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Climate Change And The Philippines


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Climate Change And The Philippines

  1. 1. Climate Change and the Philippines <ul><li>Reviewing the Science </li></ul><ul><li>Detecting the Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Impacts on the Philippines </li></ul><ul><li>Responses </li></ul>Department of Environmental Science Ateneo de Manila University Head, Regional Climate Systems Manila Observatory
  2. 2. We are fish swimming under a sea of air! Pressure = 1,000 millibars at ground level Atmospheric pressure (millibars) 0 200 400 600 800 1,000 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 (Sea Level) – 80 – 40 0 40 80 120 Temperature (˚C) Altitude (kilometers) Altitude (miles) 75 65 55 45 35 25 15 5 Thermosphere Heating via ozone Mesosphere Stratosphere Ozone “layer” Troposphere Temperature Pressure Mesopause Stratopause Tropopause
  3. 3. Types of Air Pollutants Primary Pollutants Secondary Pollutants CO CO 2 SO 2 NO NO 2 Most hydrocarbons Most suspended particles SO 3 HNO 3 H 2 SO 4 H 2 O 2 O 3 PANs Most and salts NO 3 – SO 4 2 –
  4. 4. Solar radiation Energy in = Energy out Reflected by atmosphere (34%) UV radiation Absorbed by ozone Absorbed by the earth Visible light Lower Stratosphere (ozone layer) Troposphere Heat Greenhouse effect Radiated by atmosphere as heat (66%) Earth Heat radiated by the earth
  5. 5. Greenhouse Effect Rays of sunlight p warm the earth's surface . Earth's surface absorbs muchcoming degrades it to longer-wavelength infrared radiation (heat) , which rises i absorbed by molecules of greenhouse gases a warms the lower atmosphere. As concentrations of greenhouse gases rise , more heat to the lower atmosphere. (a) (b) (c)
  6. 6. Reviewing the Science <ul><li>Greenhouse warming makes earth habitable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Without CO 2 , Earth’s mean temperature will be about -18 ° C (no liquid water) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unprecedented rise in CO 2 concentrations is causing global warming, environmental damage </li></ul>
  7. 7. Inconvenient Truths <ul><li>It’s our fault </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact of human CO 2 emissions now exceed natural influences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It will warm up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forecasting tools work, and they predict a warmer planet </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What about the Philippines? <ul><li>Many well-known impacts of global warming (GW) not applicable to RP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadly heat waves are unlikely, no melting glaciers around </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tropical, marine conditions tend to keep weather and climate stable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GW must be distinguished from local warming (Urban Heat Island Effect) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Is it just the Urban Heat Island Effect ? <ul><li>UHI – Warming of urban areas due to removal of trees and water bodies, and replacement with concrete and metal </li></ul><ul><li>Many weather stations record a steady warming due to UHI, not GW </li></ul><ul><li>Stations far away from cities still record a steady warming, though not as large as those in urban areas </li></ul><ul><li>Other indicators are also consistent with GW </li></ul>
  10. 10. Climate Change and the Philippines <ul><li>Likely Effects of Global Warming on the Philippines: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sea level rise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(a) Temperature, (b) rainfall and (c) tropical cyclone activity . . . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>. . . Which then cause impacts on other sectors: agriculture, forests, water resources </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Sea Level Rise in the Philippines Yanagi and Akaki 1994 Hulme and Sheard 1999 Perez et al. 1999 Manila Bay (Blue) Legaspi (Red)
  12. 12. Mactan Island, Cebu
  13. 13. Northeast MManila
  14. 14. Bulacan-Pampanga
  15. 15. Trends in Regional Surface Temperatures <ul><li>Nearly all non-urban stations in the region show a rise in mean temperatures between 1960 to 1998 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More hot days, warm nights, fewer cold days and nights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not enough to cause heat waves, but may affect agriculture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IRRI (2004): Rice yields decline with higher nighttime temperatures </li></ul></ul>Trends in number of hot days and warm nights (inset). Large symbols indicate where p  0.05. From Manton et al. 2000.
  16. 16. Tropical Cyclones (TCs) and Global Warming: Quick Facts <ul><li>Typhoons form in warm waters (>27°C) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer typhoons in January to March, most frequent in July to November </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typhoons affect Mindanao mainly in December when sea surface temperatures (SSTs) remain warm enough </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In theory, warmer SST means more frequent, stronger storms </li></ul>
  17. 17. Geographic Trends in Tropical Cyclones <ul><li>Number of tropical cyclones appearing in the Western Pacific has been increasing </li></ul><ul><li>In the Philippines, the rise in typhoon crossings is most pronounced over Visayas </li></ul>Annual increase in number of TCs. Shading indicates where p  0.01. (From Anglo 2005).
