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Air and Climate issues in South, SE and East Asia

Air and Climate issues in South, SE and East Asia

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Air and Climate issues in South, SE and East Asia

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  1. Air and Climate issues in South, SE and East Asia SagarTolani EVPP 626 April 20, 2009

  2. Drivers • Use of fossil fuels • Human population • Need for food • El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

  3. Pressures • CO2 Emissions • Increased 15% in the past 50 years and more than 36% since pre-industrial levels • Clearing of Land • Less forests do absorb the CO2 and produce O2. • Use of fertilizers • To meet the increased demand for food.

  4. Status, Trends and Impacts: CO2 Increase • Humans are so dependent on fossil fuels • The amount of CO2 and other trace gases that have been introduced into the atmosphere at alarming rates are decreasing the albedo effect

  5. Status, Trends and Impacts:ENSO • What is El-Nino Southern Oscillation? • El-Nino Southern Oscillation is a naturally occurring phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean around the Equator. • It can occur every 2-7 years • It causes flooding and heavy rains in places like Peru and droughts in Indonesia. • This leads to dry conditions which results in forest fires in Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries in SE Asia.

  6. Status, Trends and Impacts:ENSO • These unusually dry conditions lead to forest fires and haze in Indonesia • The haze can be cleared by rain • The haze also causes health problems • Especially bad case in 1997 (Zan)

  7. Status, Trends and Impacts: Increased food production • Increase in urbanization and human population is leading to increased demand for food • India increased its food production by almost 125% between 1960-1980 and since increased its production about 3% every year • Due to development of technology, India increased its food output by 200% in the past decade

  8. Status, Trends and Impacts: Increased food production • Indian food exports account for $5.8 billion out of $438 billion, which is approximately only 1.5% of the world’s food exports, after being the 2nd largest producer of food in the world. • China, which is largest producer of food in the world, has more available land to produce larger amounts of food but is restricted by weather patters and irrigation issues • Increase in food demand is leading to increased use of fertilizers and pesticides

  9. Responses • Kyoto Protocol • Has been signed and ratified by all countries except United States • Amount of CFC’s has decreased dramatically since its implementation • Uses a Cap n Trade system to put a limit on CO2 emissions

  10. Responses • Haze and forest cover • Indonesia held a conference in 2006, titled “Clean air more important than rice in Asia” • At this conference Minister RachmatWitoelar, State Minister of Enviromentstarted the conference with the statement • “We didn’t realize the value of clean air until it was lost”,“We used to take it for granted. Now we have to work hard to win it back.” • He also added that more air pollution is leading to more than half a million premature deaths in Asia

  11. References • Smith, R. L., Smith, T. M. (2001) Elements of Ecology. 6th Ed. Benjamin Cummings. • Nicholls, N. El Nino of droughts and flooding rains. (1997) Accessed 18th April, 2009. • Asia sweats on El Nino’s return. (2002) CNN. Accessed 18th April, 2009. • India to double processed food by 2015. Accessed 18th April, 2009. • India’s Food Industry. Accessed 18th April, 2009. • India food-grain production. (1995). CIA Factbook. Accessed 18th April, 2009. • El Nino. Department of Fish and Game. Accessed 18th April, 2009. • Wisner, B. (2000). Future directions of China’s agricultural production. Accessed 18th April, 2009. • Chinese food production is vulnerable to climate change. (2008) Accessed 18th April, 2009. • Stauffer, N. (2005). Food production in China could be increased with more irrigation. Accessed 18th April, 2009. • Clean Air more important than rice in Asia. (2006) Television for Education-Asia, Pacific. Accessed 18th April, 2009. • Butler, R. A. (2006). Record one-year increase in carbon dioxide levels. Accessed 18th April, 2009. • Fulton, L. (2008) Transport, Energy and CO2 in Asia: Where are we going and how do we change it? Accessed 18th April, 2009. • Kyoto Protocol. UNFCCC. Accessed 18th April, 2009.