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Southeast Asia

Unless immediate action is taken, climate change is almost certainly going to reverse Asia’s impressive development gains made over the last few decades. 

Unabated climate change would bring devastating consequences to countries in Asia and the Pacific, which could severely affect their future growth, reverse current development gains and degrade quality of life, according to a report produced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Read more: Unabated Climate Change Would Reverse Asia’s Prosperity

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A recent report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts devastating consequences to countries in Asia and the Pacific if climate change goes unabated.  The report finds that should the forecast 6C (about 11F) rise in temperature by 2100 occur under a ‘business-as-usual’ approach, countries in the Asia-Pacific region will experience dramatic changes to their agriculture and fisheries sectors, land and marine biodiversity, domestic and regional security, trade, urban development, migration, and health.  In a worse case scenario the report warns that drastic changes in the region’s weather system may even pose an existential threat to some countries in the region and crush any hope of achieving sustainable and inclusive development.  The report, ‘A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific’, found that the rising mean global  temperature is expected to see the region subject to increasing numbers of typhoons and tropical cyclones, while annual rainfall is expected to increase by up to 50 per cent over most land areas in the region.  Coastal and low-lying areas in the region will experience increased risk of flooding, while direct housing damage from tropical cyclones is expected to increase by up to 58 per cent in the Philippines alone; which the report highlights has seven out of the top 25 cities globally most at risk from a one-meter (3.3ft) sea-level rise.

A recent report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts devastating consequences to countries in Asia and the Pacific if climate change goes unabated.

Read more: Unabated Climate Change: ASEAN Food Shortages, Overcrowding, Deaths

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A report outlines the dramatic changes Asia-Pacific nations would face if climate change continues unchecked. Here are potential effects in the report.

POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE ASIA-PACIFIC

  • All coral reef systems in Asia-Pacific, such as the Great Barrier Reef, would collapse due to mass coral bleaching with a 4C rise. This could lead to losses of almost $US58 billion in reef-related fisheries in Southeast Asia between 2000 and 2050.
  • Even if global warming is limited to 2C as pledged in the Paris climate pact, almost all coral reefs are expected to experience severe bleaching.
  • Sea level may rise by 1.4m if temperatures increase by 4C.
  • Nineteen of the 25 cities most exposed to a 1m sea-level rise globally are in Asia-Pacific, seven of them in the Philippines alone.
  • Indonesia would be the Asian country worst-affected by coastal flooding, with about 6 million people expected to be hit each year until 2100.
  • With a 4C temperature rise, annual precipitation is expected to increase by up to 50 per cent over most land areas in the region, while some nations like Pakistan and Afghanistan may experience a 20-50 percent decline in rainfall.
  • Of the top 20 cities with the largest projected increase in annual flood losses between 2005 and 2050, 13 are in Asia - in China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan.
  • Rice yields in some Southeast Asian countries could decline by up to 50 per cent by 2100 if no climate change adaptation efforts are made.
  • Heat-related deaths among people aged over 65 could rise annually by 52,000 cases by 2050.
  • The six places particularly prone to future migration linked to climate change are Bangladesh, Philippines, China, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, the Indus Delta in Pakistan and small island states in the Pacific.

Source: ADB, PIK, World Health Organisation as posted in SBS News | 14 July 2017

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