Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Asia’s coasts to experience most extreme weather

27.10.2015

Over the next 50 years, people living at low altitudes in developing countries, particularly those in coastal Asia, will suffer the most from extreme weather patterns, according to researchers.

Unbearable heat waves, typhoons of unprecedented speeds and flash floods have been an increasing occurrence globally. It’s not just a coincidence that these extreme weather events have been happening more frequently, said researchers and scientists at the Common Future under Climate Change conference held in Paris in July.


A flood in Sai Mai, Bangkok, Thailand in 2011. People living in coastal Asia are likely to suffer the most by extreme weather conditions causing floods and land losses.

Copyright : Wikimediacommons

Hundreds of millions of people will be affected by coastal flooding and land loss as global temperatures rise, icecaps melt and sea levels rise. Cities will also suffer from heat stress, extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, as well as drought and water scarcity, according to the report “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”.

Historical climate projections for the Indian subcontinent suggest an overall increase in temperature by two degrees, which has resulted in a noticeable rise in heat waves and hot days.

Sumetee Pahwa Gajjar, who leads climate change research at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, has conducted a regional diagnostic study for the critical risks and impacts of climate change in the semi-arid regions of Maharashtra, Karnatak and Tamil Nadu states in south-western and peninsular India. She found that rising occurrences of heat waves and hot days affected the health sector, mainly due to an increased outbreak of diseases and increased risk of heat stress. They also placed a big strain on the agricultural sector as well as on livestock and fisheries.

Francis Zwiers, director of the Pacific Climate Consortium, says human actions, such as the burning of fossil fuels, have increased the odds of extreme weather occurrences.

Events that used to happen every 25 years now happen every 15, he explains.One example is the European heat wave of 2003, during which 35,000 people died. It was the most extreme event of its kind since 1500 AD. In May 2015, India was struck by a severe heat wave that killed more than 2,500 people.

“Heat waves that [were once] expected to occur twice a century [are now], in the early 2000s, expected to occur twice a decade. Human influence has very likely at least doubled the likelihood of such an event,” says Peter Stott from the Met Office Hadley Centre, U.K.

While it is all very new, research is examining weather models for future climates to show the probability of extreme events.

A recent study published in June 2015 in Nature Climate Change used 25 climate computer models to test the connection between global warming and extreme weather occurrences. It found that man-made global warming is responsible for about 75% of all hot-temperature extremes worldwide in the past 100 years and for about 18% of heavy rainfall. The study says climate change will cause higher percentages of extreme weather in future decades. For example, by the middle of this century, if temperatures continue to rise, about 95% of all heat waves and around 40% of precipitation extremes will be due to human influence.

Past research from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has also shown that heat waves and heavy precipitation can be attributed in some part to global warming.

However, it is hard to confirm a distinct correlation. Climate systems are very complex and natural variability makes it difficult to separate out human influence on extreme weather events from other factors. In addition, extreme weather is relatively rare and it can take a long time to identify significant trends.

“Extreme weather attribution, as the field is called, is still in its infancy, so its methods continue to undergo scrutiny,” says Dr Sarah Perkins of the University of New South Wales in the U.K.

Adaptation has proven hard, especially in poverty stricken regions.

“Barriers to adaptation arise from resource intensive development pathways, flawed governance mechanisms, inadequate information and socio-cultural characteristics,” says India’s Sumetee Pahwa Gajjar.

Results like this demonstrate the importance of rallying the world’s biggest CO2 emitters to submit goals and deadlines for lowering their emission outputs. This is a topic that will be ironed out in the upcoming COP21 to be held in Paris in December.

By Aya Lowe

Prabha Sethuraman | Research SEA
Further information:
http://www.idrc.org.sg
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents
12.12.2017 | Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

nachricht How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas
11.12.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>