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Weather change: a conspiracy?

Published Jun 27, 2015 01:04am

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The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.
The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.

PAKISTAN’S weather is getting more extreme, less predictable. Concomitantly there is rising temptation to put the onus upon some human agency. Unsurprisingly, sinister and malign forces bent upon reshaping this country’s climatic pattern are being conjured up. But how well can they survive scientific scrutiny?

Yes, extreme weather is hitting Pakistan hard — very hard. There wasn’t enough refrigeration in Karachi’s hospital morgues to store corpses this week after 1,000 people died from a monster heatwave that left Sindh sizzling with 50ºC temperatures. But April was unseasonably cold in the northern areas, where rain and hailstorms destroyed crops and fruit on a massive scale. All these pale before the abnormal events of 2010. Rains of biblical proportion followed a summer of extreme heat. Sheets of water poured from the skies for days leaving 2,000 dead, millions displaced, and 20pc of Pakistan under water.

What is responsible? Some ask a different question: Who did it? A new book, Reality of Floods in Pakistan, purports to give an answer. It echoes the conspiratorial notion, pushed by certain fringe academics in the West, that weather weapons are secretly being used by powerful states against weaker ones. In particular, this book holds India responsible for the 2010 catastrophe.


In a world with multiple tensions, pseudoscientific claims of weather modification can do great harm.


Expecting that my dissent would add variety, last week I was invited to be a speaker at its launch in Islamabad by the author, Waqas Ahmed, a young Pakistani telecommunications engineer. Glowing tribute is paid on the book’s back cover by Pakistan’s famed nuclear scientist, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahm­ood. Mr Mahmood, who also spoke, was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1998 for being the founder-director of the Kahuta Nuclear Enrichment Project. He is better known as Pakistan’s ‘jinn man’ for advocating the capture of these fiery beings, who would then duly add their contributions to our electricity grid. He achieved additional recognition after meeting Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in early 2001.

One argument in the book closely follows that of Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, former chairman of the HEC and a Fellow of the Royal Society, which was published in this newspaper on Oct 17, 2010. Therein the good professor, quoting political leaders and non-scientists rather than his own research in chemistry, alleged that the massive floods in July 2010, and possibly various recent earthquakes, were likely instigated by an experiment in Alaska called HAARP which directs radio waves at a part of the upper atmosphere called the ionosphere. My objections to this bizarre theory will not be repeated here. The interested reader can google the various subsequent public discussions on the topic.

Less bizarre, but no less wrong, is the book’s contention that seeding clouds can lead to catastrophic floods. I say this is less bizarre because diddling with the ionosphere cannot have the slightest impact upon weather but seeding clouds might have some. The book hints that five years ago India prepared some combination of drones, aircraft spewing chemicals, ground-based cloud seeding generators, ionospheric heaters, and aerosol rockets that nearly drowned its unfriendly neighbour. But even if some of this paraphernalia could have been mustered without being detected, to cause massive countrywide rains is impossible. To understand this we first need to understand both the potentialities and limitations of cloud seeding.

For many decades we’ve known that spraying finely divided particles of certain substances, such as ordinary salt or sodium iodide, can coax the rain out of a cloud. But only sometimes! A cloud has to be of a particular kind with its temperature, density, droplet size, and internal wind currents being just right. Else seeding is useless, which is so about 80-90pc of the time. Most importantly, you cannot alter weather over large areas with multiple clouds through this mechanism.

Today’s extreme weather owes to two culprits. First, plain bad luck — these things just happen! From heat and cold waves to tornadoes and typhoons, nature has turned extreme from time to time over hundreds of centuries. Even today, although we know a lot about jet streams and currents, specific occurrences can be foretold only a little in advance.

Talking of luck (or chance) cries for explanation. Yes, for all its precision, science actually needs this concept! Chance (probability) is a perfectly well-defined mathematical quantity and essential because most systems are not rigidly deterministic. In particular, the atmosphere-ocean system contains chaotic fluids obeying certain equations which suffer from what is famously called the ‘butterfly effect’.

