Prolonged droughts and uneven monsoons have adversely affected socioeconomic and environmental conditions of Pakistan, especially of the Punjab province. Analysis of historical (1981-2010) daily minimum and maximum temperatures from five cities in semiarid Punjab, Pakistan, was carried out to evaluate spatial and temporal patterns in thermal regimes. A total of 13 climate change indices were calculated using daily minimum and maximum temperatures and analyzed for trend using RClimDex, a program written in the statistical software package R. A nonparametric Mann-Kendall test and Sen's slope estimates were used to determine the statistical significance and magnitude of a trend, respectively. Observed trends in selected indices during 1981-2010 suggest an overall warming in the region. Over the analysis period, the regionally averaged occurrence of extreme cold (10th percentile) nights and days has decreased by 23.94 nights per decade and 20.61 days per decade, respectively. Occurrence of extreme hot (90th percentile) nights and days has increased by 4.19 nights per decade and 0.92 days per decade, respectively. The number of summer days has increased by almost 3 days per decade on average at four out of the five cities. Multan was the only city where the number of summer days has declined by 5 days per decade. Regionally averaged increase in tropical nights was 8.35 nights per decade. Regional warming will dictate increased crop water requirements in this semiarid region agriculture, which is already under water-scarce conditions, especially in the Faisalabad district, where saline groundwater is not suitable for crops.
- Regional warming
- Temperature indices