Are Pakistan’s Floods Your Fault and You Should Pay?

Jim Steele

Jim Steele

This video provides the public with an understandable introduction to the complex dynamics driving Pakistan’s monsoon floods and droughts. The following information will provide the public with facts and a few critical thinking tools needed to decide if Pakistan’s floods were the result of your carbon-rich lifestyles, or just natural events long endured in Pakistan.

Jim Steele is Director emeritus of San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism, and proud member of the CO2 Coalition.

Transcript

Today I want to separate the science of Pakistan’s devastating floods from the shamefully manipulative narratives by politicians and the media.

The worst is MSNBC’s attempt at public shaming by calling the catastrophe “climate racism”.

Pakistan’s government is in dire need of world bank bailouts due to past corruption and ineptitude. So it is not surprising that Foreign Minister Zardari blames a climate crisis and scape goats industrialized countries, stating “the citizens of Pakistan, are paying the price in their lives, their livelihoods for the industrialization of rich countries that has resulted in this climate change”

In contrast, honest scientists have stated what has been known for centuries, and I quote “the rivers of the Himalaya are susceptible to extreme floods on many timescales and future floods can be expected with or without significant human-induced climate change.”

First consider that Pakistanis have blamed their own government for many of their problems.

Critical of flood control policies, the adviser to chief minister of Baluchistan, Kaisar Bengali, reported: “dams create floods, dams don’t prevent floods…in 2010 the water that passed through the Indus was less than in 1976. Yet, it created more flooding because the river had risen 6-7 feet” due to the accumulation of sediments behind the dams.

Many accuse that flood control projects have favored wealthy landowners who benefit from developing certain floodplains while diverting waters to the floodplains inhabited by the nation’s poorest.

Environmental sciences professor Shafiqur Rehman said, “first we build dykes and spend millions of rupees on them & then we blow them up and drown people to save cities or other areas,”

And of course, there are widespread complaints about government corruption. Hashim Nisar Hashmi, at Pakistan’s university of engineering and technology said, “if maintenance of flood embankments had been adequately maintained by provinces, major losses would have been averted”

Now consider that Pakistan’s unique location has made it vulnerable to natural swings of dramatic weather between major droughts and major floods long before rising CO2 has had any impact. Since 1850 Pakistan has experienced 7 major droughts and 6 major floods. And it is common local knowledge that summer monsoons always cause flooding in some rivers somewhere in Pakistan.

The 2010 floods have been extremely well studied and those studies provide guidance in understanding the very similar 2022 floods.

As Khandekar (2010) published, “a rapid transition from El Niño to La Niña between spring and summer of 2010 appears to be the key element in triggering a vigorous monsoon of 2010 over the Indian subcontinent.”

Khandekar concluded, “the 2010 Pakistan floods, although seemingly unprecedented, were well within natural variability of the monsoonal climate over the Indian subcontinent. I have suggested before, there is an urgent need for an improved understanding of the many complex features associated with the Indian/Asian monsoon system”

So, to that end, this video intends to provide the public with an introduction to those complex dynamics driving Pakistan’s monsoon floods and droughts. The following information will provide the public with facts and a few critical thinking tools needed to decide if Pakistan’s floods were the result of your carbon-rich lifestyles, or just natural events long endured in Pakistan.

Indeed, natural La Nina / El Nino cycles have been demonstrated to contribute about 50% of monsoon variability.

During La Nina-like conditions the Bay of Bengal experiences heightened convection, and thus contributes greater quantities of water vapor to the region.

During El Nino conditions the center of convection migrates to the eastern pacific, thus reducing the water vapor that can be transported over India and Pakistan.

Additionally, the negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation makes La Nina-like conditions more frequent for 20 to 30 years, as has been the case since 1999.

So, consider that Pakistan’s heavy flooding in both 2010 and in 2022 happened during La Nina years.

Also consider that, since 1880 there is no trend in excess rainfall or drought conditions over the greater Indian region. There has been no unusual increase in recent decades in expected excessive rains either from la Nina or due to rising CO2.