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for the particularities of a hurricane (strength, path, place of formation) being influenced by minor disturbances. Even a butterfly that flapped its wings several weeks earlier in China can make a difference! Before its discovery 50-60 years ago, it was thought that if atmospheric conditions could somehow be known exactly today, with big enough computers we could precisely predict weather for all times to come. But, as mentioned, weather equations are supersensitive to even the tiniest of input variations. This limits our ability for long-term prediction or for controlling individual events. Chance becomes inevitable. On the other hand, short-term forecasts and weather averages are accurately predicted.

The second culprit is global warming. Greenhouse gas emissions from cars and factories have made Earth steadily warmer. Correspondingly, the atmosphere packs greater energy and more moisture. These lead to more and bigger storms, as well as extreme heat and cold events. But when or where an extreme event will hit cannot be controlled or precisely predicted.

In a world crackling with multiple tensions, pseudoscientific claims of weather modification can do great harm by increasing mistrust. Although one cannot vouch for the future, no country today is capable of using weather as a weapon. As increasingly severe storms, droughts, and wildfires in the United States demonstrate, even the world’s most powerful country — one alleged to be at the forefront of weather modification — has not escaped nature’s wrath. Humans have collectively made Earth sicker and more feverish, and now it is lashing back. Rather than lend our ears to conspiracy-obsessed theorists, we need to cut down emissions and go for eco-friendly energy solutions. And, of course, prepare for the tough times ahead.

The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2015

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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


Comments (81) Closed



jatt Jun 27, 2015 01:36am

Guess Anything is possible

KM Jun 27, 2015 01:36am

Sane, logical and to the point article.

Hopeful Jun 27, 2015 01:48am

I beg to PERVEZ HOODBHOY pls come forward and lead the country on right path.

SS Jun 27, 2015 01:57am

Dear Sir,

I have always enjoyed reading your articles which reflect science and sanity.

Anirban Bhaumik Jun 27, 2015 02:01am

Climate changes are wreaking havoc in major parts of the world. In India and Pakistan this is particularly the problem because of poor infrastructure and disaster recovery mechanism in place. Taking the fight alone , or even jointly may not help much as it is a widespread phenomenon. What is required is early warning systems and proper disaster recovery setup in place to reduce human casualties. Cutting down on emissions and increasing green cover are long term solutions which I do not think any political party in India or Pakistan are interested to pursue.

Rashid Jun 27, 2015 02:05am

Excellent article as usual from Dr. Hoodbhoy but I was left with wanting a little more at the end. I think our extreme deforestation and polluting could be bigger reason for instigating floods and dry weathers than HAARP. I have seen tall pine trees that took more than 30 years to grow, getting cut for 100 rupees.

wigi Jun 27, 2015 02:14am

Wow !! Initially I thought it must be another push for the Great Pakistani Conspiracy Theorists, but it turned out quite sane.. Well put .. congrats

Nauman M Jun 27, 2015 02:31am

The ailing earth will find its own equilibrium one day. And that could take thousands or millions of years. For the time being, humans could take a few precautions as Professor sahib has mentioned which should comfortably see us through during our lifetime. The same motto with improving human intelligence, knowledge and back-to-basics principles should help us through the next few centuries. The back-to-basics could just be discarding technology totally e.g. using wind propelled ships, living in caves etc. This may become a lifelong fad with guaranteed longevity for those few that are left.

It is hard to deduce from this article therefore whether a recent observation made by an honourable federal minister was after all not that outrageous. I wonder what our revered clergy's viewpoint is regarding this earthly subject. Back to the stone age, I guess.

Pagall Jun 27, 2015 02:38am

Once again well written sir. Instead of blame games We must prepare for the tough times ahead.

fawad Jun 27, 2015 03:01am

Alas!! despite authors repeated rational argument, no one pays attention as no one wants to know the truth. You can't wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep. But Mr Hoodbhoy history will remember you and your thoughts. Your sane voice is glimmer of hope in dark ally. Everyone wants to find a culprit to blame, now a days everything is blamed on Indian agencies.

