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Climate Change and the Philippines
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Climate Change and the Philippines


Discussion on the Science and Economics of Climate Change presented to the Mindanao Conference on Climate Change

Discussion on the Science and Economics of Climate Change presented to the Mindanao Conference on Climate Change

Published in Technology , News & Politics
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  • 1. Climate Change and the Philippines
    • Reviewing the Science
    • Detecting the Changes
    • Impacts on the Philippines
    • Tasks to Do
    Emmanuel Anglo, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Environmental Science Ateneo de Manila University Head, Regional Climate Systems Manila Observatory
  • 2. Reviewing the Science
    • Greenhouse warming makes earth habitable
      • Without CO 2 , Earth’s mean temperature will be about -18 ° C (no liquid water)
    • Despite skeptics, unprecedented rise in CO 2 emissions is causing global warming, environmental damage
    • Feedback processes complicate forecasts
    • Another major positive feedback: melting icecaps
    MORE WATER VAPOR MEANS MORE CLOUDS Red: Positive Feedback Blue: Negative Feedback ?
  • 4. Climate Change and the Philippines
    • Many well-known impacts of global warming (GW) not applicable to RP
      • Deadly heat waves are unlikely, no melting glaciers
      • GW must be distinguished from local warming (Urban Heat Island Effect)
  • 5. Sea level rise: 1950 to 1990 Yanagi and Akaki 1994
  • 6. Impacts of a 1-m rise in sea level Perez et al. 1999
  • 7. CRU-UEA Climate model results
    • For B1 (+4% emissions, 1.5C sensitivity) to A2 (+320% emissions, 4.5C sensitivity)
      • SLR 7-38cm, AT 0.5-1.3 C in 2020
      • SLR 13-68cm, AT 0.8-2.4 C in 2050
      • SLR 19-104cm, AT 1.1-3.5 C in 2080
    • For 2050 rain, B1 yields +6% Jun-Aug in Mindanao, A2 yields -20% Dec-Feb in Visayas and +15% Jun-Aug in Mindanao (consistent with other models)
  • 8.  
  • 9. Mactan Island, Cebu Cebu-Mactan
  • 10. Northeast MManila Manila Bay-Laguna Lake
  • 11. Bulacan-Pampanga
  • 12. Climate Change and the Philippines
    • Effects of GW on RP’s weather will be on
        • (a) Temperature,
        • (b) rainfall and
        • (c) tropical cyclone activity
      • Which then cause impacts on other sectors: agriculture, forests, water resources, etc.
  • 13. Trends in Regional Surface Temperatures
    • Nearly all non-urban stations in the region show a rise in mean temperatures between 1960 to 1998
      • More hot days, warm nights, fewer cold days and nights
    Trends in number of hot days and warm nights (inset). Large symbols indicate where p  0.05. From Manton et al. 2000.
  • 14. Tropical Cyclones (TCs) and Global Warming: Quick Facts
    • Typhoons form in warm waters (>27°C)
      • Fewer typhoons in January to March, most frequent in July to November
      • Typhoons affect Mindanao mainly in December when sea surface temperatures (SSTs) remain warm enough
      • In theory, warmer SST means more frequent, stronger storms
    • Other requirements: uniform winds along vertical, enough moisture throughout troposphere
      • Not clear how global warming will change these
  • 15. Western Pacific Typhoon Tracks (1945-2003)
  • 16. Mean monthly and annual tropical cyclone frequency maps for the Western Pacific (1945-2003)
  • 17. Geographic Trends in Tropical Cyclones
    • Number of tropical cyclones appearing in the Western Pacific has been increasing
    • In the Philippines, the rise in typhoon crossings is most pronounced over Visayas
    Annual increase in number of TCs. Shading indicates where p  0.01. (From Anglo 2005).
  • 18. What is causing this rise? Western Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) and Annual Tropical Cyclones
    • Western Pacific has been warming up by 0.15°C per decade since 1976, weakly influencing tropical cyclone activity
  • 19. Stronger Typhoons?
    • Effect of GW on TC strength is currently the subject of intense scientific debate
      • Recent studies show a significant rise in number of strong hurricanes in Atlantic, less pronounced increase in the Western Pacific
