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Asia's future on a hotter planet

Published on 14 July 2017 Southeast Asia

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


  • 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