Woz Ahmed Jun 27, 2015 03:18am

Sir, your a true voice of sanity in a nation of conspiracy theories.

Keti Zilgish Jun 27, 2015 03:31am

In the absence of eco-friendly socio-economic solutions, eco-friendly energy solutions can be only as effective as organic farming has.

Qasim Jun 27, 2015 03:37am

Amazing article Sir I was expecting a thorough article like this having ben fed up by pseudo scientists and journalists who just rush to press panic button. Weather modifications are extant since the inception of the world. Worst draughts,cyclones and floods have hit the world since when there was no industrialization. We dont yet know completely the answer of many things and weather change is one of those complicated phenomenons. Its still not known with certainty that a cut in greenhouse emissions will thwart these calamities.Yet we need to cut the emissions as we know with certainty that reduced emissions will certainly make our environment better

Kahn Jun 27, 2015 03:44am

Now This makes perfect sense. Bravo Mr. Hoodbhoy

khanman Jun 27, 2015 03:49am

more and more trees is the remedy . Gov should provide organizations and entities with designated space for tree plantation, provide saplings. and if that organization filled the 80% of the space . they should be given 2% relaxation in GST. Mr GOV do it for once and see the magic.

Raman Jun 27, 2015 03:52am

Great Job Professor! But, I am worried if your logical narrative would get any traction in Pakistan. That Karachi heatwave you just briefly discussed , some minster in Pakistan Punjab was blaming it on hot-air generated by the generators in Rajasthan! One more essential ingredient for the disaster that is staring at us is alarming increase in population in both India and Pakistan. More people means less money to spread around for the resources! And, not too many people in our part of the World pay taxes and I could go on and on! Keep up the good writing!

Ahmed Jun 27, 2015 03:54am

A good researched and out of the box title professed by Mr Pervez. In this world, all Natural Phenomenons are governed by certain Laws knows as Laws of Nature. For example Law of Motion, Laws of light, Laws of sound, momentum, heat etc. Over the period of time, men through research and study have been able to understand these Natural Laws and use their basic concepts for the good of humanity and otherwise as well. The concept of Seeding and Butterfly Effect are one of those researched deductions related to Atmosphere related natural Laws. What every one saw in Karachi is not much related to Load Shedding but to Climate change which is rapidly taking place in this South Asian region. I strongly recommend people like Mr Pervez to come forward and take the government on-board on these concepts and prepare a plan to counter such Atmospheric changes through public campaigns and scientific ways. All political parties must shun themselves from protests and contribute effectively.

Riaz M M Jun 27, 2015 04:06am

I agree with most in this article .Pollution is an important factor for climate change but one needs to go through the history to see that devastating floods throughout the world are not new occurring even before pollution was an issue.Even in Pakistan we had devastating floods in 50sand60s on regular basis.Also cycles of droughts alternating with torrential rains are well documented,what we need is to have contingency plans to deal with and thats where we fail miserably.

rama Jun 27, 2015 04:54am

Nice article !!!. Will this convince the conspiracy theorist ?

hassan malik Jun 27, 2015 04:58am

u always come up with prudent ideas , commendable!

lalai Jun 27, 2015 05:39am

Agreed completely. The current extreme weather is the consequence of collective human activity for the past hundred year. Pakistan, due to variety of factors, provides the richest environment for the conspiracy theories to prosper.

asmat Jun 27, 2015 05:41am

As always, a very well balance review of our weather problems. We need to start thinking about fixing the problem instead of blaming external forces on our problems.

Gora Jun 27, 2015 05:57am

At least there is 1 logical person here

karim Mohd Khan Jun 27, 2015 06:29am

well said by the Great scientist ! Need to respond extreme weather conditions with proactive approach but this nation waits when disaster hit the country and react passively. To protect from heat waves, awareness is to be created among the common masses, gape b/w power shortage is to be filled through power generation and clean drinking water must be available to all citizens. Ant this will be possible only by exercising good governance free of corruption with strong check and balance mechanism and enforcing law and order across the country.

