News / Asia

Report: Global Warming Could Reverse Development

A Thai boy in a flooded area in Bangkok, Thailand. Hundreds of people died across Southeast Asia, China, Japan and South Asia in the last four months from prolonged monsoon flooding, typhoons and storms in October 2011.
A Thai boy in a flooded area in Bangkok, Thailand. Hundreds of people died across Southeast Asia, China, Japan and South Asia in the last four months from prolonged monsoon flooding, typhoons and storms in October 2011.
Anjana Pasricha
Present warming trends could roll back decades of development and exacerbate poverty in some of the world’s poorest regions in South Asia, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new World Bank study, which calls for urgent action to reverse global warming because the window for action is narrowing rapidly.
      
From declining food production to water shortages, more extreme heat waves to floods, the picture painted by the new World Bank report is grim.

The report called "Turn Down the Heat," follows up on an earlier study that found Earth could be warmer by two degrees centigrade in the space of one generation, and by four degrees by the end of this century, if action is not taken to reduce carbon emissions. Today's temperatures are 0.8 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels.
 
The report focuses on the impact of such warming in the regions that will be hardest hit: South Asia, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

It finds that, in Sub-Saharan Africa, warming by two degrees centigrade will significantly reduce crop yields, impacting food security. Loss of savanna grasslands will threaten pastoral livelihoods.

In South Asia, the monsoon will become unpredictable and the region could suffer more extreme droughts and floods. Water in major river basins such as the Indus and the Ganges will reduce further, impacting food security for some 63 million people. Coastal cities such as Kolkata and Mumbai ad Bangladesh are “potential impact hotspots” threatened by floods due to rising river and sea levels.

Aross South East Asia rising sea levels, more intense and tropical cyclones and loss of marine ecosystems will adversely impact rural livelihoods. The World Bank country director in India, says the impact of global warming will fall hardest on the poor.
  
“The real point to us is that the poor are even more vulnerable than the not so poor because they are simply less able to protect themselves," Onno Ruhl said. "That is the sad part of the story, the most vulnerable will be hit the most.”

The World Bank is urging individuals and governments to make all choices through a “climate lens” and work toward aggressive national carbon-emission-reduction targets.

Officials say individuals, for example, should buy the most energy efficient gadgets, instead of those that look the “glossiest.”

Ruhl says climate change is getting higher on their list of priorities of policy makers in India and other countries, but much more remains to be done.

“Most governments when you talk to them about it, they will recognize it is a problem.  When they make choices they do the same as we do with the refrigerator, they just buy whatever looks the glossiest," Ruhl said. "I think that is where the challenge is.”
  
The report calls for countries to take urgent action to build resilience through climate-smart agriculture, flood defenses, drought and heat resistant crops, improved ground water management, and coastal infrastructure.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid