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State of Climate in Asia Report 2021:WMO

Nov 19, 2022

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Today’s edition of our Current Affairs will comprise a discussion on     State of Climate in Asia Report 2021:WMO. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.

For Prelims: General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change

WMO, Climate Change.

For Mains: GS III- Biodiversity and Environment

WMO, Climate Change, COP-27, La-Nina, Indian-Ocean Dipole.

Context

Recently, WMO released the State of Climate in Asia Report 2021 at COP27.

Probable Question

State of Climate in Asia Report 2021 by WMO shows a grim picture of climate in Asia. Discuss. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

About the State of Climate in Asia Report 2021

  • The report is prepared by WMO(World Meteorological Organisation) along with UN ECOSOC(United Nations Economic and Social Council).
  • It highlights the key drivers behind extreme weather events in Asia.

Key Findings of the State of Climate in Asia Report 2021

  • The Asian region was warming faster than the global average.
  •  The economic losses from the consequent extreme weather events like floods and droughts amounted to more than US$ 35 billion in 2021, including at least US$ 7.5 billion in India.
  • Average temperatures over Asia in 2021 was about 0.86 degree Celsius higher than the average of the 1981-2010 period. The global average temperatures in 2021 were only about 0.42 degree Celsius higher than the 1981-2010 period.
  • The year 2021 was slightly cooler for Asia than 2020 because of the prolonged La Nina, but it was still between the fifth and seventh warmest year on record.
  • There were more than 100 weather-related disasters in Asia in 2021,  resulting in over 4,000 deaths, and economic losses worth at least US$ 35.6 billion. Floods caused the maximum damage and deaths.
  • Economic losses from extreme weather events were on an increasing trend. The losses from droughts, for example, in 2021 were at least 63 percent higher than the average of the last 20 years. Losses from floods were 23 percent higher.
  • In 2021, flooding caused the highest economic losses in China (US$ 18.4 billion), followed by India (US$ 3.2 billion)

Key Drivers Behind Extreme Weather Events

  • El Niño–Southern Oscillation: It is a climate pattern involving changes in sea surface temperature in Central and Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean.
  •  Indian Ocean Dipole: It is the difference in sea surface temperature between the western Indian Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.
  • Arctic Oscillation:  It is a see-saw shifting of atmospheric pressure between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes of the North Pacific and North Atlantic. It affects weather throughout the northern hemisphere. 
  • Asian Monsoon:  It is a seasonal reversal in the direction of the prevailing winds. It is a key driver of seasonal variation in South and East Asia. 
  • Atmospheric Rivers (Ars) Over Asia: 
    • They are long, narrow, shallow, and transient corridors of strong horizontal water vapor transport typically associated with a low-level jet stream ahead of the cold front of an extratropical cyclone. 
    • They are active over mid-latitude oceans and play a crucial role in the global Equator-to-Pole water vapor transport. 
Note:

WMO(World Meteorological Organization):

WMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).

193 Member States and Territories.

Established in 1950.Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mandate:

Its mandate is in the areas of meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology, and related geophysical sciences. 

WMO has played a unique and powerful role in contributing to the safety and welfare of humanity. 

It has fostered collaboration between the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of its Members and furthered the application of meteorology in many areas.

News source: Indian Express.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/climate-change/asia-global-warming-wmo-report-findings-8267442/

https://public.wmo.int/en/our-mandate/what-we-do

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https://youtu.be/GGq64XhtdFI

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