(MENAFN- AzerNews) Extreme weather and climate change impacts are increasing in
Asia, which ricocheted between droughts and floods in 2022, ruining
lives and destroying livelihoods, Azernews reports, citing
Melting ice and glaciers and rising sea levels threaten more
socio-economic disruption in future, according to a new report from
the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Asia, the continent with the largest land mass extending to the
Arctic, is warming faster than the global average. The warming
trend in Asia in 1991–2022 was almost double the warming trend in
the 1961–1990 period, according to the WMO State of the Climate in
Asia 2022 report.
There were 81 weather, climate and water-related disasters in
Asia in 2022, of which over 83% were flood and storm events. More
than 5 000 people lost their lives, more than 50 million people
were directly affected and there were more than US$ 36 billion in
economic damages, according to the report. In addition, a large
part of arid Asia experienced severe dust storms. Several severe
dust storm events in western Asia affected civil lives in the
Economic losses in 2022 due to disasters relating to floods
exceeded the average for the 2002–2021 period. The most significant
losses of this type were in Pakistan (over US$ 15 billion),
followed by China (over US$ 5 billion), and India (over
US$ 4.2 billion). Economic losses in 2022 associated with droughts
were the next largest category, causing US$ 7.6 billion in damages
(mainly in China); this exceeds 2002–2021 average (US$ 2.6 billion)
by nearly 200%.
“This report summarizes the state of the climate and the extreme
events and their socioeconomic impacts in Asia in 2022. In 2022,
many areas in Asia experienced drier-than-normal conditions and
drought. China, in particular, suffered prolonged drought
conditions, which affected water availability and the power supply.
The estimated economic losses from the drought affecting many
regions in China were over US$ 7.6 billion. Pakistan, by contrast
suffered disastrous flooding,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof.
“Most glaciers in the High Mountain Asia region suffered from
intense mass loss as a result of exceptionally warm and dry
conditions in 2022. This will have major implications for future
food and water security and ecosystems,” he said.
“The United Nations Secretary-General's“Executive Action Plan
on Early Warnings for All,” co-led in implementation by WMO and the
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), is more
critical in Asia, which is the world's most disaster-impacted
region and where the effects of transboundary climate-related
disasters are on the rise,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive
Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the
Pacific's (ESCAP) .
The report is accompanied by an interactive story map, with a
special focus on agriculture and food security. The expected
increase in the frequency and severity of extreme events over much
of Asia will impact agriculture, which is central to all climate
“Impact-based forecasting, early warnings for all, and their
translation into anticipatory action are examples of the
transformative adaptation needed to strengthen the resilience of
food systems in Asia,” said Ms. Salsiah Alisjahbana.