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Frightening forecast

Manila Standard

We heard the Climate Change Commission loud and clear when it urged Filipinos to take proactive measures against an increased El Niño activity.

This chased the forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) of an increase in the number of provinces to be affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

From 41 provinces that experienced adverse effects in January, the number is projected to reach 51 by the end of February.

According to PAGASA, Metro Manila and 23 other provinces may experience drought by the end of the month. These provinces are Abra, Apayao, Aurora, Bataan, Benguet, Cagayan, Cavite, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Kalinga, La Union, Mountain Province, Negros Occidental, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Pangasinan, Quirino, Rizal and Zambales.

Drought is a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall leading to a shortage of water and is a slow-onset disaster characterized by the lack of precipitation, resulting in a water shortage.

Drought can have a serious impact on health, agriculture, economies, energy and the environment.

We have no immediate figures how many Filipinos in this land of 114 million people will be affected by El Niño but an estimated 55 million people globally are affected by droughts every year, and they are the most serious hazard to livestock and crops in nearly every part of the world.

Drought threatens people’s livelihoods, increases the risk of disease and death, and fuels mass migration while water scarcity impacts 40 percent of the world’s population, and as many as 700 million people are at-risk of being displaced as a result of drought by 2030.

Rising temperatures caused by climate change are making already dry regions drier and wet regions wetter.

In dry regions, as in some parts of the Philippines, this means that when temperatures rise, water evaporates more quickly, and thus increases the risk of drought or prolongs periods of drought.

Between 80-90 percent of all documented disasters from natural hazards during the past 10 years have resulted from floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, heat waves and severe storms.

The Philippines, in particular, is currently experiencing extreme drought, one of the slow-onset effects of climate change, along with other climate impact-drivers: rising sea levels, increasing precipitation, and intensifying wind patterns and tropical cyclones.

“The recurrence of the El Niño phenomenon calls for the implementation of both short and long-term solutions to ensure food, water and energy security, safeguard livelihoods, and improve the country’s disaster and climate resilience,” said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in signing the Executive Order 53 or the reactivation and reconstitution of Task Force El Niño.

The CCC, in cooperation with other national government agencies, has developed policies and strategies that will prepare the nation for climate change impacts and disasters.

That should give us a buoyant feeling despite the heat.

WE HEARD the Climate Change Commission loud and clear when it urged Filipinos to take proactive measures against an increased El Niño activity.

This chased the forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) of an increase in the number of provinces to be affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

From 41 provinces that experienced adverse effects in January, the number is projected to reach 51 by the end of February.

According to PAGASA, Metro Manila and 23 other provinces may experience drought by the end of the month. These provinces are Abra, Apayao, Aurora, Bataan, Benguet, Cagayan, Cavite, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Kalinga, La Union, Mountain Province, Negros Occidental, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Pangasinan, Quirino, Rizal and Zambales.

Drought is a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall leading to a shortage of water and is a slow-onset disaster characterized by the lack of precipitation, resulting in a water shortage.

Drought can have a serious impact on health, agriculture, economies, energy and the environment.

We have no immediate figures how many Filipinos in this land of 114 million people will be affected by El Niño but an estimated 55 million people globally are affected by droughts every year, and they are the most serious hazard to livestock and crops in nearly every part of the world.

Drought threatens people’s livelihoods, increases the risk of disease and death, and fuels mass migration while water scarcity impacts 40 percent of the world’s population, and as many as 700 million people are at-risk of being displaced as a result of drought by 2030.

Rising temperatures caused by climate change are making already dry regions drier and wet regions wetter.

In dry regions, as in some parts of the Philippines, this means that when temperatures rise, water evaporates more quickly, and thus increases the risk of drought or prolongs periods of drought.

Between 80-90 percent of all documented disasters from natural hazards during the past 10 years have resulted from floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, heat waves and severe storms.

The Philippines, in particular, is currently experiencing extreme drought, one of the slow-onset effects of climate change, along with other climate impact-drivers: rising sea levels, increasing precipitation, and intensifying wind patterns and tropical cyclones.

“The recurrence of the El Niño phenomenon calls for the implementation of both short and long-term solutions to ensure food, water and energy security, safeguard livelihoods, and improve the country’s disaster and climate resilience,” said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in signing the Executive Order 53 or the reactivation and reconstitution of Task Force El Niño.

The CCC, in cooperation with other national government agencies, has developed policies and strategies that will prepare the nation for climate change impacts and disasters.

That should give us a buoyant feeling despite the heat.

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