Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Impact of Climate Change in South Asia

The impact of climate change in South Asian counties are listed below. It is sourced from WB’s South Asia Climate Change Strategy 2009, pp. 56-59.

  • Exposure of agriculture (pasture), ecosystems and water resources to drought and desertification
  • Flooding from glacial melt and long run vulnerability of depletion of water supplies of glacial-fed rivers
  • Water and food insecurity, malnutrition and possible migration
    and conflict

  • Combined impacts of sea level rise and glacial melt lead to increased incidence of flooding and land loss
  • Drought in some areas
  • More intense cyclones
  • Lower agricultural output through diminished yields and loss of land
  • Increased incidence of heat-related illnesses, water-borne diseases, poverty, child and infant mortality; lower access to safe water and sanitation and possible migration
  • Loss of biodiversity in coastal ecosystems – Sunderbans at high risk
  • Mitigation Issues: Increased coal dependence (risks of early transition to coal)

  • Damages from glacial melt
  • Impact of increased temperature on rangelands and agriculture
  • Potential loss of forest biodiversity due to vegetation shift and increased incidence of forest fire due to temperature increase

  • Exposure of agriculture, water resources, and ecosystems to extreme weather events and more variable precipitation
  • Impact of glacial melt on water resources quantity, biodiversity and low-lying agriculture
  • Increased heat-related illnesses and water-borne diseases and changes in epidemiological patterns
  • Impacts on urban infrastructure including drainage, water and sanitation
  • Vegetation shift in forests and biodiversity, regime shifts in rangelands, decreased agricultural yields in tropics and subtropics
  • Increased exposure to sea level rise
  • Mitigation issues:
    • Increased emissions from energy production and transformation, transport, urban, agriculture, industrial and residential sectors due to economic growth and urbanization
    • Impact of climate change upon carbon sequestration capacity of forest ecosystems, other biomass and soils

  • Ecosystem damages and loss of protection afforded by coral reefs
  • Inundation of islands due to sea level rise and physical damages from flooding
  • Increased salinity of groundwater resources
  • Possible migration and large scale relocation

  • Decline in agricultural production in some areas
  • Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) and future desiccation of water resources due to rapid glacial melt and impact on dependent ecosystems and agriculture
  • Impact of vegetation shift to forest biodiversity
  • Likely outbreak of malaria and similar diseases
  • Mitigation issues:
    • Impacts on carbon sequestration of vegetation shifts and forest productivity changes
    • Land-use changes due to future development
    • Slash-burn agricultural practices

  • Increased intensity and frequency of drought and effects on agriculture (pasture), water resources and ecosystems (wetlands)
  • Initial flooding and future drying of water resources due to glacial melt and impact on water consumption
  • Damages of sea level rise
  • Outbreak of heat related and insect-transmitted diseases, malnutrition, food and water insecurity, migration and conflict
  • Mitigation issues:
    • Increased emissions from energy, transport and urban sectors
    • Emissions from agriculture and rangeland degradation

Sri Lanka
  • Reduced crop yields due to temperature increase
  • Sea level rise - damages upon settlements, industries and livelihoods in coastal areas
  • Salt water intrusion in agriculture, freshwater and groundwater
  • Ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss in coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Mitigation issues:
    • Release of stored forest carbon due to land-use changes
    • Increase in thermal power