New Elevation Measure Shows Climate Change Could Quickly Swamp the Mekong Delta

The surprise revelation means 12 million Vietnamese may need to retreat

New Elevation Measure Shows Climate Change Could Quickly Swamp the Mekong Delta
Ground truthing shows the vast Mekong Delta averages only 0.8 meter above sea level instead of the 2.6 meters officially quoted. Credit: Linh Pham Getty Images

A stunning 12 million people could be displaced by flooding in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta within half a century, according to new research led by Philip Minderhoud, a geographer at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Minderhoud and his colleagues arrived at that surprising conclusion after analyzing ground-based measurements of the Mekong’s topography that the Vietnamese government shielded from Western scientists  for years. The results, published today in Nature Communications, show the Mekong’s elevation over sea level averages just 0.8 meter, which is almost two meters lower than commonly quoted estimates based on freely available satellite data.
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July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth

By on 2 August 2019

Arctic sea ice is in retreat as the climate crisis deepens. Photo via Pixabay.
  • UN secretary general António Guterres announced that July 2019 was the hottest month on record in a press conference yesterday.

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Cambodia, Viet Nam make plans for implementing MRC Council Study recommendations

Read and download Council Study >>

Illegal Fishing – Ben Tre

Cambodia, Viet Nam make plans for implementing Council Study recommendations

MRC Vientiane, Lao PDR, 31st Oct 2018

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 31 October 2018 – Cambodia and Viet Nam have recently held consultations to begin the process of considering and implementing recommendations from the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Council Study into national policies and programs, while these are forthcoming in Lao PDR and Thailand. They aim to take advantage of the suite of new processes, tools, and datasets provided by the study to improve decision making on future sustainable development in the lower Mekong basin. Tiếp tục đọc “Cambodia, Viet Nam make plans for implementing MRC Council Study recommendations”

An integrated system for real-time monitoring of rice production and climate risks – Hệ thống giám sát tức thời sản lượng gạo và rủi ro khí hậu

In the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam, a map-based system is being develop for real-time monitoring of rice production and raising the alarm for various climate-related risks. Photo: Eisen Bernardo (CCAFS SEA)
(view original)ccafs.cgiar

May 29, 2018

For quick response to the climate-related impacts to rice production in the Mekong River Delta, an integrated GIS-based system is being developed.

In 2017, the Department of Crop Production (DCP) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) of Vietnam, in cooperation with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA), developed and implemented the Climate-Smart Maps and Adaptation Plans (CS MAP) project. CS MAP maps drought, flooding, and salinity intrusion, and develop long- and medium-term adaptive plans in the Mekong River Delta (MRD). The methodology used promotes stakeholders’ participation in identifying feasible solutions to address specific local problems for sustainable rice production at provincial level. Tiếp tục đọc “An integrated system for real-time monitoring of rice production and climate risks – Hệ thống giám sát tức thời sản lượng gạo và rủi ro khí hậu”

Over 100 corporate giants align with UN climate goals

At EU level, a high-level group on sustainable finance issued its final recommendations earlier this year, calling on the 28-country bloc to stop pouring public money into polluting fossil fuels and focus spending on clean energies instead. [Jeff Kubina / Flickr]

L’Oreal and Electrolux today (17 April) joined the likes of McDonald’s and Sony in aligning their emission goals with the 2°C target of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

103 global companies have now signed up to emission reduction goals in line with what climate scientists say is required to prevent dangerous global warming, said the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The 100+ companies’ combined emissions are equal to the annual CO2 emissions from 100 coal-fired power plants, representing US$3.4 trillion in market value, roughly equivalent to the London Stock Exchange, the SBTi said in a statement.
Tiếp tục đọc “Over 100 corporate giants align with UN climate goals”

Secretary-General Appoints Michael R. Bloomberg of United States Special Envoy for Climate Action

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Michael R. Bloomberg of the United States as his Special Envoy for Climate Action.

