As the current Coronavirus pandemic takes over world news, climate change has taken somewhat of a back seat, but it certainly doesn’t make the issues we face any less important or urgent.
The challenges faced, as a result of anthropogenic climate change, remain undiminished for the 5 countries highlighted in our free classroom resource.
The very real threat to the Philippines of more frequent and intense storms was reinforced last week as the category 5 Super Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall; the strongest storm to hit the Philippines since 2013. Gusts of up to 200 mph were recorded and heavy rainfall triggered devastating landslides. Officials estimate that more than 1.5 million people were affected, 88 people were killed with many still missing, and there was widespread crop damage.
Despite having no role in contributing to climate change, Sudan continues to be highly vulnerable to its effects. As a result of a hotter climate and erratic rainfall, much of the country has become progressively unsuitable for agriculture. An estimated 1.9 million people will be affected by reduced agricultural and livestock production.
Longer droughts in Malawi are not only impacting rain-fed agriculture, but threatening the country’s reliance on hydropower. As the water level of the Shire River, which generates 98% of the country’s electricity supply, has dropped to critical levels, Malawi has faced electricity blackouts.
In September 2017, Bangladesh faced the worst floods in a century. A total of 8 million people were affected by floods that covered a third of the country, 100,000 homes were destroyed and the death toll reached 145.
The Mekong Delta in Vietnam is home to 17 million people and currently produces about half of the country’s rice harvest. Crop yields have fallen in the region, blamed on the intrusion of salt water as sea levels rise, forcing 24,000 people every year to leave the Mekong Delta.
The consequences of climate change are already being felt in these countries. As the World Bank asserts, “Climate change is an acute threat to global development and efforts to end poverty. Without urgent action, climate change impacts could push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030.”
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