Asia hardest hit by climate change and extreme weather events — a global issue

Following the research of climate change in europe,Issuer W.M.O. On Monday, Asia climate situation in 2023 The report emphasized that Rate of climate change accelerating across several indicators surface temperature, glacier retreat, sea level rise, etc.

“The report’s conclusions are sobering. 2023 was the hottest year on record for many countries in the region, with extreme conditions ranging from droughts and heatwaves to floods and storms,” ​​WMO officials said. said Director Celeste Sauro.

She stressed that climate change is exacerbating the frequency and severity of such events, with significant consequences for societies, economies and, most importantly, human lives.

faster than average

The warming trend has almost doubled compared to the period 1960-1990. Asia is warming faster than the global averageincreasing casualties and economic losses from floods, storms, and even severe heat waves.

In 2023, sea surface temperatures in the northwestern Pacific Ocean reached their highest ever recorded. A marine heatwave also occurred in the Arctic Ocean. In many parts of the region, including the Arabian Sea, southern Kara Sea, and southeastern Laptev Sea, Sea surface temperatures are rising more than three times faster than globally. The report identified the Barents Sea as a “climate change hotspot”.

Globally, sea levels continued to rise due to thermal expansion and the melting of glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets.However, in Asia the price is higher than the world average From 1993 to 2023.

Last year, on the continent (just changing the word) 79 flood-related disastersmore than 80% are associated with floods and storms; More than 2,000 people have died and 9 million people are affected Directly, according to the emergency database.

Temperatures are rising, precipitation is decreasing

In 2023, many parts of the region experienced extreme heat. The annual average near-surface temperature in Asia was 0.91 degrees Celsius above the 1991-2020 average, making it the second-highest temperature on record. Particularly high temperatures were observed from western Siberia to central Asia, and from eastern China to Japan. Japan and Kazakhstan experienced record warmest year.

On the other hand, rainfall was below normal in the Turan Depression (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan), the Hindu Kush (Afghanistan, Pakistan), most of the Himalayas, and around the Ganges and lower Brahmaputra rivers (India and Bangladesh).

Rainfall was lower than usual in Myanmar’s Arakan Mountains and the lower reaches of the Mekong River, and southwest China was hit by a drought, with almost every month of 2023 receiving below-normal rainfall.

Despite the overall low rainfall, some extreme events occurred, such as heavy rains in Myanmar in May. For example, June and July saw floods and storms across India, Pakistan, and Nepal, and Hong Kong experienced record hourly rainfall in September.

Glacier retreat and permafrost retreat

There are approximately 100,000 square kilometers of glaciers in the high mountains of Asia, centered on the Tibetan Plateau, which contains the largest amount of ice outside the polar regions. Over the past few decades, most of them have been in retreat, and the pace is accelerating. 20 out of 22 Observed glaciers continue to lose masssuccumbing to record high temperatures and dry conditions.

permafrost – soils that remain below 0 °C for more than two years continuously – as well. surrender territory Impact of rising temperatures in the Arctic. The most rapid permafrost thaw in Asia is observed in the western regions of the Polar Urals and Western Siberia.

Severe sandstorms, lightning, thunder, frigid waves and thick smog were among the extreme events that affected the lives of millions of people across Asia.

Early warning for everyone

According to the report, from 1970 to 2021, there were 3,612 disasters attributed to weather, climate, and water extremes, resulting in 984,263 deaths and $1.4 trillion in economic losses. .of The region accounts for 47% of deaths from natural disasters reported worldwide.the main cause of reported deaths is tropical cyclones.

To reduce these impacts, WMO and its partners advocate: Powerful early warning and disaster prevention system To save lives and prevent future economic crises exacerbated by climate change.

“Early warning and better preparedness have saved thousands of lives,” said Armida Sarcia Arishabana, executive director of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.Scap) to produce the report.

“ESCAP and WMO are working together to raise climate ambition and develop sound policies, including early warnings for everyone in the region to ensure no one is left behind as the climate crisis continues to evolve. We will continue to invest to accelerate implementation,” she asserted.

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