Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sea level rise, more Category 5 storms threaten Philippines

Jojo Malig in ABS-CBN News: Which cities and coastal areas in the Philippines will be under water if the sea level rises by 2- and-a-half feet before the turn of the next century? A temperature rise of just 2 degrees Celsius by 2040 will mean an average of 75 centimeters sea level rise in the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia by 2080-2100, according to a June 2013 report for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.

The study, "Turn Down The Heat," also warned that the Philippines will experience fewer but more intense storms reaching Category 5 such as supertyphoon Pablo that struck Mindanao last year. It also said that global warming will cause rural displacements because of reduced productivity of farms and the death of coral reefs that serve as feeding and spawning grounds for many fish species.

This, in turn, will result in more illegal settlers flocking to cities and more people becoming exposed to floods, heat waves, and diseases. The study cited Metro Manila, a coastal metropolis with poor households found in low-lying areas that are vulnerable to tidal and storm surges.

"Storm surges are projected to affect about 14 percent of the total population and 42 percent of coastal populations. Informal settlements, which account for 45 percent of the Philippines’ urban population, are particularly vulnerable to floods due to less secure infrastructure, reduced access to clean water, and lack of health insurance," the bank said Tuesday in a statement....

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