The flooding has prompted warnings from activists that the effects of climate change are being disproportionately felt by countries that have done little to contribute to it.
Fahad Saeed, an Islamabad-based analyst for Climate Analytics, said the group’s analysis showed the flooding was made 30 times more likely due to climate change, citing a heat wave prior to the flooding that saw temperatures soar past 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Weather experts say higher temperatures directly lead to heavier rainfall as warmer air has a greater capacity to hold water, a phenomenon seen around the world in recent weeks.
Saeed described Pakistan’s flooding as the “worst in the country’s history” in terms of people affected, warning it may worsen as the current monsoon season is still not over.
The “unprecedented” heat wave that hit Pakistan this year has also accelerated the melting of glaciers in mountain ranges near northern Pakistan, Mohsin Hafeez, Pakistan representative at the International Water Management Institute, said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
This threatens further floods as that water could join the rain that has come crashing down from the northern mountains.
“People here are bearing the brunt of global climate change,” Islamic Relief Worldwide CEO Waseem Ahmad said in an emailed statement Tuesday. “Pakistan produces less than 1% of the world’s carbon footprint, but its people are suffering the biggest consequences.”
Mushtaq Yusufzai reported from Charsadda, Pakistan, Rhoda Kwan reported from Taipei, Taiwan, and Evan Bush reported from Seattle.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed.