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Southeast Asia

OSLO, July 8 (Reuters) - Torrential rains have become more frequent worldwide since 1980, with Southeast Asia getting the biggest increase in downpours, a scientific study said on Tuesday.

The report adds to evidence that rising man-made greenhouse gas emissions are stoking extremes from heatwaves to precipitation. Warmer air absorbs more moisture, which then can be dumped in downpours.

Read more: Torrential rains increasing in warming world – study

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Farmers walk on a rice field in southern Vietnam on December 10, 2014. Photo credit: AFP

Poor small-scale farmers are the world's biggest risk takers.

Imagine a poor farmer who owns a small plot of land. She buys seeds with cash she borrows from a trader and must find a way to manage pests without killing her vegetables. She must guess when and when not to plant because weather patterns are no longer predictable.

She farms even if she knows her produce will compete and probably lose to cheaper ones imported from state-subsidized industrial mono-crop farms elsewhere. In her 50s to 60s (the average age of farmers), she gambles season after season, because agriculture is the livelihood – and the life – she knows.

Read more: How the risk-taking farmers of Southeast Asia will survive climate change

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BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Southeast Asian governments must help farmers find better ways to grow food in the face of worsening droughts, storms and sea level rise that are threatening the region's agricultural output and pushing people into poverty, Oxfam said on Tuesday.

As the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integrate into a single economic market - allowing for freer flow of goods, labor and capital - they must help farmers adapt to climate change and practice sustainable agriculture, which will boost incomes and ensure food security, Oxfam said.

Read more: SE Asia must help farmers adapt in face of mounting disasters: Oxfam

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