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Thailand

A woman walks through floodwaters in front of the Grand Palace near the Chao Praya river in Bangkok on October 28, 2011. AFP

As Bangkok prepares to host climate-change talks, the sprawling city of more than 10 million is itself under siege from the environment, with dire forecasts warning it could be partially submerged in just over a decade.

A preparatory meeting begins Tuesday in Thailand’s capital for the next UN climate conference, a crunch summit in Poland at the end of 2018 to set rules on reducing greenhouse emissions and providing aid to vulnerable countries.

As temperatures rise, abnormal weather patterns – like more powerful cyclones, erratic rainfall, and intense droughts and floods – are predicted to worsen over time, adding pressure on governments that are tasked with bringing the 2015 Paris climate treaty to life.

Bangkok, built on once-marshy land about 1.5meters (five feet) above sea level, is projected to be one of the world’s hardest hit urban areas, alongside fellow Southeast Asian behemoths Jakarta and Manila.

“Nearly 40 percent” of Bangkok will be inundated by as early as 2030 due to extreme rainfall and changes in weather patterns, according to a World Bank report.

Read more: Bangkok struggling to stay afloat

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Thai soldiers connected pipes to reroute water away from the Tham Luang Cave on Saturday.CreditSakchai Lalit/Associated Press

After 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach were trapped in the Tham Luang Cave in northern Thailand nearly three weeks ago, their plight, and then their rescue, captured the world’s attention.

Read more: Does Climate Change Have Anything to Do With Floods in Thailand?

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UN Photo (file) Claire Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization.

Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), was speaking in Geneva amid reports indicating that all 12 boys and their coach had been freed in a daring rescue operation by a team of specialist divers.

Read more: Thai cave boys spared thundershowers, highlighting extreme climate disruption: UN weather agency

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