Why are people in Asia and the Pacific particularly vulnerable to climate change? The answers may lie in a combination of factors that literally creates a “perfect storm”: a high incidence of poverty, reliance on climate-sensitive livelihoods, water, food and energy insecurity, and dense populations concentrated in flood, cyclone, and drought-prone areas. Widespread degradation of the region’s ecosystems and high rate of biodiversity loss increase this vulnerability.
Future climate impact assessments are not looking rosy. According to the Potsdam Insitute for Climate Research and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), more intense typhoons and tropical cyclones are expected to hit the region because of rising global mean temperatures. Under a business-as-usual scenario, annual precipitation is expected to increase by up to 50% over most land areas in the region. Countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan may experience a decline in rainfall by 20-50%.