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

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>