BRR Jun 27, 2015 07:01am

with politically motivated pseudo-scientists, especially those align with the military, nothing better can be expected. the public is willingly misled, and the public does not care for science either - often preferring some religious injunctions to principles of science. good job by the writer.

Ash Jun 27, 2015 07:14am

As usual, a great article from a very sensible person. Pakistan is lucky to have a person of like him.

SP Jun 27, 2015 07:19am

Prof. Pervez. Thank you for very pertinent write-up and balanced views. Unfortunately, in a third world country we have tendency to blame everyone, be it USA, India, Pakistan or Israel. We do not see the big global picture.

sumant Jun 27, 2015 07:20am

Thank you Professor Hoodbhoy in calming the climate of paranoia and delusional thinking that I have begun to note increasingly on the pages of Dawn. Modern life with its complexities demands a scientific approach on gathering evidence from diverse sources for and against a hypothesis and only after the accuracy of the evidence has been crosschecked and is in accord with prior theories and is so overwhelming only then can one take that hypothesis seriously. Unfortunately it appears that even learned and seasoned scientists in Pakistan are relying on their emotions or gut feeling towards a Modi led India. I'm afraid a new (but human and therefore not so new) disease has swept the land the Modi/India Derangement Syndrome. Unfortunately the only cure for it scientific evidence based thinking and if water is seriously perceived as fuel for an internal combustion engine car then there is a long way to go. God bless Pakistan and India too!

Rafi Ka Deewana Jun 27, 2015 07:58am

@Nauman M "The ailing earth will find its own equilibrium one day"

That may not be suitable to life as it could be a one way street. Too much green house could cause high temperatures destroying the fine balance. Just a few degrees up or down over a long period will make our earth unlivable.

As the author and the most respondents have mentioned here, we have to act now.

Reaper Jun 27, 2015 08:14am

Weather might be less predictable today, but it's the deforestation which has led to heat waves and then rains create havoc, jungles are being flattened for agricultural purposes and whatever greenery was around cities are changed with malls and buildings, leading to extreme heating of environment, both countries should reduce population by about forty percent, have at least 40 percent area under forest, then can we probably live safely

jyotsna Jun 27, 2015 08:36am

A man to be admired. Pervez Hoodbouy is a sane voice, if only there were people like him in Pakistan

Muhammad Usama Jun 27, 2015 09:27am

great article, well check out the following documentary by CBC on HAARP http://www.personalgrowthcourses.net/video/haarpvideodocumentary

RAMESH Jun 27, 2015 10:01am

It makes good reading but, even when there were no pollution and global warming the earth since evolution has been witnessing weather related turmoils. Theories and counter theories apart the disaster should be managed. The wrath of the nature does not care for human made boundaries,called countries or even religion and caste. For this common cause all countries should come together and be ready with disaster management prepardness.

Pervez Jun 27, 2015 10:17am

As usual, well done Dr Sahib. If you buil your house in a flood plain and when the deluge comes, don't blame India of US for it. Floods or earthquakes dont kill , poor design, engineering and greed kills.

Nitin Jun 27, 2015 10:33am

As an Indian I feel sorry for fellow Indian's. We don't have any voice like Pervez Hoodbhoy who speaks truth, nothing but truth.

Shery Jun 27, 2015 10:48am

A good read!

jagmohan Jun 27, 2015 10:51am

Profesor Hoodbhoy has cleared the mist and mistrust spread by pseudo scientist and conspiracy theory believers on climate change,too much heat or rain etc. So far so good for English knowing people,but message must go to vernacular press and electronic media.This will help masses,who often than not are prone to believe conspiracies or semi literate mullahas.And also highly educated and a Minister to re-understand his responsibility,to avoid conspiracy angle.Many thanks thethe author and Dawn.

