Skip to content

Pakistan Floods Likely Made Worse By Warming–BBC

September 16, 2022

By Paul Homewood


h/t Paul Kolk



Matt McGrath blames the Pakistan floods on climate change (even though the scientists are not quite so sure!):




Global warming is likely to have played a role in the devastating floods that hit Pakistan, say scientists.

Researchers from the World Weather Attribution group say climate change may have increased the intensity of rainfall.

However there were many uncertainties in the results, so the team were unable to quantify the scale of the impact.

The scientists believe there’s roughly a 1% chance of such an event happening in any coming year. ..

But extreme rainfall events are hard to assess. Pakistan is located on the edge of the monsoon region where the rainfall pattern is extremely variable from year to year.

Further complications include the impact of large-scale weather events such as La Niña, which also played a role in the last major floods in Pakistan in 2010.

During the 60-day period of heaviest rainfall this summer scientists recorded an increase of about 75% over the Indus river basin, while the heaviest five-day period over the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan recorded a rise in rainfall of around 50%.

The researchers then used climate models to determine how likely these events would be in a world without warming.

Some of the models indicated that the increases in rainfall intensity could all be down to human-caused climate change – however there were considerable uncertainties in the results.


Perhaps McGrath and the “scientists” should have looked at the actual data, rather than playing with their computer models. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, most of the excess rain in August arrived on 18th/19th and 25th/26th. In fact 41% of the month’s rainfall fell on these four days:




The cause of this heavy rain was simple – two tropical storms, which had crossed from the Bay of Bengal – BOB06 and BOB 07. (In the Indian Ocean they are categorised as a “Depression” and “Deep Depression”. In Atlantic storm terminology, these would be named as a Tropical Depression and a Tropical Storm respectively).



Both storms followed identical routes west from Bengal, tracking over Rajahstan, before hitting the province of Sindh head on, the region worst affected by flooding:


Unusually, these storms did not dissipate after landfall, so were able to wreak havoc for days afterwards. Pakistan, needless to say, is not immune to tropical cyclones. Last year Cyclone Tauktae hit the country, but that was in May, rather than during the monsoon.

But for two storms to hit in the space of a week, at the same location, and during the wettest month of the year is an extremely rare combination of meteorological events.

Pakistan was already experiencing a wetter than normal monsoon, courtesy of La Nina, but those two storms pushed the rainfall into record territory, the wettest August since 1961.

There is, of course, no evidence that tropical cyclones are getting more frequent or intense in the Indian Ocean, so consequently there is also no evidence that last month’s rainfall had anything to do with climate change.

What is significant, though, is the chart of annual rainfall in Pakistan, published in the State of the Pakistan Climate 2021:


Annual rainfall was clearly much less during the 1960s and 70s, the direct result of global cooling. Those years of drought were a disaster for Pakistan, and the country welcomes the increase in rainfall since, just as they do across the border in India.

It is also significant that the 7-year moving average has barely changed since the 1980s, fluctuating up and down, but with no long term trend. If global warming was really bringing more extreme rainfall, we should expect to see evidence of this in the annual figures.

You will hear none of this from Matt McGrath, or the so-called scientists who write these fraudulent climate attribution studies, such as Friederike Otto:


So let’s recall what Roger Pielke Jr had to say about climate attribution:

Or as Obama’s Climate Scientist, Steve Koonin put it:

"Practitioners argue that event attribution studies are the best climate science can do in terms of connecting weather to changes in climate. But as a physical scientist, I’m appalled that such studies are given credence, much less media coverage. A hallmark of science is that conclusions get tested against observations. But that’s virtually impossible for weather attribution studies. Its like a spiritual adviser who claims he influence helped you win the lottery — after you’ve already won it.

  1. Broadlands permalink
    September 16, 2022 6:39 pm

    And La-Nina is the cold part of the always unpredictable ENSO. The warm El-Nino hasn’t been seen in seven years. Doesn’t provide much support for CO2 forcing…”global warming”.

  2. Curious George permalink
    September 16, 2022 7:04 pm

    We are reaping full benefits of the “climate change” label. Hot summer, cold winter, monsoon that comes, monsoon that does not come, floods, droughts – it takes care of all of them. And all of them are out fault.

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 16, 2022 7:38 pm

    NetZeroWatch comment on same.

  4. September 16, 2022 7:38 pm

    Likely made worse by the population living in unsuitable locations as the population has soared from 40 million in 1950 to 240 million today.

    • Cobden permalink
      September 16, 2022 8:53 pm

      Highly suitable for agriculture – fertile valley floors.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        September 17, 2022 8:36 am

        AKA flood plains….