So how does science explain recent floods?

Climate alarmists always frame every weather event in terms of warming from added CO2. Alarmists throw out a simple factoid that warmer air holds more water vapor. Thus, it should follow that increased rainfall must be due to rising CO2 warming. But that dynamic is often totally irrelevant for most weather catastrophes. Just consider that the warmest deserts hold the least water vapor.

In contrast most scientists understand there are many other factors affecting these complex weather events. Honest scientists will tell you that “increases in atmospheric water vapor content alone cannot explain changes in intense rain events due to rainfall’s strong dependence on vertical motions”

So first consider that the Intertropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ, marks where moisture laden trade winds concentrate their water vapor while their convergence forces that air to rise, where it then cools, condenses, and precipitates.

Due to that dynamic, the world’s narrow ITCZ band accounts for 32% of all global precipitation.

When the ITCZ follows the sun’s seasonal path northward. It brings the wet season to India and Pakistan.

When the ITCZ retreats southward in the winter, they experience their dry season.

Research has also demonstrated that due to changes in the earth’s orbit and axis tilt, the earth has been steadily cooling for the past 8 thousand years and accordingly the ITCZ’s northern limits have progressively moved towards the equator.

During the Holocene Optimum when the ITCZ was furthest north, monsoon intensity was the greatest in 100 thousand years.

The furthest southward migration of the ITCZ culminated during the little ice age, reducing monsoon rainfall and coinciding with devastating droughts across southern Asia. A combination of an extreme southward ITCZ and El Nino-like conditions produced the drought and great famine of 1876-1878 resulting in over 7 million deaths, with India being hit hardest.

Rainfall does not fall equally across the Indian sub-continent. The so-called monsoon zone” parallels the ITCZ’s current orientation. But the winds lose moisture as they travel westward from the Bay of Bengal and move inland towards Pakistan.

Winds over the Arabian Sea from the southwest typically bring the greatest rainfall to India’s west coast and sometimes into Pakistan when the winds curl to the northwest.

As reported by Kumar (2010) rainfall over India does not provide any evidence of a global warming trend. 3 major regions of India have declining rainfall while 2 others have increasing trends. And when all the sub-divisions of those regions are examined, the majority show neither increasing nor decreasing trends.

To be fair, CO2 global warming is not expected to increase rainfall everywhere or evenly, simply due to natural variations. This is especially true for the Indian Pakistan regions that experience huge natural extremes.

The Himalayan ranges will always prevent monsoon moisture from reaching further north. So heavy rains fall on the Himalayan southside, while north of the Himalaya is extremely dry.

Because the southwest winds bring abundant moisture across Bangladesh and into northeast India, and the intercepting mountains provide the needed vertical uplift, Mawsynram is the wettest city in the world, marked here by the red triangle, Mawsynram receives about 467 inches of rain per year, 20 times India’s average.

In contrast, the southwest winds only bring rain to Pakistan occasionally. The lack of moisture transport into Pakistan has created 5 different desert regions. And while beneath the tropic of cancer, clear skies and the sun’s direct rays produce Asia’s hottest recorded temperatures.

Jacobabad in Pakistan’s southern Sindh region, marked by a red triangle, experiences temperatures as high as 125°F (51.7 °C) nearly every year during the month of May before the monsoons start to cool the region.

The nearby archeological site of Moen-Jo-Daro holds Asia’s record for highest recorded temperature with 128.3°F (53.5°C)).

Climate crisis barkers commonly suggest rising CO2 will simply make this natural variability worse. Often arguing wet regions will get wetter and dry regions drier. But Pakistan’s floods contradicted such climate crisis claims.

In summer 2022, the wettest regions of northeast India were the driest, as illustrated by reds and yellow. There was no change in the green regions, but India’s west coast received excessive rains.

That pattern suggests global warming did not add more water vapor to the atmosphere, but instead atmospheric circulation simply shifted moisture transport from eastern India into western India and Pakistan.

In the heavily 2022 flooded Sindh region, the desert city of Moen-Jo-Daro is the site of Asia’s record highest temperature. It was first built about 3000 years ago. Then abandoned after being buried in mud from heavy flooding. Exemplifying the region’s erratic extreme weather, archeologists believe Moen-Jo-Daro was reclaimed and then abandoned at least 6 times over the past 3 thousand years until finally being buried by mud for the last time.

Unfortunately, the Sindh region’s natural hot zone also provides fodder for global warming fear mongering. Despite Jacobabad temperatures reaching 125°f (51.7 °c) most years, the uardian fear mongered that 51°c in 2022 was “record-breaking”. But that is a total falsehood if monthly or yearly records are being considered.

Scientists expect severe weather when they observe a weather pattern known as a dry line. Frequent dry line formation in southern Pakistan and the Sindh region makes the region vulnerable to extreme thunderstorms and flooding whenever moisture transport from the Arabian sea increases.

When moist air from the Arabian sea moves northwestward and collides with denser dry air flowing eastward from Afghanistan and the Baluchistan highlands, a dry line forms and flooding can be expected.

Pakistan’s summer 2022 heavy rainfall was a regional event. Despite the low average rainfall (illustrated in orange) in Pakistan’s Sindh region, the region experienced a 500% increase in rainfall (illustrated in green). A similar increase was observed in the dry highlands of Baluchistan further west.

In contrast, the normally high rainfall in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, was the same as it usually is.

Observations of shifting atmospheric circulation have recorded that More water vapor from Arabian sea (blue line) has been most recently transported into southern Pakistan while less water vapor is being transported from Bay of Bengal into northern Pakistan (green)

Accordingly, it is southern Pakistan that is experiencing the worst flooding and infrastructure destruction (marked in brown)

Still some climate alarmists argue that global warming is melting glaciers and increasing regional snow melt. They claim that melting is adding to the river flows and thus downstream flooding in the Sindh region.

To orient you, here we see the snowmelt from the Himalaya region (marked in green) forms the headwaters for all Asia’s major rivers, Indus, Ganges, the Yellow and the Yangtze rivers. Nearly a third of Pakistan’s Indus River, flows westward through the Himalaya Then turns southward and flows to Pakistan’s Sindh region and into the Arabian sea.

It is also argued that changes in mountain snow alters the atmospheric pressure gradient that drives the monsoon water vapor from the cooler ocean onto the warmer land. More snow reduces summertime warming and thus reduces the pressure gradient and reduces the monsoonal flow.

In contrast, bare ground heats faster. That increases the pressure gradient and pulls more moisture inland. However, this dynamic is again irrelevant for the Indus River.

Despite measurable glacier retreat in the eastern Himalaya, the Indus flows through the Karakorum range of the western Himalaya. It is home to what scientists have labeled the “Karakorum anomaly”.

Several studies report that glaciers in the Karakorum are not melting, but stable and even advancing, and that should reduce monsoon rains over Pakistan.

Peak flows of the Indus River and its tributaries have been carefully measured since 1921 to monitor flood threats and irrigation needs. Those measurements further contradict claims that melting glaciers have increased monsoon flooding.

The Indus River flows are illustrated by blue bars and reveal a declining trend in stream flow. The data also illustrates that flow volumes can vary by 2 to 3 times, again illustrating the highly variable Pakistan climate.

The Karakorum also has a unique temperature history. Tree ring studies determined Karakorum temperatures were warmer in the 1600s than temperatures today, adding to the list of regions not experiencing a warming crisis.

Other natural weather dynamics affect the pressure gradient between the ocean and the land that controls the monsoon strength and location.

In the simplest of terms, the Madden Julian Oscillation’s 30-to-60-day migrations across the Indian ocean throughout the year alters the monsoon pressure gradient by altering the Indian ocean’s pressure systems on a weekly timescale.

The Madden Julia Oscillation contributes to the alternating monsoon pattern of active phases with heavy rains and suppressed phases with little to no rain.Jet stream meanderings also generate alternating regions of high and low-pressure systems. This causes regions of increased convection alternating with regions of suppressed convection, as well as regions where the winds pull warm moist air northwards versus regions where cool drier air is pushed southwards.

Deep convection from the Madden Julia Oscillation can also initiate a global wave train of rising and sinking air that creates alternating low- and high-pressure systems. These wave trains interact with the jet stream which enable a pathway, or wave guide, for the wave train to follow.

A common wave train pattern that affects Pakistan and India, is called the ” Silk Road Pattern ” and it can have a significant impact on monsoonal flows. Again in the simplest of terms, the wave train alters the monsoon pressure gradient by altering pressure systems over land.

Furthermore, the latitude of this pattern varies over decades which alters the wave trains impacts. It has moved southward (negative values) in recent decades associated with more shifts in monsoon rainfall from eastern India to western India.

And to illustrate one final example of how the earth’s natural oscillations have all conspired to produce Pakistan’s floods, consider how the North Atlantic Oscillation impacts the Silk Road wave train. When the North Atlantic Oscillation is in its positive phase, the jet stream remains further to the north, and monsoon rainfall in eastern India is strong.

However, when the North Atlantic Oscillation is negative, the jet stream and Silk Road Pattern dips southward. That weakens the monsoons in eastern India while promoting greater monsoon rains in Pakistan and northern china.

When CO2 warming predictions are contradicted by both observations and science, alarmist simply default to arguing CO2 warming is just making the climate go crazy. But again, science does not support such fanciful fear mongering.

Studies by Chen 2010 concluded “climate instability is above normal during cold periods”. “There is overwhelming evidence for increased climatic instability during the Little Ice Age over the past 1000 years in northwestern china”

And it seems to be the consensus that colder periods make climate more unstable or, dare I say, crazy. Leading climate alarmist, Michael Mann likewise wrote, “the Little Ice Age may have been more significant in terms of increased variability of the climate, rather than changes in the average climate itself.”

Most people don’t have the time or background to take a deep dive into climate science and uncover its truths. But there are several catch phrases that should alert everyone that it is not the science, manipulative catastrophic narratives that are preying on your sincere concerns.

So, beware when you hear or read

You are guilty of climate racism

You are guilty of promoting climate inequities

You are guilty of eating meat because cow farts are bad for the climate

You are guilty of driving a gasoline powered vehicle because they cause more wildfires & heatwaves

You are guilty of creating a climate crisis So, just give us your money!

To be clear, I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t voluntarily donate to humanitarian aid for flood victims.

I am simply arguing, when you are being falsely shamed and berated with any of the above arguments suggesting it is your fault for Pakistan’s flood, it is very likely that the media and politicians are obscuring the true science of natural climate change and trying to manipulate you.

Science and our democracy depend on interactions within a diverse array of good critical thinkers, and from such interactions the best solutions will emerge. So, please shun mindless group think.

Instead embrace renowned scientist, Thomas Huxley’s advice Skepticism is the highest of duties and blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

Thank you

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ResourceGuy
September 7, 2022 2:40 pm

Sure, you can have it right after reparations payments are received for harboring Bin Ladin and most of the Taliban over the years. Also, the wire transfer of funds to you will first be routed through North Korea, Argentina, Syria, and Zimbabwe. 

Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 7, 2022 9:33 pm

It seems like some commenters are unaware that Pakistan politicians are demanding rich countries must pay for the floods because our carbon emissions caused it. (This isnt directed at you ResourceGuy)

For instance “Sherry Rehman, the country’s climate change minister, insists rich polluters must pay their due as country is hit by devastating floods.” and her demands are being spread all over mainstream media.

