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Coming to terms with 'climate change' in Phuket: Opinion


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OPINION: Coming to terms with 'climate change' in Phuket
The Phuket News

Tens of thousands have recently been displaced by floods in Thailand's Deep South, despite a relatively dry year for the rest of the country. Photo: AFP

PHUKET: -- Despite persisting downplay of climate change, reputable scientific data suggests that weather patterns on the planet are indeed fluctuating from the “norm”.

One would be foolish to deny that the planet’s expanding population (see also story about overpopulation) has not been and will not continue to be affected.

A preliminary report recently released by the World Meteorology Organization (see related story) suggests that 2014 is likely to be “the hottest year on record”, which would mean that 14 out of 15 of the hottest years recorded by meteorologists over the past few centuries occurred in the 21st century.

“Higher than normal” surface temperature is just one key factor in many countries and regions experiencing either excess rainfall or inadequate rainfall, resulting in both flood and drought disasters.

While not as vulnerable historically as countries like the Philippines and Bangladesh, Thailand is certainly starting to feel the pinch of climate change, as is Malaysia and Indonesia (See News story).
Meanwhile, most of the kingdom saw a drastic reduction in rainfall throughout 2014.

For the first 11 months of 2014, this was the case for almost every single Thai region – Central (-18pc), South east coast (-15pc); North (-9pc); East (-7pc) and Northeast (-2pc), according to the Thai Meteorological Department

Aside from the flood-stricken deep south last month which otherwise has been relatively dry, the year-round exception region for drought was the Andaman coastal provinces – Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun – which, together saw 7pc more rain than the 30-year average.

Leading the country for excess rain were Ranong and Phuket which each recorded approx 17.5pc more rainfall than usual. Indeed, our ‘green season’ extension left many sun-seeking beach-goers disappointed through to the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

But the spout of excess rain is in stark contrast to the Thai capital, which recorded 33pc less rainfall in the same time.

And though accurately predicting the day-to-day weather forecast may still be an intricate guessing game, anticipating and preparing for the changes in the patterns of our planet’s weather systems is not exactly rocket science.

If climate patterns have taught us anything over the last few years, we’d be wise to start bracing for the opposite of ‘excess rain’ in the first half of 2015. And if the rains don’t return promptly by midyear, will you be ready, Phuket?

Source: http://www.thephuketnews.com/opinion-coming-to-terms-with-climate-change-in-phuket-50421.php

-- Phuket News 2015-01-05

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This 4½ min video (Will the Wet Get Wetter and the Dry Drier?) is useless as to dates past 2009, but the overall pattern of the "wet getting wetter and the dry getting drier MOST affects/ predicts southern Thailand as getting wetter. Regions of China will get drier, and the rest of Thailand will vary... sometimes wetter, sometimes drier, and just not that predictable as to the size of variation above/ below or at average from past centuries.

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