The massive floods in Pakistan have changed the ecosystem and the natural habitat. Where millions of people have been internally displaced, a unique natural phenomenon has caused concern. Satellite images show a 100-kilometre-wide inland lake that has been formed in Sindh.

The United Nations has referred to the recent rainfalls as monsoons on steroids. The rainfall that began in June has reportedly killed 1,162 people, injured 3,554, and affected more than 32 million. The inland lake was created because of the overflowing Indus River coupled with heavy rainfall. The formation of an inland lake may be a natural phenomenon but it signals what humans should expect in the future. It has also been reported by the Pakistan Meteorological Department that the 2022 monsoon was the wettest season after 1961.

The unprecedented floods were also caused by the melting of glaciers. Pakistan has nearly 7,000 glaciers that have been melting because of global warming. Researchers and scientists have warned about rising sea levels and how they will inundate coastal areas. According to a paper published by Denise Lu and Christopher Flavelle in The New York Times (2019), Southern Vietnam, Thailand, Shanghai, Mumbai, Alexandria, and Basra (Iraq) will be greatly affected by rising sea levels by 2050. In another study, Matthew H. Nash lists thirty-six cities that will face the impact of rising sea levels. These include Tokyo, Mumbai, New York City, Osaka, Istanbul, Kolkata, Bangkok, Jakarta, London, Dhaka, Ho Chi Minh City, San Francisco, Miami, Alexandria, Sydney, Boston, Lisbon, Dubai, Vancouver, Abu Dhabi, Copenhagen, New Orleans, Dublin, Honolulu, Amsterdam, Cancun, Venice, Charleston, Macau, Male, Long Beach, Savannah, Nassau, Punta Cana, Key West, and Cockburn TN.

In another report, scientists have predicted that even if humans end fossil fuel burning activities today, the ice caps in Greenland will continue to melt. The research study estimates that the 110 trillion tonnes of ice in Greenland that will melt will increase sea levels by 10.6 feet. The report in The Guardian says, “Billions of people live in coastal regions, making flooding due to rising sea levels one of the greatest long-term impacts of the climate crisis. If Greenland’s record melt year of 2012 becomes a routine occurrence later this century, as is possible, then the ice cap will deliver a staggering 78cm of sea-level rise.”

What has been transpiring in Pakistan is perhaps a precursor of what to expect in the years to come. The monsoon and weather trends are changing as we speak. Pakistan received 190 percent of its normal rainfall from June to August in 2022. Pakistan faced unprecedented rainfalls in 2020 and 2021—a pattern that may remain active for the years to come. Pakistan experienced floods in 2010 as well from July to August. It affected 20 million people, killing between 1,200 to 2,200. An estimated 14 million people were left homeless. The same cycle repeated after twelve years in 2022. Experts have called for the construction of dams to conserve water and avoid flooding. One wonders when the authorities will pay heed to the construction of dams in the pipeline for decades.