In The Name of ALLAH The Almighty
Climate Change.. A blessing for Chitral
In Chitral winter season is a time when the people especially the
elders are in the position of full rest (or in hibernation) and
people use to sit under the warm rays of sun light and spend day
long debates on various issues. The most common point of
discussions in these forums is the comparative analysis of climate
of past and present. The new generation sit aside them and listens
to the elders; some gets stunned while other presume them
superstitious old people with harebrained ideas and declares
nothing but merely rubbish. It is commonly said that in past most
of the valleys were receiving five to seven feet’s of snow fall.
The traditional houses (like Baipash) were used to build as an
adaptive mechanism which servers not only as residential compound
but also storage go-down for a household during such hazardous
conditions. It is also observed by the local elders that summer
seasons have also altered. In the past, for more than three month
the thirsty fields laid under a rainless sky during the hot
summers. Due to extreme hotness the people used to spend their
times under the shades of Chinar tree (platanus orientalis)
drinking milkshake (Lassi) as heat killer.
The people were not even aware of various varieties of grains and
fruit plants which exist in Chitral nowadays. The plant and animal
species in single cropping zones were different from that of double
cropping zones but now most of the transition zones (a zone between
single cropping zone and double cropping zone) have evolved into
double cropping zones while various animals and plants species of
down-district can be easily found in the double cropping zones of
Munshi Aziz Uddin the author of “Tareekh e Chitral” documents his
observations during his visit to Northern Areas and Chitral from
1892 to 1897. In his book he mentions that “Chital is covered with
blanket of snow for most part of the year. Sometimes people got
frightened and came out from their houses after hearing terrible
sound coming form (due to blasting of vast glaciers) the mountains
due to un-known reason”. Apparently this statement shows that how
vast glaciers were here in Chitral in those days. The remnants of
such vast glaciers can also be witnessed in Yarkhoon valley and
alpine pastures even today.
With the conclusions from the folklores and the conclusions of
innumerable predictions of scientists that global warming is here
and will continue into the foreseeable future. All we hear about
the potential impacts of climate change is that of floods,
droughts, famine, climatic fluctuations, acid rains etc. but no one
highlights some positive impacts of climate change. Here I wanted
to summarize the likely effects of global warming, into the
advantages of climate change and global warming that are not
Advantages of Climate Change in the context of Chitral
• The dry and arid mountains of Chitral may experience more
plant growth and milder climates due to temperature shift and
• It is also assumed that due to climate change the ice cover in
the Hindukush region will retreat thus; more venues will be opened
for trans-boundary trade. So climate will not be hurdle in the
economic uplift of Chitral anymore.
• It is quite obvious that the winter seasons are not harsh anymore
as it was in the past. Therefore there is less need for energy
consumption then the past.
• In the past it was very common hearing that someone has died due
to cold winter or livestock flocks have surcease due to cold but
such accidents are no more occurring so there would be fewer deaths
or injuries due to cold weather. This means more foods. This one’s
related a bit to the longer summers. Those hotter temperatures
would also translate into a longer growing season. Plus, plants
love CO2! It’s like food for them. All that global warming causing
CO2 would act like a fertilizer. With free airborne plant
fertilizer and longer growing seasons, food production will
skyrocket. Of course, this is assuming that global warming doesn’t
cause massive droughts or floods that destroy the crops. As long as
that doesn’t happen we’re golden!
• It has been suggested that higher latitudes (like Northern Areas
and Chitral) may become productive due to global warming. In
addition to this, longer growing seasons could mean increased
agricultural production in some local areas.
• Mountains increase in height due to melting glaciers, becoming
higher as they rebound against the missing weight of the ice.
• The next ice age may be prevented from occurring.
Nevertheless, no one can nullify the negative impacts of Climate
change and the phenomenon of global warming its better to Hope for
the best but also plan for the worst.