Mr. Bloomberg will support the Secretary-General’s climate strategy and efforts towards the planned 2019 Climate Summit at United Nations Headquarters.  The Summit will mobilize stronger and more ambitious action towards 2020 climate targets.  The Special Envoy will leverage efforts in key areas of the Summit to encourage rapid and enhanced implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change in the context of sustainable development.
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Sea-level legacy: 20cm more rise by 2300 for each 5-year delay in peaking emissions

02/20/2018 – Peaking global CO2 emissions as soon as possible is crucial for limiting the risks of sea-level rise, even if global warming is limited to well below 2°C. A study now published in the journal Nature Communications analyzes for the first time the sea-level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement. Their central projections indicate global sea-level rise between 0.7m and 1.2m until 2300 with Paris put fully into practice. As emissions in the second half of this century are already outlined by the Paris goals, the variations in greenhouse-gas emissions before 2050 will be the major leverage for future sea levels. The researchers find that each five year delay in peaking global CO2 emissions will likely increase median sea-level rise estimates for 2300 by 20 centimeters.

Sea-level legacy: 20cm more rise by 2300 for each 5-year delay in peaking emissions

Every delay in peaking emissions by 5 years between 2020 and 2035 could mean additional 20 cm of sea-level rise (Mengel et al 2018)

Tiếp tục đọc “Sea-level legacy: 20cm more rise by 2300 for each 5-year delay in peaking emissions”

Impacts of 25 years of groundwater extraction on subsidence in the Mekong delta, Vietnam


Many major river deltas in the world are subsiding and consequently become increasingly vulnerable to flooding and storm surges, salinization and permanent inundation. For the Mekong Delta, annual subsidence rates up to several centimetres have been reported. Excessive groundwater extraction is suggested as the main driver. As groundwater levels drop, subsidence is induced through aquifer compaction. Over the past 25 years, groundwater exploitation has increased dramatically, transforming the delta from an almost undisturbed hydrogeological state to a situation with increasing aquifer depletion. Yet the exact contribution of groundwater exploitation to subsidence in the Mekong delta has remained unknown. In this study we deployed a delta-wide modelling approach, comprising a 3D hydrogeological model with an integrated subsidence module. This provides a quantitative spatially-explicit assessment of groundwater extraction-induced subsidence for the entire Mekong delta since the start of widespread overexploitation of the groundwater reserves. We find that subsidence related to groundwater extraction has gradually increased in the past decades with highest sinking rates at present. During the past 25 years, the delta sank on average ~18 cm as a consequence of groundwater withdrawal. Current average subsidence rates due to groundwater extraction in our best estimate model amount to 1.1 cm yr−1, with areas subsiding over 2.5 cm yr−1, outpacing global sea level rise almost by an order of magnitude. Given the increasing trends in groundwater demand in the delta, the current rates are likely to increase in the near future.

Read full article here

Climate change is triggering a migrant crisis in Vietnam


The Vietnamese Mekong Delta is one of Earth’s most agriculturally productive regions and is of global importance for its exports of rice, shrimp, and fruit. The 18m inhabitants of this low-lying river delta are also some of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change. Over the last ten years around 1.7m people have migrated out of its vast expanse of fields, rivers and canals while only 700,000 have arrived.

On a global level migration to urban areas remains as high as ever: one person in every 200 moves from rural areas to the city every year. Against this backdrop it is difficult to attribute migration to individual causes, not least because it can be challenging to find people who have left a region in order to ask why they went and because every local context is unique. But the high net rate of migration away from Mekong Delta provinces is more than double the national average, and even higher in its most climate-vulnerable areas. This implies that there is something else – probably climate-related – going on here. Tiếp tục đọc “Climate change is triggering a migrant crisis in Vietnam”

Multiple Mekong forums risk igniting rivalry

ASEAN+ January 03, 2018 01:00


LEADERS FROM six riparian states along the Mekong River will be busy this year as meetings on many cooperation schemes in the region are scheduled in a situaton that observers have said is overlapping.

 The youngest forum, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), will call its second summit meeting next Wednesday in Phnom Penh to endorse a five-year action plan (2018-2022) regarding its cooperation projects.

Its participants – six counties in the Mekong basin comprising China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – have all been involved in many cooperation schemes over the past decades.
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Mẹ thiên nhiên và huỷ diệt bởi thủy điện không phải là vấn đề duy nhất của Đồng Bằng Sông Cửu Long

Không có khu vực đồng bằng nào trên thế giới bị đe doạ bởi biến đổi khí hậu trầm trọng như Sông Cửu Long. Liệu Việt Nam có hành động kịp thời để cứu nơi đây?

