With La Nina bringing in colder than normal temps, the country’s US$80 million orchid industry is feeling the chills

At Excel Orchid Farm in Ratchaburi province, one of the largest orchid nurseries in Thailand, Piyada Sanguthai says global warming and climate change is already having an affect on Thailand's orchid production.

“The changing weather patterns are pushing the crops out of their ideal humidity and temperature ranges for optimal growth and also resulting in an increase in crop-damaging insects. We try and use the minimal amount of pesticide as possible, but the increase in insects has forced us to increase the frequency with which we treat the plants.”

Read more: Floods, climate change challenge Thailand’s orchid export success


Thailand Flood

A flooded street on Ko Kret island, Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok. Photograph: Narong Sangnak/EPA


Downpours that caused rivers to burst around Thailand have killed 94 people in nearly two weeks of flooding, which officials say is the worst in decades. It has affected more than 3 million people in 36 of Thailand's 76 provinces, according to government medical and disaster agencies.

In Bangkok, more than 4 million sandbags were erected into walls along stretches of the Chao Phraya River, which swelled with runoffs from upper provinces. The precautions held and the city had only minor flooding.

Read more: Bangkok faces severe flooding


The wrath of Nature has been starkly evident this year, from the catastrophic Haitian and Chilean earthquakes to the most severe floods in five decades that inundated half of Thailand, killed more than 90 people and affected millions more. Indonesia's tsunami has displaced thousands and killed 435 with more than 100 more still missing.

Bill Clinton took the opportunity to note the link between (non-earthquake) natural disasters and climate change in The 2010 Clinton Global Initiative, where the topic of the meeting was largely skewed toward addressing disaster relief, especially natural disasters. The former US president noted how global warming was set to increase the frequency of natural disasters such as floods, heatwaves, and hurricanes. "The incidence of economically devastating natural disasters will accelerate around the world with the changing of the climate," he warned.

Read more: Supply Chain response to Climate change


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