Mahesh Jun 27, 2015 11:12am

In spite of being an Indian I have high regard for 2 Pakistani people: Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy and Hasan Nisar. I was surprised to know that such sane people with balanced attitude exist in Pakistan; who can call spade a spade. Those are the people who should lead the country. I was equally shocked to know that they are criticized by their own people. Would like to personally meet them at least once in my life.

Anyway great article as always. Anybody interested to know more please read some good books on climate change like "7 years to change the Earth", or watch Al Gore's documentary. You will understand how grim the situation is.

Indian Jun 27, 2015 11:15am

Guess God wants us to unite together as climate change could not be fought by any one country alone trees cut in India will have its impact on Pakistan and vice versa. ...sane people should come together to fight this mess .it's now or never

Nazir Ahmed Jun 27, 2015 11:15am

Dear Pervez Hoodbhoy, you are great. I read your articles with great attention and patience. You are only one to be believed.

Tarannum S. Jun 27, 2015 11:16am

Dr. Hoodbhoy, your rational analysis of situations is one of the primary reasons for which both Indians and Pakistanis love you. You have a huge fan following in India as well. We have often watched your YouTube videos together with friends.

These conspiracy theories (irrespective of it being from India or Pakistan) are getting irritating now, at least among the youth in India. It is so easy to google out information these days that the conspiracy theorists with only get the intellectually innocents as their audience. Awareness and common sense are the key. The masses need to open up their minds to see through these theories so that these theorists have to start searching for alternate careers.

wellwisher Jun 27, 2015 11:31am

Thanks for nice article.As regards American conspiracy, California is suffering from worst drought.1. May be mindless construction in Tibet could be influencing weather in sub continent. 2. The weather depends upon earth path around the Sun, which is not constant.When its dia. reduces or increases,due to various planetory forces, we get variation in earths weather.When ever we are told so hot or cold or rainy, we are also told "since such year".

Tarannum S. Jun 27, 2015 11:53am

@Mahesh Completely agree with you, Mahesh. Realists like Hasan Nisar and Dr. Hoodbhoy are so rational that it makes sense to everyone. They are the ones who show the mirror to society, especially at times when the masses are misguided by those so called dream-sellers with no connection to reality.

Masood Ahmad Khan Jun 27, 2015 12:01pm

An excellent article and I must endorse his (Pervez Hoodbhoy’s) notion which is rather reality that a society imbued with impractical religious intoxication leads to the promotion of hearsay theories like HAARP. Coming to weather disturbances, even an ordinary geophysicist does know the phenomenon of thermo-homeostasis as entropy in the climatic setup whether man made or natural like tectonic movements or volcanic activities tend to get into normality. For example, El-Nino factor lead to La-Nina and this again will have cyclic ramifications leading to order in the geosphere. But man living on the surface has to face the music if it tends to alter the ecosystem arbitrarily. So natural science students are trained to offer their advice for the exploitation of the natural resources by having minimum effect on ecosystem as if not followed upon, does have strong bearing for rectification causing havoc to humans on its surface.

Atam Vetta Jun 27, 2015 12:05pm

In the UK, a new weather record, almost each month, seems to have become the rule. 'Al Nino' is usually blamed.

Haridas Jun 27, 2015 12:36pm

Prof. Parvez Houdboy, the person of reason and logic with great great scientific knowledge. Even without Professor's narration, one can easily understand the Waqas Ahmed & Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman's logics are bizzare since any layman will understand that rains and storms cannot be created to the extent that makes havoc these made in various parts of the world. If humans or for that matter countries like India are capable of doing them, then why there is a drought in India. Instead of using resources to harm others, why can't we use the same resource to make our country resourceful for abundant irrigation so that we live in plenty. Even if India has malign design to harm Pakistan, then why not thus produce more crops that Pakistan exports to earn foreign currency. Why I state here this is to brainstorm Pakistanis that there is nothing as such and that hate mongers must be shunned within our both the countires so as to give peace a chance.

