Monday, February 4, 2013

Asia–Pacific Analysis: Pushing for a strong climate change policy

Crispin Maslog in The category 5 super typhoon Bopha, which wreaked havoc in southern and central Philippines in the first week of December 2012, was the world's second deadliest disaster last year.

It wiped out villages, leaving around 1,900 people dead or missing and resulting in losses of more than US$1 billion. Bopha also caused damage worth US$20 million to the Pacific island nation of Palau before it hit the Philippines.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, a powerful storm dumped huge amounts of rain on the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia at the close of 2012 and start of this year, forcing thousands of people from their homes. This year also saw unprecedented rains and widespread flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia, affecting around 250,000 people.

It brought to mind the deluge that hit Thailand in 2011, its worst in half a century. This inundated 65 of the country's 77 provinces, drowned more than 800 people and unsettled more than 12 million others. In Australia, firefighters have been struggling since the start of the year to control hundreds of wildfires that broke out across the whole of the southeast due to soaring temperatures and dry, windy conditions, while in eastern areas rescuers have to deal with raging floodwaters.

Experts agree that extreme events of this type are expected to become more frequent as a result of changes to the world's climate linked to global warming...

Aftermath of Typhoon Bopha in Davao City, Philippines in December 2012, shot by Sonny Day, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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