Projected Climate Change Scenarios for the Philippines

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) independent studies and climate models came up with the following changes in the climate regime for 2020 and 2050:

1. A rise in the country’s mean annual temperature by about 0.9 ºC to 1.4 ºC for 2020 and 1.7 ºC to 2.4 ºC by 2050;
2. Drier season of March to May will become drier and wet season of July-August and September-November will become wetter with time;
3. Reduction in rainfall in most areas in Mindanao is seen for all seasons by 2050
4. A much active and stronger southwest monsoon is projected as seen in the significant increases in rainfall in June-August become greater with time.
5. No significant trend in the number of tropical cyclones in Luzon;
6. An increasing trend in the number of tropical cyclones in the Visayas; and
7. A decreasing trend in the frequency of tropical cyclones in Mindanao.

We’ve been affected by these (1-4) in recent years and will be subjected to these more frequently in the future.

In addition, a study done by the Manila Observatory in the Philippines projected more intense rainfall events in the northern areas of the country, while the southern areas will face greater risk of drought from El Niño. Central Luzon and the Bicol Region, for example, will face higher risk of typhoons, while Western Mindanao will face greater risk of drought due to increase in temperature and El Niño.

Globally, scientific studies indicated that even if the world makes a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the lag in the climate system means that the world is faced with decades of climate change due to the emissions already put into the atmosphere. Thus, despite the fact that the Philippines is not a major GHG emitter and a carbon sink, it will not be spared the negative effects of climate change. Therefore, adaptation is a necessary complement to measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Philippine Water Partnership)

And the most affected are the poor (with their large sized families). Once their houses and whatever properties they have are destroyed, the streets or resettlements (that’s not even conducive to healthy living) are their only option after. It’s more or less the end of the world for them. For the middle class and wealthy, they can take out their insurances or bank loans and build another while nursing their shock in shrinks’ leather recliners.

If this country doesn’t adapt – put in place risk reduction measures – to the changing climate (and environment), well, we know what’s up next because we’ve been in it before again and again – human lives lost, businesses interrupted (and we know that even a minute taken away from doing business is loss in the millions), infrastructures unnecessarily destroyed, futures devastated, etc. Since we’re being religious nowadays because of the RH Bill, the “message” (getting louder and louder from the scientific community because of mounting visible evidence) is like the message to Sodom and Gomorrah. They both heard it but only one acted on it. (History – biblical history – is rife with rulers/governments turning a deaf ear to life-and-death messages delivered to them. Perhaps because they focused on these as personal affront. But if you think about it, these rulers/governments are so loved despite themselves because they were still given one more chance. It’s just sad they didn’t realize that.)

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