    • Nick Dekker permalink
      September 17, 2022 12:01 am

      I worked in Pakistan 25 years ago and the newspapers were mentioning Pakistan’s population trend since 1950, and predicting that Pakistan would eventually become to third most populated country in the world.

      • John Hultquist permalink
        September 17, 2022 4:32 am

        headed toward 400,000,000 (or not)

  5. Mike Jackson permalink
    September 16, 2022 7:56 pm

    The one thing Roger missed from that list is “money”!

  6. Thbomas Carr permalink
    September 16, 2022 8:13 pm

    ” Say scientists” . Who’s to say that such scientists exist or such scientists said anything when there is no named attribution. The anonymity reveals the complete absence of authority: no one is named so no one can be considered to be wrong — or right. In short, scientists who prefer not to be named probably do not exist or are not scientists but media commentators. Fraud by any other name.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 17, 2022 8:36 am

      And no scientists asked if they agree with the other scientists. Endless propoganda.

  7. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 16, 2022 8:43 pm

    “…say climate change may have increased…”
    If nothing else, I have learned one ineffable thing from this blog: If you see the phrase ‘may have’ or ‘could have’, it is equally valid if the word ‘not’ had been inserted into it. It is the mark of a sceptic – something that ALL scientists should be. I do wish our young students would get to understand that.
    Matt McGrath never learned it, sadly.

  8. GeoffB permalink
    September 16, 2022 9:56 pm

    My favourite quote “Do not confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up”

  9. Jordan permalink
    September 16, 2022 10:08 pm

    “The scientists believe there’s roughly a 1% chance of such an event happening in any coming year.”
    Correction. They assess a 1% chance of MODELS producing this in any coming year. They have precisely nothing to say about what happens in the REAL WORLD.
    It’ the same with claims about the statistical confidence around estimates of climate sensitivity, such as the Charney Range (+1.5C to +4.5C per doubling). This is a measure of the statistics of MODELS, and tells us precisely nothing about the REAL WORLD.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 17, 2022 8:37 am

      But the 1% says nothing anyway. What that means is over 1,000 years it will happen 10 tines. So it happens.

  10. September 16, 2022 10:09 pm

    The Indus River channel has been raised above the surrounding populated land.
    When channel capacity is exceeded water flows over the levees and then cannot get back into the channel.

    Click to access indus-basin-floods.pdf

  11. Gamecock permalink
    September 16, 2022 10:11 pm

    ‘The scientists believe there’s roughly a 1% chance of such an event happening in any coming year. ..’

    Even if true, it is evidence of NOTHING. The whole article is an argumentum ad ignorantiam.

    ‘The researchers then used climate models to determine how likely these events would be in a world without warming.’

    Should have made another run to see how likely with warming. Oh. The models don’t actually do that. World Weather Attribution has found a way to monetize the idiocy of the climatocracy.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      September 17, 2022 8:38 am

      Attenbollocks, from your BBC…

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 17, 2022 8:39 am

      And its not “chance” anyway as the weather is mechanistic. The causes of this flooding are known, its not a random event we can’t explain.

  12. norman paul weldon permalink
    September 17, 2022 8:27 am

    The graph for precipitation Paul shows, produced to show the state of the climate in Pakistan is very misleading. It starts from the 1960s when precipitation was low, and therefore shows an upward trend. Looking further back into the past gives a better picture, and if the chart started in the 1950s the trend would be flat. There is a good graphic here, going back to 1901.

    The years with the highest annual mean rainfall are actually 1944 and 1956.

    Shows once again how we are being misled.

  13. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 17, 2022 8:35 am

    The idea running models that already implicitly assume it’s caused by climate change to prove its caused by climate change is absurd.

    So run the models on my weather today in SW France – a bit colder than average during the day, a lot colder than average tonight. Where’s the signal of climate change then? Utterly absent. So climate change doesn’t exist then.

  14. September 17, 2022 8:43 am

    Researchers from the World Weather Attribution group say climate change may have increased the intensity of rainfall.

    They would say that, wouldn’t they?

  15. Mike Rennoldson permalink
    September 17, 2022 9:05 am


    David Attenborough is up to his usual tricks—again!

    Regards Mike

  16. thecliffclavenoffinance permalink
    September 17, 2022 12:27 pm

    Most warming since the 1970s was in the Northern half of The Northern Hemisphere at dawn (TMIN). There has been very little warming near the tropics, especially in the afternoon (TMAX). Without having specific details for Pakistan, I believe there was very little TMAX warming in that nation.

    • norman paul weldon permalink
      September 17, 2022 9:09 pm

      The site I referenced earlier gives also Tmin and Tmax, since 1901, both which show a rise of around 1C during the period, mostly in the 1990s.

  17. Gerry, England permalink
    September 18, 2022 11:26 am

    Has Matt McGrath ever written an honest article?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: