The Climate Change Impacts South East Asia’s Food Security
Global warming affects many areas of the planet. Not only are plants and animals affected by the rising temperatures, but so are the intensity of storms. Global warming is believed to be responsible for numerous storms across the world intensifying. Global warming is believed to be causing more severe hurricanes, floods, and now monsoon season. As the temperatures across the globe continue to rise the intensity of the monsoon storms is continuing to build. If the temperatures continue to rise, the storms can become even more severe because they thrive off of hot temperatures.
As the temperatures from global warming continue to cause the pressure that results in monsoon storms continues to rise, the more intense the rains and winds will become.
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As the rains and the winds intensify a number of serious complications can occur. Almost half of the world’s population lives in areas affected by the monsoons of Asia and most of these people are subsistence farmers, so the coming and goings of the monsoon are vital to their livelihood to grow food to feed themselves. When its bounty is too great, floods can displace millions and cause hundreds of deaths.
When it brings too little rain between June and October, shortages of food and drinking water can develop. Too much or two little rain from the monsoon can mean disaster in the form of famine or flood. It is fair to say that the livelihoods, water security, food security, and energy security of Southeast Asia are all tied to the volume and timely arrival of monsoon season. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood in nearly every country in the region; traditionally, Southeast Asian countries (and most Asian countries in general) depend on crops for food.
Rice is arguably the most important food source in the region and is a major staple food. When you hear someone say “it is the rice bowl of the country” or something similar, they mean that ‘it’ is the source of income and prosperity, and ‘it’ is how they feed their families. That’s how important rice is. Rice, grown in paddy fields, requires a lot of water to grow. This is why monsoons are so important to people in Southeast Asia – it’s to ensure a good crop of rice. The theory is that when there is a good monsoon, there is plenty of water to grow crops and sustain larger populations.
This leads to economic prosperity. When there is less water, there is less food and the large population cannot be sustained. Southeast Asia weather is somewhat predictable with two distinct seasons: wet and dry, and is highly susceptible to weather changes and is highly vulnerable to the changing climate. In fact all the countries in Southeast Asia are surrounded by the sea and are at risk due to the rising sea levels. In addition, global warming is also known to trigger climatic changes like tsunamis, cyclones and floods which specifically target the coastal areas.
In the past decade, exceptionally severe climatic disasters wreaked havoc on the Southeast Asian countries, causing massive financial and life losses. In addition, the food supply of these countries was also hampered by the floods and droughts ravaging the entire region. Precipitation has a dramatic effect on agriculture; all plants need at least some water to survive. While a regular rain pattern is usually vital to healthy plants, too much or too little rainfall can be harmful, and possibly even devastating to crops. Drought can kill crops and increase erosion, while overly wet weather can cause harmful fungus growth.
Plants need varying amounts of rainfall to survive. Southeast Asia depends on the summer monsoon rains; agriculture, for example, relies on the yearly rain. .A monsoon is a storm system that begins off of many coastal regions, typically hot, tropical or desert areas. The storms created by the monsoon season thrive off of hot temperatures. The hot temperatures rise off of the ground as it is heated throughout the day and begin to expand once the heat rises into the air. These hot areas of air then mix with areas of low pressure air.
As the heat continues to rise into the air throughout the day, the pressure continues to build with the low pressure. Eventually, this pressure results in a sudden rainfall. (Krishnamurti, 2007. ) Monsoons are notorious for bringing large amounts of rain in short amounts of time. This commonly causes flash flooding or mud slides. If the rains intensify from the monsoon storms, the chances of flash flooding increase. A larger amount of rain will be brought by the storms the higher the temperature’s rise. This can cause a devastating consequence for areas of the world that have experienced a severe drought prior to the monsoon storms.
Droughts will also become more common as the temperatures continue to rise. This increases the chances of flash flooding once the rains return. If severe flash floods occur, this brings about more complications. Mud slides and landslides are also likely to occur once severe flooding has occurred. This can cause crops to be damaged, houses to be destroyed, and can even cause fatalities. Other serious complications can also occur. The monsoon seasons can begin to affect areas of the world that do not typically experience the monsoon storms. This can throw off entire ecosystems, destroy crops, and cause damages to natures habitats.
Not only can this cause other areas of the world to be affected by the intense winds and rains but it can have a reverse effect on other areas of the world. Places that normally see the monsoon storms may all the sudden suffer from drought as the storms move to other areas. The droughts can cause severe sand and dust storms to begin. The tropical regions of the world can also be affected by these changes. The coastal regions can begin to experience severe hurricanes and tropical storms. This can cause severe flooding, damage, and wide spread devastation.
Southeast Asia has been naturally blessed with a rich soil and sufficient rainfall so that there is an enormous agricultural potential in these countries. However, in the recent times, global warming has resulted in a series of catastrophic climatic disasters like floods, cyclones, tsunamis and droughts, which have ravaged the region’s agricultural capacity, slain millions of edible animal food reserves and destroyed the aquatic habitats so that the food supply of people has been cut short severely. The process of global warming affects the overall climate in such a manner that all weathers tend to get extreme.
There is extreme rainfall, extreme summers and short spells of extreme colds. This has resulted in the setting of floods at one time, and droughts at others in different parts of the globe. The Southeast Asian region has also suffered the consequences of these weather extremes in the forms of droughts, badly hampering the food supply of people in this region. Thus it can be concluded that the Southeast Asian region faces a serious predicament because of the process of global warming. The increasing global warming has brought some of the most disastrous events of the world’s history in Southeast Asia.