I hope just because I posed the question, “should Americans pay”, that it means I think we owe anyone anything for natural weather disasters. I hope the video points out clearly enough that Pakistans floods were a natural disaster and our CO2, or anyone else’s, had nothing to do with it

Last edited 17 days ago by Jim Steele
Waza
Reply to  Jim Steele
September 8, 2022 2:13 am

Rich countries having to pay for climate damage is just Marxist drivel.
There is no quantitative breakdown of who actually caused the damage vs who or what suffered the damage.
Why is it assumed that the richer a country the more the CO2 they emitted. That would somehow imply the use of fossil fuels is somehow linked to prosperity.

John Garrett
September 7, 2022 2:45 pm

Thank you, Dr. Steele.

You have far more patience and knowledge to deal with what was obviously one more episode in a long string of media hype and advocacy of the evidence-light “Catastrophic/dangerous, CO2-driven anthropogenic global warming/climate change” CONJECTURE.

TeaPartyGeezer
September 7, 2022 2:48 pm

Jim Steele – haven’t listened to any of your videos for awhile now, due to low volume and I couldn’t hear you. Pleasantly surprised to find no problem hearing this one. Thanks so much for ‘boosting’ your volume, or whatever you did. Also, thank you for your common sense approach to science reporting and the research you do to bring this knowledge to us. You are a gem.

September 7, 2022 2:57 pm

The Sun is also involved.

Both this event and the 2010 event featured jet stream blocking. That is more common at the bottom of the ~11 year solar cycle when solar activity is at a minimum. 2010 was right at the bottom of the cycle and we’re still in the solar minimum phase of the current cycle.

IPCC climate scientists haven’t yet worked out why such things recur each 11 years of so…

ATheoK
September 7, 2022 3:07 pm

Excellent, Dr. Steele!

Typo alert:
Despite Jacobabad temperatures reaching 125°f (51.7 °c) most years, the uardian fear mongered that 51°c in 2022″

It isn’t unusual that I encounter words new to me here on WUWT, especially when reading articles authored by Lord Monckton.

It is a simple matter to open Duck Duck Go and do a definition search.
I already suspected the intent was to be Guardian, but Dr. Steel has sent me looking up definitions for words unknown to me before; I entered “uardian” and clicked search.

Even Duck Duck Go’s first pages of links were “Guardian”.

Definitions.net did not have a definition, but had this possibility:
Chaldean Numerology

  1. The numerical value of uardian in Chaldean Numerology is: 2″

Leaving uardian as most likely a ‘G’ deficient Guardian.

If the Chaldean numerical value of Guardian is “2”, someone overpaid.

TeaPartyGeezer
Reply to  ATheoK
September 7, 2022 3:27 pm

Funny!

Rud Istvan
September 7, 2022 3:09 pm

Good post about the ITCZ dynamics. Pakistan has always had periodic floods when monsoons were heavy.
I think there is another far bigger reason for the 2022 ‘disaster’. In 1975, the Paki population was 66 million. This year it is 230 million. And I bet a lot of the huge increase got housed inside known flood prone zones, because no where else to go. And for that Pakis now demand climate reparations? How about sending Islamic birth control instead?

TwoDogs
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 7, 2022 4:46 pm

Islamic birth control, fifty kilotons at a time. C’mon, India. Get with the program.

Disputin
Reply to  TwoDogs
September 8, 2022 3:35 am

That’s not exactly birth control…

AntonyIndia
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 7, 2022 10:42 pm

The other reason: Pakistan’s puppet master since 1958 is its army, and they kept on paying themselves large parts of the national budget, so little cash or interest for proper planning of storm drainage or unsuitable areas for urban build up. Their army’s main interest is to keep an enemy to stay relevant: India was the traditional bogey. Today an Imran Khan is the first to publicly and loudly criticize its puppet master .

Bob
September 7, 2022 3:18 pm

Excellent Jim, very informative as usual

David Archibald
September 7, 2022 3:44 pm

I guess Pakistan won’t be attacking India in the near future then. Once they dry out, they will be back to it though.

Janice Moore
September 7, 2022 4:06 pm

Re: … honest scientists have stated what has been known for centuries, and I quote “the rivers of the Himalaya are susceptible to extreme floods on many timescales and future floods can be expected with or without significant human-induced climate change.”