  18. 18. Stronger Typhoons? <ul><li>Effect of GW on TC strength is currently the subject of intense scientific debate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other TC requirements: uniform winds along vertical, enough moisture throughout troposphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not clear how global warming will change these </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skeptics: Observed rise in TC strength due to ( i ) better observations, or ( ii ) natural variation </li></ul><ul><li>What is certain: Philippine populations are much more vulnerable to typhoons than before </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More people living in riverbanks, mountainsides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even if TC strength doesn’t increase, numbers of people at risk are rising </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Changes in Regional Rainfall Extremes, 1961 to 1998 (Manton et al 2001) <ul><li>What this can mean: longer dry periods, but heavier rains during wet season </li></ul>Change in the frequency of days with rain Change in the proportion of total annual rainfall contributed by heavy rain
  20. 20. Changes in Mean Annual Rainfall over the Philippines <ul><li>Significant reduction over NE Luzon </li></ul><ul><li>Significant increase over Western Visayas during La Ni ñ a </li></ul><ul><li>Under investigation: Change in the start of rainy season </li></ul>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
  21. 21. Downstream Effects of a Changing Philippine Climate Making a Bad Situation Worse <ul><li>Energy: Bulk of local power supply in RP comes from hydroelectricity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any decrease in rainfall means more reliance on imported coal and oil </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Agriculture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less rain or too much rain means less harvest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in timing of rain also critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CO 2 rise favors crops, but weeds like it more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CO 2 rise can enhance corn growth, but only in roots and stalk, not its edible parts </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Downstream Effects of a Changing Philippine Climate Making a Bad Situation Worse <ul><li>Forests and biodiversity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moist forests will shrink, turn into dry forests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GW may raise flood risk, worsening habitat degradation and species loss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, human impact still much more damaging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disease vectors (i.e. mosquitoes) will expand range </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Displacement due to disasters will be a worsening health issue </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Downstream Effects of a Changing Philippine Climate Making a Bad Situation Worse <ul><li>Water Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rainfall is decreasing over Luzon and parts of Mindanao where major dams are found </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rainfall is increasing in the Visayas where there are no major dams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sea level rise may cause salinity intrusion; Laguna Lake at risk </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marine Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Warmer temperatures can kill coral (as in 1998) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher CO 2 in atmosphere can disrupt carbonate chemistry, make shell and bone formation difficult </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Summary of 1994 RP Emissions 1990 Total (ADB 1994): 81.9 x 10 3 tons Waste 7% Agriculture 33% Industry 11% Energy 49% Sector CO 2 Emissions (10 3 tons) Energy 50.0 Agriculture 33.1 Industry 10.6 Waste 7.1 Total 100.8
  25. 25. Where We Stand and What it Means CO 2 Emissions per Capita (tons) <ul><li>Even if the Philippines stops emitting CO 2 there will be little effect on global warming </li></ul><ul><li>We should reduce emissions for its other benefits : cleaner air, less oil dependence </li></ul>
  26. 26. Actions Needed <ul><li>Reduce exposure and vulnerability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evacuate risky areas; enhance preparedness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build new dams </li></ul><ul><li>Develop, promote new crops and farming tech </li></ul><ul><li>Seek co-benefits , not just mitigate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Save energy, promote clean mass transport to improve air quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote renewables to reduce oil dependence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reduce pressure on resources by finding alternative livelihoods </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Ateneo: 14,000 students emit 3500 tons/yr or 250 kg per student </li></ul><ul><li>A tropical tree removes 8 kg of CO 2 per yr (or 8 tons per hectare) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Old trees don’t count; trees must reach maturity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trees may be cut, but should NOT be burned nor allowed to rot </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Number of trees each student needs to plant: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>~ 31 trees per student </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>250 hectares to reforest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 times the size of the campus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To sequester current emissions: each Pinoy should plant at least 100 trees per year </li></ul><ul><li>What this means: </li></ul><ul><li>Planting trees enhance surroundings and habitats, but it will never be enough against climate change </li></ul>Plant How Many Trees?
  28. 28. A Better Response: <ul><li>Heller and Keolian (2000): Impact of meat eating is nearly the same as driving a car </li></ul><ul><li>Philippine 1990 livestock production emitted 10,000 tons of CO 2 equivalent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Equal to our industrial emissions, or 10 percent of our total </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ecology 101: feeding a vegetarian uses 90 percent less land than a meat eater </li></ul>EAT LESS MEAT
  29. 29. Final Notes <ul><li>Impacts on many sectors are currently unclear, but may become more pronounced as warming continues </li></ul><ul><li>Science needed: Focus on understanding , adaptation and preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Old hard lessons: Use less energy, walk, eat more veggies; reach out to the grassroots </li></ul><ul><li>Filipinos should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but for the right reasons </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Thank You! </li></ul>