8/08/2015

Karachi´s Heat Wave and Pakistan´s Energy Crisis

This page is presented to assist those who wish to debate whether the recent Karachi heat wave was caused by global warming,  or whether it´s just part of a normal trend. The temperature anomaly data from the Hadley center runs through 2014, but I don´t think a temperature spike in 2015 is very meaningful, and the debaters should focus on the temperature anomaly trend.

The post also includes links to articles about Pakistan´s electric power crisis (they are having a shortfall), their efforts to install renewables (which deliver less than 1 % of national electricity needs), and the Pakistan-China deal to build coal fired power plants to relieve Pakistan´s electric power crisis.

The two sectors of interest cover the region around Karachi. This is a piece of a screen print taken from the Google Earth display, the stars show the sectors I am focusing on. 


Figure 1. Google Earth Grid, Edited Screen Print. 


The following is the climate anomaly data for the region around Karachi, taken from Google Earth´s temperature grid cells, which use the Hadley Center data. I am using the lastest release, from October 2014. Note the latitude and logitude are identified in the bottom plot, the Annual temperature.  Because the debate is over the heat wave seen just before the monsoon, during Ramadan, I would focus on the plots labeled JJA. Interestingly, the current warming trend in those sectors seems to be much more pronounced in the winter months. 

Remember, the plot of interest is the JJA (June, July, August), since this covers the summer period when temperatures are highest.



Figure 2. North of Karachi,  mostly except for a small 
sector in the Indian Ocean due West of Karachi  


. Figure 3. Karachi and the sector just South of Karachi, 
most of the area is in the Indian Ocean 

Figure 1 shows the Hadley Grid Boxes, and dots in the ocean labeled with numbers. Those are the Argo buoys located in the area at this time. Here´s a plot from an Argo buoy offshore Karachi. 

Figure 4. Argo buoy temperature profile on 6 August 2015.   
The water near the surface is at 27.5 degrees C. 

The following two maps may also be of interest, they are the NASA GISS temperature anomaly for: A. Summer Hemisphere warm period (May through October), and B. Summer Hemisphere cold period (November through April). The anomaly is the average of 2012, 2013, and 2014 versus 1982 to 2011. The maps in Figure 5  are created from a different data set than the graphs shown above for the area surrounding Karachi  (USA government GISS, valid through June 2015), versus UK Hadley Center data downloaded to Google Earth October 2014). 

This allows a visualization of the last three full years versus the prior 30 years. It´s evident most of the global warming is in the northern hemisphere´s high latitudes (beyond 65 degrees North. In these maps Pakistan shows a slight anomaly in the warm period, and no anomaly in the cold period.

After reviewing both the Hadley and GISS temperature anomaly trends, it´s safe to conclude the Karachi heat wave wasn´t really attributable to global warming, and the death count was associated with Ramadan rules, the lack of electricity, and possibly the urban island heat effect as the population grows and they lay more brick and asphalt in the Karachi environment. 




Figure 5A. Temperature Anomaly  (May through October). 
2012-14 versus prior 3 decades

Figure 5 B. Temperature Anomaly (November through April).
2012-14 versus prior 3 decades

For those interested in Pakistan´s weather, here´s the link to the Pakistani weather service Monsoon webpage. The monsoon started in earnest in early August, now they are worried about floods. Below I also show some links to news reports about the Pakistani heat wave, electricity crisis, and renewable energy. 
Pakistani Weather 


Pakistani heat wave news 



Pakistan Electricity Supply Crisis. As far as I can tell, 
Pakistan is having a serious electric power shortage, 



Pakistan Renewables. The Pakistanis  seem to be stuck in a bind, 
because they can´t afford to provide renewables with the subsidies they require.   


Pakistan-China deal to build coal fired electricity generation

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