Getting worse: Experts blame climate change for displacing more than 10 million people in the past 6 months | Photo:

Flooding, drought displaced 10.3 million people in past 6 months

At least 10.3 million people, especially in Asia, have been displaced by events induced by climate change in the past six months. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies found these people were rendered homeless mostly because of flooding and drought, while 2.3 million others were displaced as a result of conflict during the same time period. What this indicates is that climate change is responsible for displacing a majority of people across the world. Asia is most vulnerable to this issue as the study found 60% of the displaced people were from this region. 

Drop in frequency of 20-year and 50-year floods since 1970s: Study

A new study revealed that since the 1970s, the frequency of 20-year and 50-year river floods has decreased in arid, tropical, polar and cold zones and have increased in temperate zones. The study used historical river records to examine the changes in size, frequency, and probability of such extreme floods. According to the study, the frequency of 20-year floods has decreased by 12%-33% on average in the past 50 years. The study also highlighted the importance of updating flood hazard assessments to reflect such significant changes over a period of time.

Another study, meanwhile, found that it is climate change, not water and land management, that is influencing the changes in river flow. A research team led by ETH Zurich analysed data from 7,250 measuring stations worldwide. The team found river flow changed systematically between 1971 and 2010. Regions such as the Mediterranean and north-​eastern Brazil had become drier, while in other areas such as Scandinavia, the volume of water had increased. The researchers found that simulations derived from computer simulations and climate data from the period observed closely matched the analysis from observed river flow. The calculations remained unaffected when researchers fed in additional data from water and land management into the simulations.    

Latest projections warn of faster sea-level rise near coasts as compared to the global average

According to a recent study, those living near the coasts are vulnerable to sea-level rise that is up to four times faster than the global average. The study, published in the journal Nature, calculated the global average sea-level rise to be 2.5mm per year, and the rise near coasts to be an alarming 7.8mm-9.9mm per year. The study recommended governments need to take into account the much-higher impacts and adaptation needs of coastal residents. Policies addressing groundwater utilisation and drainage could reduce the exposure of these residents to the growing threat of coastal flooding, the study stated.

New research looks beyond carbon to understand Amazon Basin’s climate biogeochemistry

While the cycling and storage of carbon in the Amazon basin has been widely observed, a new study attempted to understand the impact the ‘non-CO2 agents’ have on the region. The study found  that these agents, mostly methane and nitrous oxide, offset and often exceed the “climate service provided by atmospheric CO2 uptake”. The study found these “other significant biophysical climate feedbacks” had significant responses to localised fires, land-use change, infrastructure development and storms, which need to be studied further in order to understand the changing biogeochemistry of climate in the Amazon Basin.

Oceans will begin emitting ozone-depleting CFC-11 by 2075: Study

Researchers from MIT found that by the year 2075, oceans will emit more of the ozone-depleting CFC-11 into the atmosphere than they absorb. If climate change is not kept in check, this transition is likely to occur 10 years earlier, the study found. These additional CFC-11 emissions from the oceans will cause the chemical to remain in the atmosphere five years longer than it normally would.