Indeed:

Abstract
We use paleoflood deposits to reconstruct a record of past floods for … the Indus River (Ladakh, NW Himalaya) …

[Our analysis] indicates the following:

(i) The Alaknanda-Mandakini Rivers experienced large floods during the wet and warm Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA);

(ii) the Indus River experienced at least 14 large floods during the Holocene climatic optimum, when flood discharges were likely an order of magnitude higher than those of modern floods; … .

(Source: Srivastava and Kumar, et al. (2017) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0169555X16311904 (bolding mine) )

****************************************

Thank you, Mister Steele 😉 , for, yet again, so GENEROUSLY sharing all your fine research and informed, excellent, analysis.

Last edited 17 days ago by Janice Moore
Michael in Dublin
September 7, 2022 4:13 pm

It is astonishing how much rain can fall in 24 hours in a ITCZ area but where people expect this and have good drainage damage is minimized. Our problem is often not a climate/weather event one but one of human incompetence, mismanagement and corruption. Our ancestors learnt millenia ago to adapt but in modern times we have turned out backs on ancient wisdom and common sense.

Last edited 17 days ago by Michael in Dublin
Janice Moore
September 7, 2022 4:15 pm

While there is much to pity amidst the grim gloom of a devastating flood, I had to highlight this ray of sunshine:

A little boy’s delight at the wonderful, new, swimming hole
comment image

Jim Gorman
September 7, 2022 4:17 pm

Great post. It illustrates the many, many different variables involved in climate and how a Global Average Temperature is a worthless metric for determining how regions and localities vary in the results of climate (NOT changing climate).

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 7, 2022 7:27 pm

It illustrates the many, many different variables involved in climate and how a Global Average Temperature is a worthless metric…”

I would have just left it right there.

John the Econ
September 7, 2022 4:43 pm

Wow, I might almost suspect that the whole AGW thing is just a big money shakedown agenda. But then again, I’m just cynical.

PCman999
September 7, 2022 5:15 pm

“the desert city of Moen-Jo-Daro is the site of Asia’s record highest temperature. It was first built about 3000 years ago”
-Oops, I think you mean at least 4600 years ago, about 2600BC.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohenjo-daro

Reply to  PCman999
September 7, 2022 5:55 pm

Thanks. I will correct what I can

RickWill
September 7, 2022 5:57 pm

Observations of shifting atmospheric circulation have recorded that More water vapor from Arabian sea (blue line) has been most recently transported into southern Pakistan while less water vapor is being transported from Bay of Bengal into northern Pakistan (green)

This will be a long term trend.

The Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal go into 30C regulating mode in April/May as the solar intensity peaks at 20N. Almost the entire expanse of the northern Indian Ocean hits this condition now. And it is going to increase as the April insolation increases. This evaporates vast quantities of water into the atmosphere to make it available for precipitation.

This table shows how the insolation has increased at 20N over the past 500 years and will continue to increase for the next 500:
-0.500  428.099476
   -0.400   428.531557
   -0.300   428.964010
   -0.200   429.396489
   -0.100   429.828658
    0.000   430.260185
    0.100   430.692471
    0.200   431.123382
    0.300   431.552391
    0.400   431.978954
    0.500   432.402520

0.000 is J2000.

These changes in insolation are driving regional climate change. The whole of the Northern Hemisphere will experience increasing extremes with summers getting hotter and winters getting wetter – with snowfall trending upward.

The tropics and subtropics in the NH will experience increasing monsoon conditions. The Mediterranean Sea is close to reaching regulating mode at 30C in August forming the tallest possible convective towers over water. The so-called Medicanes will increase in number and intensity. The northern Sahara will get more rainfall.

Every expense to reduce CO2 for the sake of the planet is misguided. Climate change is INEVITABLE and real. Resources will be needed to cope with the impacts.