SK Garg Jun 27, 2015 02:50pm

At last a good technical article from Pakistan

Zaheer A Ali Jun 27, 2015 03:19pm

Another master-piece from great scientist

Harmony-1 Jun 27, 2015 04:11pm

Ok fine, India didn’t do it, so we can cross that one out. But seriously, global warming is the real issue getting worse and the biggest polluters in the world are, China at number 1 and India 4. This needs to be addressed seriously as both are in this region.

Namdar Baloch Jun 27, 2015 05:28pm

I think India is the cause for the weather change in Pak, especially Karachi.

Shahzad Jun 27, 2015 05:33pm

That is the plain truth. Kudos to Dr sahib

Tariq, Lahore Jun 27, 2015 05:36pm

Wise word indeed for heeding!

Arslan Jun 27, 2015 05:48pm

At heart is the issue that science has allowed us to believe that this is a deterministic and predictable world, while nature is inherently chaotic. We do not control the sun's fusion (yet?) and how hot it gets. The prescriptions offered by scientists are helpful, but scientists are not beyond demagoguery to get themselves noticed. A balanced approach is called for without reproach for the "ignorant". We are a social species and for consumption to reduce, there has to be political will backed by social action. Much too often we will look outside our houses for restraint and keep espousing our own dedication without any loss of quality to our lifestyle.

Keti Zilgish Jun 27, 2015 05:50pm

The trouble is that the Armed Forces of Pakistan have to some how be convinced that Global Warming is a Security Threat to Pakistan far more serious than India ever was.

izaz haque Jun 27, 2015 05:58pm

thanks for injecting some sanity in the debate, which is wildly frivolous at times.

Hashmi Jun 27, 2015 07:07pm

I seriously think if not other things at least on climate change India and Pakistan should come together to save our glaciers and other sources of water for the sake of the welfare of our people, God almighty has placed our future in living together as god neighbor.

Rahul Jun 27, 2015 07:15pm

always worth to spend time reading dr. saab. the difference between a real phd and an axact pdh is so easily visible the moment one hears/reads dr. hoodbhoy.

fida, USA Jun 27, 2015 07:16pm

The nature has no mercy, it is paying back to the mankind for the harm they have brougth on to the earth from there atrocious behavior. Even the so called mighty USA has failed to challenge the Hurricanes, the Tornedoes and the Droughts which have regularly destroyed the infrastructure of the country causing billion of dollars in loses. So the conspiracy theorist are just being naughty boys.

Nagesh Jun 27, 2015 07:26pm

@Tarannum S. @ Mahesh, Good to know I am not the only one here who follows Mr. Hasan Nisar. And recently after reading Hoodbhoy's articles, I have started listening to his talks on Youtube. Unfortunately god forbid should there be a state of emergency in Pakistan, honest people like these are targeted first. I pray for their safety. Pakistan desperately needs at least 50-100 of such guides to lead them on the right path.

Malik from Australia Jun 27, 2015 08:39pm

Congratulations to Professor Hoodbhoy for writing such a well-researched and most informative piece for the public. I completely agree with his views. I would have liked though to see a couple of paragraphs at the end to suggest some possible solutions to ameliorate the climatic disasters in the Indian sub-continent. Very briefly, attention should be focused on controlling population, growing trees, conserving water, reducing consumption, increasing education, reducing wealth inequality, strengthening law and order, reducing tensions among neighbors. The list becomes endless. My apology. But the point is that a start has to be made now and in this regard, Professor Hoodbhoy's column is most timely. I also congratulate Dawn for publishing the column.

noname Jun 27, 2015 08:51pm

I find it sad that the esteemed professor had to spell out and explain such basic in his columns for the greater good and understanding of society. Sad state of intellectualism. ..

Sajid Jun 27, 2015 09:32pm

At least 80% of the world’s electricity must be low-carbon by 2050 to keep the world within 2°C of warming, according to the IPCC. This is a massive global challenge that requires the use of all available low-carbon energy technologies. We need to take immediate steps towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear energy is low-carbon, available and competitive in the timeframe required

Nay Jun 27, 2015 09:51pm

Right on the point as usual. We need some more like him to pull us out from our present ignorance and culture of illogical thinking.

