The Climate Change Impacts on Asia

Video | 28 April 2013

Richard Jones, Science Fellow, Regional Climate Information at the UK's Met Office Hadley Centre talks about what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report says about risks and adaptation needs in Asia-Pacific.

Transcript

Title: The Climate Change Impacts on Asia

Description: Richard Jones, Science Fellow, Regional Climate Information at the UK's Met Office Hadley Centre talks about what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report says about risks and adaptation needs in Asia-Pacific.

Richard Jones
Science Fellow, Regional Climate Information
Met Office Hadley Centre

Q: What does the new IPCC report say about the climate change impacts in Asia?
A: The point is very clear that you see why it spreads impact on human systems, on physical and natural systems so we see very clear evidence of heat related mortality, species for example – in China and in Mongolia due to evidence of significant changes in the location of ocean ecosystems so fish species and other species are moving. As a result of that there’s a reduction in the amount of water that’s available, there’s reduction in the quality of the water that is available as a result of drastic changes in water patterns. There is also significant impacts on human health, which we’ve seen, increase in the instance of malaria in some regions, and the reemergence in fact in some regions, and increase in instance of other diseases as a result of climate change.

Q: Are these impacts bigger than the ones you have previously thought?
A: It’s not so much that they’re bigger, it’s just that we have much more evidence about them now. We can say much stronger statement about them. This is the big advance in the 5th assessment report compared to the 4th assessment report.

Q: What are the main risks to the people of Asia?
A: One of the major ones is flood related damage to infrastructure, to livelihood, to settlements that’s going to be a major risk in the future, very significant impacts from water, water availability, food as well, it’s impact on agriculture. We’re expecting also to see further impacts on health, on disease, heat related mortality is going to be a major problem into the future as well.

Q: What would be the single best adaptation measure in Asia?
A: Some of the major risks we’re facing is in the flood related risks. For example, that could involve new infrastructure or better infrastructure, or it could involve better land use planning or relocation of people. Early warning systems are often a major feature of adaptation options. So, if you’re talking about health problems, or if you’re talking about flooding problems, early warning systems are important. And then there are technological responses, for example if you’re looking at potential reduction in the crop yields because of high temperatures, you could think in terms of plant breeding to breed new strains of a particular crop, which are more resistant to the high temperature. So, a whole range of different approaches are often appropriate.