Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar reported record temperatures. Vietnam reported 44.1C, Thailand reported 45.4C and Laos reported 43.5C.
While this region experiences hotter temperatures before the monsoon, this year’s temperatures have broken all previous records. This revelation is distressing when taking climate change into account. According to Nguyen Ngoc Huy, a climate change expert from Hanoi, these temperatures confirm that “extreme climate models” are true.
Bangladesh in the west of Vietnam also recorded its highest temperature since 1960, along with parts of India where temperatures were 3-4 degrees above normal. Several schools in the Philippines, which had their academic calendar shifted by the pandemic, have switched back to distance learning to keep children safe at home during the hottest month of the year.
According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Richmond), The Hind Kush Himalayas- a region with the third largest body of frozen water, are warming at double the global average. Even in Icimod’s best-case scenarios, one-third of its glaciers will be lost in the next 80 years.
Myanmar may face a rainfall shortage of up to 40% in some areas, raiking the palm oil industry. Yunnan province of China suffered the worst drought of the decade, hitting the aluminum industry.
A 2022 study claims that dangerous heatwaves (39.4C or more) will occur 3-10 times more often by the end of the century. The same study also found that extremely dangerous heat events (51C) could double in frequency.
This amount of climate danger is unprecedented and thus its impact on the people of South and Southeast Asia is difficult to determine. Even just this year, heatwaves have caused dozens of deaths in this region, and the situation is only bound to get worse.
The world average temperature has been raised by 1.1C since the industrial revolution, now experts claim we will break 1.5C by 2030. As the IPCC said in its report, “Every increment of global warming will intensify multiple and concurrent hazards”.
Globally, 2022 was ranked as one of the hottest years ever recorded. The climate crisis largely affects the global south, where most people live. Extremely hot days affect the farming industry and our food supplies directly. The increased frequencies of heatwaves, out-of-season rainfalls, and record-breaking temperatures are signs that “human-induced climate change” has started affecting people in the present, at least in South-East Asia.