smog in lahore
Photo by Sajid Rana

Smog in Lahore a Sign of Climate Change, Belgian scientists say

If you thought climate change was bad in china, then you are in for a shock with the situation in Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan. The city, now known for its smog accumulation, is one of the latest Pakistani towns to come under the scrutiny of environmentalists because of its pollution.

Smog, the Fifth Season

Smog is not a rare occurrence in Lahore. During November, farmers and occupants in the area partake in activities that encourage the formulation of the acrid inhalant. Just last year, hundreds of farmers participated in the crop burning ritual that is normal in the area. Because of the crop burning, the cold season that accompanies the month of November, and the general air pollution from cars and other pollutants, smog in Pakistan has become so common that it has been named ‘the fifth season’ in Pakistan.

‘It is so bad I am scared to breathe’

The smog situation in Lahore has adversely affected the residents in the area. Amna Manan, a 26-year-old resident of the city told the New York Times that she was always “scared to breathe in” the “filth and smoke” that has now become a regular sighting in Lahore.

Smog is due to Climate Change

While scientists do not dispute that the situation in Lahore came as a result of pollution, they have a different view as to the main cause of the smog. Some say that the smog is caused by the crop burning, but a group of Belgian researchers from the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) conducted a study that showed that climate change is behind the smog.

In the study, the researchers gathered that only a quarter of the tree cover in Lahore in 2007 remains today. The declining tree cover and the resultant climate change is what brought about the temperature changes, as well as failed regulation of the gases released during crop burning. “Drastic measures need to be taken to plant more trees,” the researchers’ report stated.