GLOBAL warming has become a real threat for Pakistan and the rest of the world over the years. Not only are we cutting down our trees, we have also lost our once lustrous mangroves.

Global warming is a long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system, an aspect of climate change shown by temperature measurements and by multiple effects of the warming.

Though earlier geological periods also experienced episodes of warming, the term commonly refers to the observed and continuing increase in average air and ocean temperatures since 1900 caused mainly by emissions of greenshouse gases in the modern industrial economy.

In the modern context the terms global warming and climate change are commonly used interchangeably, but climate change includes both global warming and its effects, such as changes to precipitation and impacts that differ by region.

Many of the observed warming changes since the 1950s are unprecedented in the instrumental temperature record, and in historical and paleoclimate proxy records of climate change over thousands to millions of years.

In Pakistan, our mangroves are suffering most. The mangrove forest, which is not only beneficial to us, but also plays a significant role for the environment, the birds and marine life.

It acts as a natural barrier to storms and cyclones by absorbing the shock of the tides, reduces their intensity and helps one to prevent erosion.

The threat to mangroves also includes the release of heavy metal toxic substances and industrial waste. As we all know that water pollution is caused by the leakage and spills from ships which are harmful for the mangrove forests also.

The government needs to ensure that untreated waste is disposed of properly and there are no oil spills as these decrease the flow of fresh water.

It is sad to learn that 35 per cent of the mangrove forest has already been cut and is decreasing day by day. Mangrove forests require a stable sea level for long-term survival. They are also sensitive to the current rising sea level caused by global warming and climate change.

Imran Rasheed

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2019