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A family sits in front of their flooded home in Pakistan

A family sits in front of their flooded home in Pakistan. | PBS NewsHour

August 31, 2022

The Role of Climate Change in the Historic Pakistan Floods

Ask Students: How many people have been impacted since the Pakistan floods began? What are other countries doing to help?

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This year has marked a particularly devastating monsoon season in Pakistan. The country has experienced mass flooding resulting in a serious disaster with more than 1,000 deaths; in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces to the south, there has been a 400 percent increase in average rainfall and more than 20 dams have been destroyed. Watch the video from PBS NewsHour below, then answer the questions. For a transcript of the video, click here.

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions

  1. How many people in the country have been impacted since the floods began?
  2. How much of the country has the current monsoon season flooded?
  3. Pakistan usually sees three or four monsoon cycles per year; how many has the country experienced in 2022?
  4. How has the government tried to help people in need of relief? Why will it be hard to deliver aid effectively, according to Sara Hayat?
  5. What is the problem with dropping packages of food from trucks or helicopters? What other ways do you think relief packages could be delivered?
     

Class Discussion

Pakistan is one of the top 10 countries most affected by climate change; at the same time, Pakistan is responsible for less than 1% of global fossil fuel emissions. Major international players like the United States and China have contributed massively to factors that accelerate climate change, and many activists and climate scientists think they should do more to combat the ongoing crisis.

How do you think the developed world can help developing countries that are being severely impacted by climate change?

melting glaciers

Did You Know?

Pakistan is home to more glaciers than almost anywhere on earth. With climate change becoming a greater problem, flooding becomes a greater issue as they melt. Check out this resource featuring a short video from the National Science Foundation on the effects of melting glaciers from Greenland.

Watch the video here

Visualizing the Problem

Check out the two GIFs below from Maxar Technologies showing villages and fields before and after flooding in Rajanpur, Pakistan. What do you notice?

Village and fields before and after flooding in Rajanpur, Pakistan as of August 28, 2022. Photo: Maxar
Village and fields before and after flooding in Rajanpur, Pakistan as of August 28, 2022. Photo: Maxar
Village and fields before and after flooding in Rajanpur, Pakistan as of August 28, 2022. Photo: Maxar
Village and fields before and after flooding in Rajanpur, Pakistan as of August 28, 2022. Photo: Maxar

Additional Resource

Read about Pakistan’s neighbor, India, and how historic heat waves resulting from climate change are causing problems in the country.
 

Lesson Plans on Climate Change

Explore more resources for educators to find a wide-range of relevant preK-12 lessons on climate change or supporting young people as they continue to lead the conversation around the climate change crisis.

Andy Kratochvil is an SML team member who loves hiking, scary books, Mexican food, and finding great content for the Share My Lesson community.He studied political science and French at California State University, Fullerton and received his Master’s in International Affairs from American University

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