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Vietnam: Climate change script reflects harsh realities

 

A resident takes water from a reservoir to irrigate cereal crops. Mekong delta province Kien Giang is being threatened by drought and the infiltration of sea water. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong

A resident takes water from a reservoir to irrigate cereal crops. Mekong delta province Kien Giang is being threatened by drought and the infiltration of sea water. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong

HA NOI — The upward trend of some major climate change indicators over the last two years has prompted Vietnamese climatologists to adjust the initial climate change and sea level rise scenario for Viet Nam.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has found itself in a race against time polishing off the second version of the scenario before its submission to the Government by the end of this month.

Director of the Viet Nam Institute of Hydro-meteorological and Environmental Sciences Tran Thuc, the compilation leader for both scenarios, said that using a higher green house gas emission scenario was essential for a relevant policy-making process and policy implementation.

Thuc added that the revised prognosis would reflect changing realities and use climatic models and calculation methods developed specifically for the Vietnamese context.

As of now, Viet Nam is using the medium-low emission B2 scenario introduced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as its benchmark with Thuc suggesting that Viet Nam adapt both medium-low and high emission scenarios in accordance with the level of sensitivity and resilience of affected groups.

Particularly, by the end of this century, the average increase in temperature for small areas in the north central region would rise to 3.5 degrees Celsius instead of 2.8 as in the previous scenario. Dry season rainfall in several areas in the south may decrease by 30 per cent over an initial regional value of 18 per cent.

In the latest scenario, climate extremes would be subject to review, Thuc confirmed.

Mindful of the substantive impacts on the coast, scientists have divided the area into seven smaller sections, based on their similarity tendency in sea level rise, for more accurate calculation.

"As a result it would be easier for policy-makers to come up with intra-regional adaptation and mitigation solutions," he said.

The new average sea level rise for Viet Nam by 2100, according to the high emission scenario, would hit 59-95cm while the level based on the medium emission scenario, would only reach 42-74 cm. If the sea rose by 1m, 39 per cent of the Mekong Delta would be submerged in water, affecting its population of 3.3 million people.

A new component to the second version includes flooding maps, initially developed for the Mekong Delta and HCM City, for the Red River Delta in the north as well as for coastal provinces in the central region.

Viet Nam is presently known as one of the five countries most affected by climate change. — VNS

Source: Viet Nam News

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