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Climate Change Indicated in Forced Migration of 1.7 Million from Mekong Delta

Global sea level rise caused by fossil fuel burning is an issue that is creating worsening impacts to cities, nations, and civilization itself. And according to recent reports out of Vietnam, 1.7 million people have migrated from the low-lying Mekong Delta region over the past decade. Primary causes included climate change and poverty.

(Sea level rise now threatens all low-lying regions with increased flooding, loss of crops, and, in some cases, forced migration. Recent reports indicate that hundreds of thousands have already left the Mekong delta as a result.)

Rising oceans have forced Vietnam to erect a system of dykes of up to 4 meters in height in an increasingly complex system of coastal defense barriers. These barriers have saved lands from inundation as the ocean off the low-lying Mekong Delta continues to rise year-after-year. However, the dykes have not prevented salt water from moving further and further up the Mekong River. And during recent years, this salt water has inundated soils used for rice production.

Such salt water inundation has wiped out crops for many farmers. For example, in the Soc Trang region, the farmers of Thang Dong saw their crops completely wiped out during 2013 as salt water seeped into the soil and killed off food-producing plants. In low-lying near coastal regions, the story has been much the same for Mekong farmers. And with less reliable crops come increasing poverty.

(Salt water increases in soils as seas rise. The Mekong Delta is just one of many low-lying regions under threat by human caused climate change and its related sea level rise. Image source: Vietnam Times.)

When crop production is no longer tenable due to climate change impacts, many farming families have been forced to move on. A majority cite poverty as the root cause. But 14.5 percent are more aware — noting that climate change was what ultimately forced them to leave.

The Delta regions of the world are among the most agriculturally productive on Earth. But, as with Mekong, all such regions face ocean flooding and salt water invasion. As a result, a key aspect of global food production is under threat. A factor that has recently weighed in high average global food prices and an increase in the number of under-nourished people by 38 million last year.

 

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39 Comments

  1. redskylite

     /  June 9, 2018

    Thanks for drawing our attention with regard to the Mekong region of Vietnam and the migration that is taking place. I understand that Vietnam are vigorously trying to mitigate the effects of sea level rise, for example introducing saline resistance rice crops, and the sea defense systems mentioned above – but there is a limit of what can be done against salt water inundation, and unfortunately folks are moving away, many into urban areas. It seems in today’s world many countries are closing ranks, voting populist anti-immigration parties into power and where will these people go, when their own country is no longer able to support them.

    Climate change is caused solely by physics, chemistry and science, but too many confuse it as a political problem. Australia grappling with the problem, while using coal and wishing climate change would go away.

    “Climate change may also eventually contribute to greater irregular migration pressure in vulnerable countries to Australia’s north, potentially becoming a substantial security threat for Australia.”

    Currently serving senior defence figures in Australia rarely speak publicly about climate security.

    “To do that would necessarily mean putting your head above the parapet, so to speak,”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-08/adf-sees-climate-change-related-disaster-relief-demands-rise/9842458

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    • rhymeswithgoalie

       /  June 10, 2018

      “Climate change is caused solely by physics, chemistry and science, but too many confuse it as a political problem.”

      Human population is the other side of the coin: Just making birth control available to everyone who *wants* it would be a major win. We’re currently near 7.6 billion people (and ~1.4 billion cattle).

      Like

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      • redskylite

         /  June 10, 2018

        Sorry and maybe I am being obtuse but I do not see what you are getting at, not at all – I do not see the connection of birth control with the topic. Vietnam had an official birthrate of 1.96 children born to each woman in 2015, it does not seem excessive to me, yet still they need to migrate. China had a very strict one child per couple in affect 1979, only just repealed, yet many will need to move away from swamped coastal areas. I have encountered skeptics trying to change the subject and argument away from Climate Change problems and the Pope’s good efforts of trying to get the word to address the problems by blaming lack of birth control. Frankly it greatly angers me, hearing people trying to dust over the severe problems climate change has caused, and talk about birth control instead, especially birth control in depressed areas.

        Climate change: Pope urges action on clean energy

        “Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation,” he said.

        He was speaking to a group of oil company executives at the end of a two-day conference in the Vatican.

        Firms present included ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Norway’s Equinor and Pemex of Mexico.

        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44424572

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        • Completely agree. Climate deniers can use the population card to argue that because we can’t make significant reductions in population then we can’t make progress on mitigating climate change. Also, blaming population increase (mainly in developing countries) for climate change (which has mainly been caused by developed countries) can be taken as a form of imperial colonialism. In order to get to the motivations behind anybody making claims that population is a root cause of climate change I suggest asking them a simple question: “So, assuming what you say is true. What do you propose as a solution to this?”.