Loạt bài của Mongabay – Mongabay series

Tiếng Việt
Phần 1 – Liệu biến đổi khí hậu sẽ nhấn chìm Đồng bằng sông Cửu Long?
Phần 2 – Việt Nam cực kỳ lo lắng vì Trung Quốc và Lào xây đập trên Mekong
Phần 3 – Mẹ Thiên nhiên và huỷ diệt bởi thủy điện không phải là vấn đề duy nhất của Đồng bằng sông Cửu Long
Phần 4 – Kế hoạch cứu nguy Đồng bằng sông Cửu Long

Part 1 – Will climate change sink the Mekong Delta?
Part 2 – Vietnam sweats bullets as China and Laos dam the Mekong
Part 3 – Mother Nature and a hydropower onslaught aren’t the Mekong Delta’s only problems
Part 4 – A plan to save the Mekong Delta

Biến đổi khí hậu và các đập nước ở thượng nguồn đang đe dọa khu vực quan trọng này và vấn đề trở nên khó kiểm soát được. Nhưng có phải những vấn đề lớn nhất của ĐBSCL đều do chính Việt Nam tạo ra?

Đồng bằng sông Cửu Long của Việt Nam, nơi ở của gần 20 triệu người, là một trong những môi trường nông nghiệp có năng suất cao nhất trên thế giới, nhờ vào mạng lưới kênh rạch, đê, cửa cống và rãnh thoát nước phức tạp.

Về thế mạnh nông nghiệp của ĐBSCL, Việt Nam đã đi từ một nhà nhập khẩu gạo lâu năm và trở thành một nước xuất khẩu lớn. Tuy nhiên, nông dân trong khu vực rất quan tâm đến các chính sách an ninh lương thực của chính phủ, trong đó yêu cầu hầu hết đất đai của ĐBSCL phải được dành cho sản xuất lúa gạo. Và nhiều người trong số họ đang có biện pháp để phá vỡ các quy tắc, theo những cách mà không phải lúc nào cũng thân thiện với môi trường.
Tiếp tục đọc “Mẹ thiên nhiên và huỷ diệt bởi thủy điện không phải là vấn đề duy nhất của Đồng Bằng Sông Cửu Long”

Venezuela is likely to be the first country to lose all of its glaciers, but unfortunately it will not be the last country.

Venezuela is losing its last glacier

Humboldt Glacier, 14 December 2011 (Source: The Photographer/ Creative Commons).

Venezuela used to have five glaciers. Today, only one remains. The last glacier in Venezuela, the Humboldt glacier, is about to disappear. “Reduced to an area of ten football pitches, a tenth of its size 30 years ago, it will be gone within a decade or two,” reports The Economist. Once Venezuela loses the Humbolt, it will become the first country in modern history to have lost all of its glaciers.

The glacier is expected to completely vanish in ten to twenty years, and scientists have expressed the importance of studying the glacier in its last stages. However, the political and economic crisis in Venezuela makes it difficult to study the glacier. In the past, studies have shown how rapid glacier retreat affects the water cycle in glacier-dependent basins, which changes water regulation and availability. Thus, the disappearance of the Humboldt glacier will impact local communities as run-off stability and water supply for agriculture change. Tiếp tục đọc “Venezuela is likely to be the first country to lose all of its glaciers, but unfortunately it will not be the last country.”

Using Remote Sensing to Map Rice Paddy Drop in the Mekong Delta

Gislounge_The Mekong River Delta is an important water source flowing through South East Asia. Primarily feeding the rice fields of Vietnam, the Mekong River Delta has long been an area of great fertility due to water flow and silt build up. However, agricultural efforts in the area have shown a decline in production because of the weather effects of El Niño. This year’s El Niño has been particularly strong, causing droughts in South East Asia.

Satellites including Europe’s Sentinel-1A can now track the rise and fall of different agricultural products around the world. The satellite’s imagery showed that rice production in the Mekong Delta has decreased in the past year, threatening the livelihoods of local farmers as well as food security worldwide. Tiếp tục đọc “Using Remote Sensing to Map Rice Paddy Drop in the Mekong Delta”

Kịch bản biến đổi khí hậu và nước biển dâng cho Việt Nam năm 2016

Kịch bản biến đổi khí hậu và nước biển dâng cho Việt Nam cung cấp những thông tin cập nhật nhất về đánh giá những biểu hiện, xu thế biến đổi trong quá khứ, kịch bản biến đổi khí hậu và nước biển dâng trong thế kỷ 21 ở Việt Nam. Tiếp tục đọc “Kịch bản biến đổi khí hậu và nước biển dâng cho Việt Nam năm 2016”