Edward Katz
September 7, 2022 6:13 pm

Maybe I missed it, but doesn’t Pakistan generate most of its electricity by using fossil fuels. and doesn’t it have three of the world’s top carbon emitting countries—India, China and Russia—either on its borders or within close proximity? So aren’t these all major factors in the weather and climate problems it faces, or are they strictly the fault of the developed nations. Oh yes, how much effort has Pakistan put into converting its energy generation system to wind and solar?

Jeff Alberts
September 7, 2022 7:20 pm

“Climate Racism” is the new virgin sacrifice to the pagan gods.

AndyHce
September 7, 2022 7:23 pm

Jim,
You may have the gist of how raw weather works but you miss the point. If CO2 is responsible, China has been the leader for some time now and is thus obviously in charge. Perhaps they figure enough disaster will make Pakistan an easier target for their next great leap forward.

Or maybe the gods are just angry about, or jealous of, our lazy and indulgent life style here. The disaster was intended for us but at the last minute the high population density and poor infrastructure of Pakistan was just too much fun to ignore.

Or maybe it is the toleration and protection of terrorist cells in Pakistan that was the real target of the gods’ anger. Lets see if bad guy activity decreases for awhile.

eo
September 7, 2022 8:23 pm

Pakistan flooding is partially man made. Rivers need “self cleansing” velocity to remove the silt and maintain its capacity. The Indus River has shifted its course several times as it passes through soft soil that easily erodes or have silted.  Pakistan has built a number of big dams for multipurpose use and barrages for irrigation along the Indus River. A large portion of the Indus flow has been diverted (more than 75 per cent of the mean annual flow) and the  regular flushing during the rainy/snow melt  season is reduced. It is an exaggeration but some people in Sindh joke that at this lowest flow you could now wade across some sections of the Indus River delta.  Pakistan have profited from the increase crop yield and “non-carbon” hydroelectric power.

griff
Reply to  eo
September 8, 2022 1:06 am

This is well beyond anything you can ascribe to lack of river management or more population near rivers. Isn’t it?

Disputin
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2022 3:42 am

No.

Alan M
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2022 6:01 am

Again NO, the Indus is or has a massive flood plain, now that didn’t happen overnight did it

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Alan M
September 8, 2022 7:51 am

griff doesn’t do geography nor realise the Indus also flows from the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world.

Johne Morton
September 7, 2022 8:53 pm

Do we pay in the US Dollar, the Euro, the British Pound Sterling? Have you also noticed that the greenback seems to be gaining against everything on Earth despite our unlimited money printing? Bitcoin has dropped vs. the dollar lately as well. Kind odd…

All that said, I still think Pakistan owes us, not the other way around.

eck
September 7, 2022 9:14 pm

As to the title of the post. Easy, peasy.
No, and hell, no.

Phillip Bratby
September 8, 2022 12:51 am

No and no.

griff
September 8, 2022 1:05 am

The Pakistan floods (following a record heatwave) are clearly of a scale and type well out of the ordinary, justifying the word ‘unprecedented’. And clearly climate change. And NOT just a one year freak event. They go with all the other 1 in 1,000 year events we are seeing around the world multiple times each year

Mark BLR
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2022 3:12 am

And clearly climate change.

In AR6 the limitations of the climate models in this area were so great that they were obliged to include a mention in the SPM (!), specifically in Box SPM.1.2 (itself embedded as one paragraph in “Box SPM.1 : Scenarios, Climate Models and Projections”), on page 12 :

Some differences from observations remain, for example in regional precipitation patterns.

.

The impact of those limitations on attempting to make future projections, even in “the near term” (2021-2040 for the IPCC), are detailed in chapter 4, “Future Global Climate: Scenario-based Projections and Near-term Information”, starting in that chapter’s “Executive Summary”, on page 556 :

Near-term projected changes in precipitation are uncertain, mainly because of natural internal variability, model uncertainty, and uncertainty in natural and anthropogenic aerosol forcing (medium confidence).

.

Later on, in section 4.4.1.3 on page 584, they admit that previous assumptions about precipitation patterns may need to be re-evaluated.

