Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Official blames climate change for early Vietnam heatwave The early arrival of spring weather this year in Vietnam is due to global climate change, the head of Vietnam's southern meteorology laboratory said Wednesday. "Normally, hot weather starts appearing in the southern provinces in March, but this year, it has arrived about one month early," said Nguyen Minh Giam, head of the Southern Regional Hydrometeorological Centre's Forecasting Department in Ho Chi Minh City.

Giam's deputy, Le Thi Xuan Lan, was quoted in local media Tuesday as saying daily highs in several southern provinces recently had averaged 35 to 37 degrees, well above normal for this time of year. The temperature in Ho Chi Minh City hit 36.6 degrees Tuesday, a 30-year high for that date. Lan said the La Nina phenomenon, in which the surface water temperatures of the Pacific Ocean fall, also was bringing unseasonal early rains in several southern provinces. The period from March to May is normally the hottest time of year in Ho Chi Minh City with temperatures reaching 39 degrees.

Anxieties over climate change have been running high in Ho Chi Minh City since January when 50-year-record high tides shattered dikes and flooded hundreds of houses in the city. Experts said rising sea levels caused by climate change contributed to the flooding…

A street scene in Ho Chi Minh City, shot by Mike, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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