakistan are increasing rapidly. During the past 100 years, the average temperature of the world has increased by 0.6 degree centigrade, and if the same series continues, during the last century, the average rate of the temperature can increase from 1.8 to 4.0 degree centigrams. According to experts, average temperatures in the world remained 0.6 from 1901 to 1956, while in the meanwhile the average temperatures in Pakistan remained 0.6. From the year 1956 to 1971, the world’s average temperature was 0.128. Meanwhile average temperatures in India remained 0.16. From 1971 to 1981, the average temperature of the world was 0.152, while the average temperatures in Pakistan remained 0.26.

Glaciers Gilgit Baltistan

Source : Meteorological Department Pakistan

The average temperature of the world was 0.177 in 1977, while during this period in India, the average temperature was 0.39. The average temperature in the world was 0.333 from 991 to 2005, while it compared to 0.74 degree centigrade in Pakistan compared to that. It is estimated that the average temperature of the world will be 0.7 from 2010 to 2039, while in the meantime, average temperatures in Pakistan will go up to 1 degree centigrade, which will increase the melting of glaciers. It will also increase the rate of floods.

According to the local people of Hunza people, on the other hand, with negative adverse effects of climate change, Gilgit-Baltistan, particularly in the Valley of Hunza, is a massive CPEC development projects in which the blasting, construction of heavy machinery generated noise and smoke, increase in hotel industry, increase in number of vehicles, and large number of tourists, including the exhaust gases caused melting of glaciers. Natural beauty, environment and wildlife also affected by the situation. The resident and well-known businessman of  Karimabad Hunza, Mir Shahryar Ali Khan, told the media that , during the last ten years a massive development project, with increasing the number of hotel industry and vehicles, mobile phones and Internet started change in climate and melting of glaciers.

Hunza Temperature

Temperature and precipitation trend of Gupis/Sosot for the month of July 2012. Source Pakistan Meteorological Department

The beauty and natural environment has been greatly affected. He said that during this period temperatures have been increased by an average of five degree centigrade’s, which has made a difference between months and months of harvesting of crops and fruits. It was not until the last few years before the feather of tradition during the summer, but now the summer I feel so hot that it is difficult to run without AC in homes and vehicles, due to change in climate, people’s color has begun to change. He said that tourists came to an atmosphere of pollution and mega projects. But the work started not only melting from glaciers, but also affected the wild life in Khunjarab National Parks. It is difficult to see wild life in Khunjarab National Park. He said that the heat intensity Increased rainfall and increased pollution with increased damage.

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