For those who are interested, here’s a public debate upon "Pakistan 2010 Floods - An Indian Conspiracy?"

http://eacpe.org/portfolio/did-india-cause-2010-floods/

s.khan Jun 27, 2015 09:53pm

@Hopeful , vested interests will not let him do the right thing as it might harm their interests. Hoodbhoy knows it and is certainly better off staying away from the government and educate the country with his rational explanations to counter the conspiracy theories.

SUNIL Jun 27, 2015 09:56pm

It is possible to wake a person who is asleep, not the one who pretends to be asleep.

It is possible to reason with a person who has an open mind, not the one who has shut the doors and windows.

khwaja fawad Jun 27, 2015 11:42pm

very well said by professor. And indeed good attention paid to very sensitive and important points to be discussed for the better and safe future of poor people

Third Party Jun 28, 2015 12:02am

Now we got somebody talking sane !! Check our articles !! 3 out of 10 is India -Obsessive. Are those the reasons , we are for ?? Can not we do some better to make the world more beautiful !! This is message from Indian !!Good Luck

asif Jun 28, 2015 12:21am

'The second culprit is global warming. Greenhouse gas emissions from cars and factories have made Earth steadily warmer'. Hoodbhooy forgot to mention the green house effect, more in magnitude than from transport vehicles, caused by cattle farming by huge global meat and dairy industry. cattle burps release green house gases.

From USA, S.A.Hyder, Ph.D. Jun 28, 2015 12:29am

I am no expert on climate changes, for that matter not on any subject, but just a thought. Could one reason of this extreme hot weather not be the population explosion? The heat generated by us humans, directly and indirectly?

asif Jun 28, 2015 01:10am

AOa Sir, Very knowledgeable opinions are given here, these will make a big difference if properly adopted and applied by those who are in direct concerns.

Yasir Mehmood Jun 28, 2015 01:14am

Solar flare is the main reason behind Karachi heat wave. And nobody has control over sun.

naseem khan Jun 28, 2015 01:24am

very nice article sir,, great work ... best wishes from India..

zahra bukhari Jun 28, 2015 01:37am

yes global warming is for real and we humans are being victimized by it and ironically there is only one mammal to blame and that is HUMAN!

white noise Jun 28, 2015 05:37am

Hoodbhoy: always the voice of reason and common sense.

Dr. Azam Gill Jun 28, 2015 01:21pm

You're as good as Stephen Hawking at simplifying the complex - your lucky students! Thank you.

haris Jun 28, 2015 01:49pm

@Rashid I agree Prof. Hoodbhoy forget to mention insane urbanization, pathetic sanitation and deforestation are some of the major culprits of weather based atrocities throughout the region. These issues must be addressed at nation-wide level to counter challenges ahead otherwise we all will be wiped season after season, sometimes through heavy rains and floods, sometimes the cause would be extreme heatwaves and sometimes typhoons, tornado and Hurricane swept away precious lives.

noshia Jun 28, 2015 03:56pm

Honorable sir! I am not a student of science or physics but whatever the knowledge i have about science n techonology i learnt from U.My interest in science got developedjust because ov ur articles specifically through TV programs. Stay blessed

Firdous Jun 28, 2015 04:49pm

Thankfully some sane voices do still prevail..

M. Shahid Yousuf Jun 28, 2015 05:17pm

A beacon of reason and enlightenment.

Sanjoy Sankar Guha Jun 28, 2015 09:41pm

@From USA, S.A.Hyder, Ph.D. What a lovely post! Your humility has sought to cloak the truth of your statement. The simple truth is that Man in his various erroneous ways is the cause, remote or proximate, of all these phenomena.

Prashant Jun 28, 2015 09:58pm

In India I have seen various organizations organize Science talks by Indian and foreign scientists spreading the Science to masses. Do you have such forums in Pakistan? I request Prof. Hoodbhoy to arrange such lectures in various parts of Pakistan.