          Liked by 3 people

        • rhymeswithgoalie

           /  June 13, 2018

          Global population matters because it is a *multiplier* of carbon emissions, especially as greater numbers of people eat beef, run air conditioners and drive combustion vehicles.

          Like

        • rhymeswithgoalie

           /  June 13, 2018

          “Frankly it greatly angers me, hearing people trying to dust over the severe problems climate change has caused, and talk about birth control instead, especially birth control in depressed areas.”

          Between religion and culture many women who would love to have it cannot get birth control. They are kept out of school and in poverty by having too many mouths to feed. Still the Catholic Church, run by unmarried men, calls contraception a *sin* (and allows many of its bishops to lie about the usefulness of condoms in limiting the spread of STDs), and acts *politically* to prevent contraceptive education around the world (as do many Protestant sects).

          Also, it just so happens that the depressed areas overlap greatly with places where women would gain the most advantage from birth control. Limiting reproduction to *planned* births, where some may merely wish to have fewer children and/or space them out more, would go a long way to addressing overpopulation.

          Like

      • redskylite

         /  June 10, 2018

        Australia has a birth rate of 1.83 births per woman and yet . . .

        Australia doesn’t realise’: worsening drought pushes farmers to the brink

        Liverpool plains farmer Megan Kuhn says cows are being slaughtered because there is no way of feeding them after years of extreme weather

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/10/australia-doesnt-realise-worsening-drought-pushes-farmers-to-the-brink

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  2. Matthew Greewnood

     /  June 9, 2018

    Posted link and extract on Arctic Sea Ice Forum.

    Now add dam construction on the headwaters, e.g. Xayaburi Dam https://phys.org/news/2018-03-mekong-river-disrupt-environment.html

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2015/05/mekong-river-dams/
    Harnessing the Mekong or Killing It?
    “Dams are rising all along the Mekong. The people of Southeast Asia need the clean electricity—but also the fish and rice that an undammed river provides”.

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  3. wharf rat

     /  June 9, 2018

    NOAA Expects Sea Level Rise to Produce Record Coastal Flooding This Year

    The projected increase in high tide flooding in 2018 may be as much as 60 percent higher across U.S. coastlines compared to typical flooding about 20 years ago, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration….

    Dusek used a NOAA gauge first installed around Charleston, S.C., in 1921 as an example of what the data in the report released this week shows.

    By the time the infamous 1928 Okeechobee hurricane rolled in to Charleston it was a Category 1 that caused significant damage and flooding in the area. The gauge there measured an elevation of .75 meters above the mean high tide value, the highest that was observed from 1921 to 1934.

    “Now fast forward to last year, where we exceeded that value four times in Charleston, and we’re expected to exceed it at least four times this year,” Dusek said.

    https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/06/07/491586.htm

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  4. wili

     /  June 9, 2018

    Do you mean ‘indicted’ rather than ‘indicated’ in your title?

    Like

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  5. wili

     /  June 9, 2018

    Trump’s abandonment of Paris climate deal to cost U.S. economy trillions, new study reveals

    ” A new study from Stanford finds that failure to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Accord will cost the U.S. economy several trillion dollars in the coming decades — and cost the world economy tens of trillions of dollars.

    The study, “Large potential reduction in economic damages under UN mitigation targets,” was published in the journal Nature last week. It is among the first to analyze the economic benefits of keeping global warming to the levels unanimously agreed to by more than 190 nations at the 2015 Paris climate summit.

    President Trump has made the U.S. a rogue nation — the only one in the world to abandon the agreement — under the misguided notion that it will hurt our economy. The reverse is true.

    “In fact, we calculate the cumulative savings to the U.S. economy alone of meeting the most ambitious Paris targets could total $6 trillion (in today’s dollars),” the researchers Marshall Burke and Noah Diffenbaugh explained in The Hill on Sunday.

    Studies have made clear that this huge economic loss from inaction is vastly larger than the cost of reducing carbon pollution.

    Indeed, the Stanford study finds that inaction could cause a stunning 30 percent loss in future global economic output — whereas the world’s scientists and governments have concluded that even the most aggressive climate action costs under 0.1 percent of GDP…”

    https://thinkprogress.org/trump-climate-policies-cost-us-economy-6-trillion-new-study-575120a5870a/

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  6. Paul in WI

     /  June 9, 2018

    Here’s the latest from a new study about slowing tropical cyclones reported by National Geographic:

    “Hurricanes Are Moving Slower – And That’s a Huge Problem”

    This appears to back up the theory that the jet stream, and weather patterns in general, will slow as the poles warm faster than lower latitudes.

    From the article:

    Tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, are now crawling across the planet at a slower pace than they did decades ago, dragging out and amplifying their devastation, new research published Wednesday shows.

    At the same time, related research published just last month suggests that warming temperatures from climate change will slow storms more in the future.

    While having a cyclone travel with less speed may seem like a good thing, it’s actually just the opposite. Wind speeds within the storm remain high, but the whole system itself moves slower across the landscape, allowing punishing rains to linger longer over communities.

    Taken together, these two studies suggest that climate change is already increasing the dangers posed by hurricanes and typhoons in far more ways than previously thought, and it will continue to compound many of the hazards, especially the threat of severe flooding.

    “Nothing good comes out of a slowing storm,” says James Kossin, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Weather and Climate in Madison, Wisconsin, and author of the first paper, published today in the journal Nature. “It can increase storm surge. It can increase the amount of time that structures are subjected to strong wind. And it increases rainfall.”

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/06/hurricanes-cyclones-move-slower-drop-more-rain-climate-change-science/

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    • Bill H

       /  June 10, 2018

      A worrying article, Paul, but it makes sense. Thinking back to last year’s Hurricane Harvey what made it so devastating was that it hung around for so long so rain was falling for days on end.

      Like

      Reply
  7. https://earther.com/a-new-arctic-cyclone-could-be-among-the-most-powerful-o-1826679817

    Powerful storm in Arctic Ocean right now. The article says a strong storm in early summer is rare and we don’t know what will happen. But we do know the ice is thinner and more rotten than usual. There was a powerful storm in 2012 that sharply reduced sea ice. Are we due for a repeat?

    Like

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    • kassy

       /  June 9, 2018

      2012 August storm
      2018 June storm.

      So that adds exposure for the 2 months with the most sun hours. And if the effect of the storm is bad then there is also 2 more months of potential storms…I wonder how bad it is going to be but if the direct effects are equal then the added time in the season will make things worse.

      Like

      Reply
  8. kassy

     /  June 9, 2018

    Meanwhile no storms in Khatanga. Really nice weather actually.

    Today (June 10th) it will be 28 degrees C. Historically the highest temperature for the date is 19 C with a previous record of 20 C so this is quite a departure. (numbers from accuweather)

    This city is one of the most northern places in Russia. It is near the Laptev Sea.

    It is June cliff time now in the Arctic and since recent conditions up north have been bad for ice it could be quite a dive. Extent is holding but some time is needed to melt down the ice of course.

    For anyone wanting to follow this in more detail then the local rag offers see the threads:

    2018 melting season (great graphics from arctic satellites)

    2018 area and extent data (mainly analysis including one with losses in every different sea/area).

    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/board,3.0.html

    Like

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  9. Paul in WI

     /  June 9, 2018

    Not sure if a link to this article was posted previously, but it’s a very good read from the New York Times and is an indictment of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and his Republican supporters:

    Scott Pruitt’s Civilization-Threatening Lie

    Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    From the day he walked into Congress as the nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt has been trying to foist a colossal lie on the American public.

    “Science tells us that the climate is changing, and human activity in some manner impacts that change,” he said that day, 14 months ago. “The human ability to measure with precision the extent of that impact is subject to continuing debate and dialogue, as well they should be.”

    In other words: We do not know enough about the risks to take any action. Burn that coal, baby! Mr. Pruitt, confirmed by the Senate in a close vote, then proceeded to begin dismantling the modest regulations on climate change that the Obama administration had put in place.

    This is not just any old white lie that Mr. Pruitt has been telling. This is a civilization-threatening lie, a lie that will kill people and destroy small nations, if not some large ones. Future generations will see him as a man guilty of a major historical crime, along with his enablers in Congress and their puppet masters in the fossil-fuel industry.

    Like

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  10. When Dick Cheney was vice president, he convinced George W. to go to war in Iraq on the basis of a “one percent rule.” This rule essentially said that if there were even a one-percent chance that the security of the US was threatened, then action had to be taken, especially if that 1% chance applied to an existential threat. What I can’t figure out is why this conservative rule, advocated by conservatives does not apply to climate change. Upon asking a number of deniers, I have yet to get any type of answer, much less a satisfactory answer.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  11. Spike

     /  June 10, 2018

    Drought and high temperatures hammering Australia – some unusually enlightened farmers quoted here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/10/australia-doesnt-realise-worsening-drought-pushes-farmers-to-the-brink

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. Reblogged this on Wild Voices.

    Like

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  13. Paul in WI

     /  June 11, 2018

    Here’s an article by Bill Mckibben in Rolling Stone Magazine about the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Quite an eye-opening article about the fossil fuel industry’s decades-old strategy of delay, confuse, and obstruct. At current rates of greenhouse gas emissions, time becomes paramount when reducing those emissions is delayed.

    “Bill McKibben: Winning Slowly Is the Same as Losing”

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bill-mckibben-winning-slowly-is-the-same-as-losing-w512967

    Like

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  14. Paul in WI

     /  June 11, 2018

    Here’s another article by Bill Mckibben in The Guardian about time being wasted by delaying climate action by the Trump administration that ties into the Rolling Stone article posted previously:

    “Donald Trump is costing us one precious thing: time”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/07/trump-climate-change-poverty-crisis

    History will harshly judge Trump and the Republicans for their current environmental/climate policies. Everything that they are doing to stop action on the climate is documented and there will be no avoiding the future public backlash as the consequences of delay become more apparent.

    Like

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  15. wharf rat

     /  June 11, 2018

    Somebody mentioned this plant about a month ago. It’s now on-line.

    World’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage plant goes live
    https://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2018/06/world-s-first-grid-scale-liquid-air-energy-storage-plant-goes-live.html

    Like

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  16. Abel Adamski

     /  June 11, 2018

    Every little bit helps, it is the sum of the increments.
    Commercial Clear glass solar PV’s
    ClearVue operates in the Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) sector which involves incorporating solar technology into glass and building surfaces to produce renewable energy.
    The company’s ‘smart building material’ patented technology – which it developed jointly with leading experts from the Electron Science Research Institute at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Perth – consists of a glass lamination interlayer doped with inorganic micro and nano-particles.
    These particles draw a large portion of the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) rays from the sun and redirect those rays to solar cells embedded around the edge of the glass panels in the window frame.
    “Unlike other solutions on the market, which use materials that are not completely transparent, ClearVue’s technology maintains clear glass,” he said.
    “This is a fundamental property of glass as a building material as it visually allows people to connect with the outside world.”
    Mr Rosenburg said there was significant potential for the product, with ClearVue already awarded a Federal government grant to construct a greenhouse using the technology.
    ClearVue technology has applications for use in the building and construction and agricultural industries where there is a trend to increase and improve renewable energy generation capacity while reducing carbon emissions and pollution.

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  17. Hazardous air quality in a large area of the Four Corners region.
    https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_city&cityid=682

    Like

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  18. wharf rat

     /  June 11, 2018

    New American Express credit card will be made from recycled ocean trash

    The company hopes the card will raise awareness about a huge environmental problem.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-american-express-credit-card-will-be-made-from-recycled-ocean-trash-2018-06-11

    Like

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  19. wili

     /  June 11, 2018

    traffic signals favour cars over pedestrians

    “The consequences of making it easier to drive and harder to walk are consistent with the rise of vehicle-dominated cities”

    https://phys.org/news/2018-06-traffic-favour-cars-discourage.html

    Like

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  20. wili

     /  June 11, 2018

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/11/chris-packham-springwatch-warns-of-ecological-apocalypse-britain

    Chris Packham warns of ‘ecological apocalypse’ in Britain
    Springwatch presenter says Britain is increasingly ‘a green and unpleasant land’

    Quote

    Birdwatchers have noticed the skies are particularly lacking swifts this year, a summer migrant that is declining at an increasing rate – 51% over 20 years but 25% in the five years to 2015. Swifts are usually seen in 38% of the bird sightings logged with the British Trust for Ornithology in early June. This year they account for just 31%.

    Like

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  21. bostonblorp

     /  June 11, 2018

    Ancient baobabs, some over two thousand years old, are dropping dead. Climate change suspected.

    http://www.france24.com/en/20180611-shocking-die-off-africas-oldest-baobabs-study

    Like

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  22. Bill H

     /  June 11, 2018

    Musk may have done it again:

    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/06/09/100-kwh-tesla-battery-cells-this-year-100-kwh-tesla-battery-packs-in-2020/

    The consensus on when we’d get to 100 dollars per kWh for Li-ion has been 2025. So Musk’s prediction that he’ll be there in 2020 is remarkable. This $100 value is seen as important not just too make EVs fully competitive, but also to make grid storage fully competitive right across the board – not just for niche applications like frequency balancing, as is the case with, for instance the much publicised South Australia facility

    Like

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  1. Water vapor….. – The Journey Begins…
  2. Climate Change Indicated in Forced Migration of 1.7 Million from Mekong Delta | The Secular Jurist
  3. Climate Change Indicated in Forced Migration of 1.7 Million from Mekong Delta — robertscribbler « Antinuclear

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