      • Skeptics: Observed rise in TC strength due to ( i ) better observations, or ( ii ) natural variation
    • What is certain: Philippine populations are much more vulnerable to typhoons than before
      • More people living in riverbanks, mountainsides
      • Even if TC strength doesn’t increase, numbers of people at risk are rising
  • 20. The Philippines, as seen in Global Climate Change Studies
    • 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Unclear or weak trends for the SEA region, especially RP
    Recent NASA study: Global tropical rainfall is increasing, but what about the Philippines? Jun-Jul-Aug rainfall total
  • 21. Changes in Regional Rainfall Extremes, 1961 to 1998 (Manton et al 2001)
    • What this can mean: longer dry periods, but heavier rains during wet season
    Change in the frequency of days with rain Change in the proportion of total annual rainfall contributed by heavy rain
  • 22. Changes in Mean Annual Rainfall over the Philippines
    • Significant reduction over NE Luzon
    • Significant increase over Western Visayas during La Niña
    • Under investigation:
      • Changes in the frequency of extreme rainfall events
      • Changes in the start of rainy season
    Difference in mean annual rainfall, 1976-2000 minus 1951-1975. ENSO events based on Multivariate ENSO Index (Wolter and Timlin 1998) NORMAL EL NINO LA NINA ALL YEARS
  • 23. Downstream Effects of a Changing Philippine Climate Making a Bad Situation Worse
    • Energy: Bulk of local power supply in RP comes from hydroelectricity
      • Any decrease means more reliance on imported coal, oil
    • Agriculture
      • Less rain or too much rain, less harvest
      • Changes in timing of rain also critical
      • CO 2 rise favors crops, but weeds like it more
      • New crop varieties will be needed
  • 24. Downstream Effects of a Changing Philippine Climate Making a Bad Situation Worse
    • Forests and biodiversity
      • Lasco (2007): Moist forests will shrink, turn to dry forests
      • GW will raise flood risk, worsening degradation and species loss
    • Health
      • Disease vectors like mosquitoes can expand range
      • Water conflicts can intensify
    • Public welfare: More displacement due to disasters
  • 25. Marine resources : coral reef bleaching  loss of fisheries
  • 26. Summary of 1994 RP Emissions 1990 Total (ADB 1994): 81.9 x 10 3 tons Waste 7% Agriculture 33% Industry 11% Energy 49% 100.8 Total 7.1 Waste 10.6 Industry 33.1 Agriculture 50.0 Energy CO 2 Emissions (10 3 tons) Sector
  • 27. Where We Stand and What it Means CO 2 Emissions per Capita (tons)
    • Even if the Philippines stops emitting CO 2 there will be little effect on global warming
    • We should reduce emissions for its other benefits : cleaner air, less oil dependence
    • We should decide for ourselves
  • 28. Planting Trees?
    • How many?
      • Ateneo: 14,000 students emit 3500 tons/yr: 250 kg per student
      • A tropical tree removes 8 kg of CO 2 per yr (or 8 tons per hectare)
      • Number of trees each student needs to plant:
      • ~ 31 trees per student
      • 250 hectares to reforest
      • 2 times the size of the campus
    • What this means:
    • We should plant trees, but it will not be enough
  • 29. What to Do? Beg for CDM Funds
    • CDM – Clean Development Mechanism
    • Rich country pays industries in poor nations to reduce pollution, gets the credits for reduction
      • Reducing CO 2 emissions from poor countries has the same benefits to the donor country
      • Industries in rich countries already very clean and efficient, so a $1-M investment will reduce more CO 2 in RP than in the U.S.
      • Types of projects: forestry, alternative power generation, pollution control, energy efficiency
    • Win-win
      • Rich country gets credit for CO 2 reduction as required by Kyoto Protocol, poor country gets money for projects
  • 30. Final Notes
    • Philippine climate is changing
    • Impacts on many areas are currently unclear, but may become more pronounced when warming continues
    • Old lessons: Use less energy, walk, eat more veggies; reach out to the grassroots
    • More science: Focus on understanding , adaptation and preparation