The magnitude of projected changes in precipitation in the near term, especially on regional scales is small compared to the magnitude of internal variability

The ‘wet get wetter, dry get drier’ paradigm, which has been used to explain the global precipitation pattern responding to global warming (Held and Soden, 2006a), might not hold

– – – – –

Even the IPCC would say that hysterically screaming “Climate Change ! ! !” after a local precipitation / flooding event is completely un-justified.

And yet you (second-person singular) expect us to blindly accept, without question (or “supporting evidence” …), all of the definitive declarations made by an anonymous Internet poster over the “consensus” conclusions of the IPCC ?

Last edited 17 days ago by Mark BLR
Mark BLR
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2022 3:24 am

‘unprecedented’ … a one year freak event … 1 in 1,000 year events

From the “Glossary” attached as an Annex to each of the three Working Group contributions to the AR6 document cycle :

Climate change : A change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer.

Question : Has Pakistan experienced precipitation / floods of this magnitude every year for several decades ?

Answer : No.

Conclusion : It’s called either “weather” or “natural variability”, not “climate change” … as defined by the IPCC.

Disputin
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2022 3:43 am

Rubbish. Read Jim’s article.

LdB
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2022 6:39 am

Sure and if we just went net zero it would never have happened 🙂

Gunga Din
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2022 8:29 am

They go with all the other 1 in 1,000 year events we are seeing around the world multiple times each year

Soooo … all that stuff happened a 1,000 years ago?
What caused them then?
The Medieval Warm Period?
What caused it?

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  griff
September 8, 2022 6:53 pm

” the other 1 in 1000 year events we are seeing around the world multiple times each year ” …. That makes no sense

Waza
September 8, 2022 2:19 am

Jim
thank you for the great article.
i am knowledgeable and practice urban flood mitigation from a localised “engineering” perspective. Articles like this that focus on flooding from a continental scale “scientific” perspective are very informative.

Waza
September 8, 2022 2:24 am

Q. Thanks for explaining that natural change in monsoons caused by various other natural phenomena.
As these changes occur over significant portions of the planet and over considerable timeframes what impact could this have on change to clouds and thus global temperature?
thanks in advance

Reply to  Waza
September 8, 2022 6:42 am

Many studies have linked the wave trains across Europe with the heat waves there and in Russia. Heatwaves happen under clear skies during a high pressure system. In addition La Nina reduces cloud cover in tropical Pacific, so clearly there is an impact on cloud cover and thus global temperature. I just dont have the tools to quantify the effect.

Speed
September 8, 2022 3:25 am

Are Pakistan’s Floods Your Fault and You Should Pay?
No and No.

Alan M
September 8, 2022 6:04 am

Jim, thanks for the scientific input and rational discussion, something that has been totally missing from all MSM reports

September 8, 2022 11:15 am

What’s up with the normalized rainfall graph ending before the big flood years 2010 and 2022?

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
September 8, 2022 11:32 am

Not sure what you are asking. Indeed it does not cover the 2010 or 2022 monsoons, but its purpose was to show 1) peer-reviewed data from the mid 1800s that did not show any longterm trend in rainfall which is what you would expect if rising CO2 had any impact, but what you would expect from natural oscillations. and 2) There have been extremes in the past associated with those natural oscillations. Other graphs covered recent rainfall.

Last edited 16 days ago by Jim Steele
Ireneusz Palmowski
September 9, 2022 10:09 am

Still very cold western equatorial Pacific. It promises to be a long La Niña.
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Ireneusz Palmowski
September 9, 2022 10:15 am

Cycle 25 will be weaker than 24, just as Zharkova predicted. We are already close to changing the leading solar poles, and activity remains low.
http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/Tilts.gif
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Jeff Norman
September 10, 2022 10:05 am

Jim,

Thank you for the excellent summary.

An additional point:

Flooding like this year’s in Pakistan carry silt into the Arabian Sea which gets deposited on the seabed. Varve analyses of core samples collected there show flooding like this has occurred throughout the Holocene.

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