Climate change may cost Taiwan dearly without action: experts

08/10/2021 09:48 PM
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Debris of a mudslide block a road in Miaoli County, where a tropical depression made landfall on Sunday, bringing heavy rainfall that caused floods and mudslides in central and southern Taiwan. CNA photo Aug. 10, 2021
Debris of a mudslide block a road in Miaoli County, where a tropical depression made landfall on Sunday, bringing heavy rainfall that caused floods and mudslides in central and southern Taiwan. CNA photo Aug. 10, 2021

Taipei, Aug. 10 (CNA) Taiwan could see more extreme weather by the end of this century if no strong action is taken to mitigate the effects of global warming, experts said Tuesday in the wake of a major United Nations climate change report.

"Taiwan could face very different impacts from global warming depending on how severe it gets," said Chen Yung-ming (陳永明), a researcher from the Taiwan Climate Change Projection Information and Adaptation Knowledge Platform (TCCIP).

For instance, currently the average daytime high temperature recorded by weather stations in plain areas of Taiwan combined hits 36 degrees Celsius or above less than one day per year, he said.

However, if climate warming intensifies and global temperature increases cannot be limited to 1.5 degrees by the end of the 21st century, that number of days would reach 48.1, Chen said.

If the mercury increase can be kept under the 1.5 degree threshold, the number would only reach 6.6, he said, citing a report by institutions including the TCCIP, Academia Sinica and Central Weather Bureau.

The report was released in response to findings on Monday from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

According to the IPCC, many changes in the climate system have become larger in direct relation to increased global warming.

This includes increases in the frequency and intensity of heat extremes, heavy rainfall and tropical cyclones, it said.

Global warming could have similar implications for Taiwan, Chen said, pointing out that at the end of the century, the length of summer in Taiwan could increase by up to 80 days to 210 days.

There could be 0 to 50 winter days by then, compared with 70 days now, he said.

Chen also pointed out that while Typhoon Morakot in 2009 set a record in Taiwan with daily accumulated rainfall of nearly 3,000 millimeters, such intensity could grow by 41.3 percent by the end of the century.

Taiwan should work with the global community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve its capability to adapt to climate change, according to the Taiwan report.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

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