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Pakistan to launch weather channel

28 December 2009

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To mitigate the effects of climate change, Pakistan will soon launch a television weather channel that will keep people, particularly farmers, informed about the rainfall and weather patterns in the country. The first-of-its-kind initiative in South Asia, it will also telecast documentaries and other programmes.

Islamabad: The meteorological department plans to launch a television channel soon to inform people about weather conditions round the clock.

DR Q.jpg
Image credits: Dawn/ The channel will be launched in two months on a public-private partnership basis: Dr Qamaruz Zaman

It will be the first such channel in South Asia. China is the only country in the Asia-Pacific region which has a dedicated weather channel.

The department’s Director General Dr Qamaruz Zaman told Dawn on Sunday that the channel would be launched in two months on a public-private partnership basis.

In addition to hourly forecasts, the channel will telecast documentaries and other programmes related to weather and climate.

Its emphasis will be on keeping the farming community across the country informed about rainfall and weather patterns.

Dr Zaman said the importance of a weather channel had increased because of effects of climate change on water resources and agriculture.

It is important to inform people about measures required to mitigate the effects of climate change and carbon emission. He said development projects should be planned keeping these effects in view.

Climate changes also affect the aviation industry and energy projects.

The present fleet of the national flag carrier may not meet new regulations being enforced by European countries and carbon tax may be imposed on it with landing charges.

The airline would have to consider buying aircraft with low carbon emission.

Dr Zaman said weather conditions in Pakistan, particularly Punjab, were suffering because of pollutants coming from India where plants had been set up to generate energy from coal.

This is the main reason of the thick fog which engulfs parts of Punjab during winter.

The mixture of fog and smoke sometimes forces closure of highways and motorways. It also affects economic activities.

Dr Zaman, who recently attended the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, said the international community should use the climate change fund to help Pakistan adopt new measures because it could not do so with its own resources.

He said the impact of global warming on glaciers of Pakistan and its effect on the Indus water system threatened food security in the country.

He said the rise of temperatures in the Northern Areas which house several glaciers in the Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindukash region was mainly because of global warming and direct carbon deposits.

Source : Dawn

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