TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan could see sea level rise of up to 1.2 meters in a scenario that achieves 4 degrees Celsius warming, increasing the risk of flooding and affecting crop production.
The bleak outlook is revealed on Tuesday (March 1) in a report from the Taiwan Climate Change Projection Information and Adaptation Knowledge Platform (TCCIP), a project launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology. This follows the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth assessment report on Monday (February 28).
Even if the increase in global average temperature is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, rice harvesting and fishing are likely to be disrupted due to warming seawater. By the end of the century, the areas suitable for alpine plants, such as alpine shrubs and firs, will shrink to half of the current stock, they say TCCIP Research.
Warming is likely to result in extreme weather events such as heavy rain, a reduction in the number of typhoons, and a change in precipitation patterns. These factors can lead to increasingly severe droughts and floods, with extreme rainfall already occurring in many parts of the country except for the central region.
Typhoons are expected to increase in strength, leading to strong waves and storm surges. Sea levels are predicted to rise by 0.5 or 1.2 meters if temperatures rise by 2 or 4 degrees Celsius, respectively.
In terms of public health implications, dengue could be getting worse and spreading further north, while days of poor air quality in winter are likely to increase, the study shows. Scientists call for better climate policy in Taiwan to mitigate the consequences.