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Asian Cities to Experience Never Before Seen Climate Extremes

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Due to climate change, cities around the world are getting hotter and drier – now a new study claims that an array of cities will experience climate conditions never before seen in any major city by 2050. This list includes Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Rangoon, Manila and Singapore.

The researchers from the Department of Environmental Systems Science in Zurich, Switzerland, calculated that completely novel conditions will be the case for 22 percent out of the world’s 500 major cities. For many cities in South East Asia, brutal heat coupled with less rain will be the new norm, while other cities may also encounter novel conditions because of significantly increased rain levels.

Manila, for example, will be almost 4°C hotter on average during summer, but also experience 8 percent less rain during an average year. In Rangoon in Myanmar, summer temperatures will be close to 6°C hotter while the city will lose 6.5 percent of its yearly precipitation, making it one of the cities rated to grossly diverge from known city climates in the future.

Other cities will come to resemble cities elsewhere more closely. Extreme dry spells could haunt Hiroshima, Taipei and Macau in the future, with rain levels decreasing by up to 13 percent. Central Asian cities will not experience major shifts in rain patterns, but major temperature increases of 6°C and more. Because of this, Tashkent could feel more like middle Eastern cities Mosul or Irbil, while Baghdad is expected to feel like Kuwait City by 2050. Kathmandu will be wetter (as well as hotter) and therefore feel more like Dhaka, Bangladesh.

This chart shows changes to climate in Asian cities by 2050.

changes to climate in Asia by 2050

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