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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Asia Faces the Worst Climate Crisis: UN Report

The report highlighted the accelerating rate of key climate change indicators which pose serious threats to societies across Asia.

A recent report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has revealed alarming statistics regarding the climate crisis in Asia. Last year, the region experienced record-high temperatures, with an average nearly two degrees Celsius above the 1961 to 1990 average. These rising temperatures are causing severe impacts, including melting glaciers and increased frequency of extreme weather events like heatwaves, floods, and storms.

The report highlighted the accelerating rate of key climate change indicators, such as surface temperature, glacier retreat, and sea level rise, which pose serious threats to societies, economies, and ecosystems across Asia. From western Siberia to central Asia, and from eastern China to Japan, the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident, with Japan experiencing its hottest summer on record.

Impacts on Water Security and Disaster Vulnerability

One of the most concerning consequences of climate change in Asia is the threat to water security. Melting glaciers in the High-Mountain Asia region, centered on the Tibetan Plateau, are leading to significant loss of ice, posing challenges for future water availability. Moreover, the region experienced a high number of water-related disasters in 2023, with floods and storms causing over 2,000 deaths and affecting nine million people directly.

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Floods were identified as the leading cause of death in reported events in 2023, underscoring the region’s vulnerability to natural hazards. The report emphasizes the urgent need for improved disaster risk reduction measures and tailored information from national weather services to mitigate the impact of climate-related disasters.

Call for Immediate Action

The WMO report serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for action to combat climate change. WMO Chief Celeste Saulo emphasized the necessity of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the evolving climate, describing these actions as fundamental necessities rather than optional measures. With Asia facing unprecedented challenges from the climate crisis, coordinated efforts at the national and international levels are imperative to safeguard the region’s future.