The floods crisis that has swept across Pakistan has shocked the world with its devastation and scale. Tragically, it is just one among a worrying number of weather-related disasters around the globe this year. From fires to droughts, to floods and storms, 2022 will go down as one of the most destructive years on record for disasters, and for being the year that scientists say demonstrates the catastrophic consequences of man-made climate change. Global emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly from fossil fuels, are trapping more and more heat in the atmosphere which in turn allows it to hold more moisture. Hotter temperatures also lead to more evaporation, robbing the soil and crops of moisture and making droughts worse. Mankind is messing with nature and upsetting the world's weather systems.
In Pakistan, a supercharged monsoon has dumped epic amounts of rainfall, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,000 people and affecting 33 million others - equivalent to the population of Malaysia. The total damage so far is estimated to be US$10 billion (S$14 billion). But this is likely to rise and the effects will be felt for years to come. Already heavily indebted, Pakistan can now ill-afford the costs arising from such disasters. Yet it faces the prospect of more in the future. This risks further economic damage to the nation of more than 200 million people and, possibly, future unrest and migration. It is a fate befalling many poorer, vulnerable nations that are the least to blame for climate change.