Climate Change and flood: Exacerbating fury

March 7, 2018 | 3:27 pm | By: Climate Reality Project Nepal

Climate change impacts and the associated vulnerabilities is a growing environmental issue of concern across the globe. Even though the GHGs contribution of Nepal is negligible, the impact it is bearing now and in future is beyond comparison. Nepal’s diverse geography are facing amplified wrath of climate change where erratic rainfall, drought, floods, melting snow and glacier retreat possess extreme vulnerabilities. The ex post facto effect of global warming evolve the positive feedback loop of rising global temperature resulting  melting of glaciers  and in other hand with projection of intense precipitation which intensifies the increased flood risk during the rainy season. Increased temperature intensifies the hydrological cycle subsequently heightened risks of intersperse of intense and heavy downpour with longer relatively dry periods in future.

Every consecutive year is said to the hottest year ever. The rising global temperature impact is widespread as this fact is supported with confidence by IPCC that increase in warming will cause in increase of Asian summer monsoon precipitation variability causing changes in monsoon mean duration and strength. Nepal gets its 80% of total precipitation in 20% of its duration i.e. monsoon season. According to WMO, in year 2016 the flooding during monsoon season reached highest heights in Nepal along Bangladesh and other Ganges river basin area.

Now, the Asian monsoon is getting weird than before. Intense rainfall and melting of glacier has increased runoff favoring more flooding submerging the lowland riverine community toward the vulnerabilities. According to Maplecroft’s index, Nepal ranks fourth vulnerable country which is at high risk to climate change. In 2015, Nepal was ranked 19th by Germanwatch Climate Risk Index for 1994-2013 and 7th prone to flood risk index in 2016. Every year thousands of people get displaced by the flood.

Year 2017 was nothing unlike previous years as flood, high intensity rainfall of few days left many people homeless and in grief. Engraving impact of increasing temperature with intense rainfall brings the cascading event of ever increasing toll of lives, displacement, poverty all will occur as every year does but the difference will be temporally and spatially. Recent findings from WMO, NOAA, FAO, IPCC etc. emphasized the fact that intensification of climate hazards like flood especially in Asian countries like Nepal can’t be forsaken. The people of developing countries like Nepal have minimal access to information, adaptive capacity to be resilient against climate change impact. This shows why stopping increasing rate of the global average temperature at 1.5ºC is of important.  So, solidarity for the global advocacy for climate change not only for adaptation but for mitigations should be prioritized.