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Laos Increasingly Witnesses Extreme Weather

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos has witnessed increasingly extreme weather events due to climate change causing unusualy situations.

In recent years, environmental experts pointed out Laos has faced drought and flooding, hotter and cooler weather in different areas of the country which could have an effect on agriculture production and risk the health of hundreds of people.

The country has witnessed climate change this year, for example, the coldest areas in the north such as the district border in Xieng khuang province close to Vietnam, there appeared to be a historical falling of snow.

This week, a rain storm hit the winter season with appearance of fog in Vientiane yesterday morning which has’nt happened for years.

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Director of the Department of Disaster Management and Climate Change Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Syamphone Sengchandala gave his opinion on February 10 that extreme weather is being frequently experienced in the country such as the mist in Vientiane which is potentially relating to climate change due to economic growth and the release of greenhouse gasses from vehicles and other industries.

According to scientists, fog often forms when warmer air over water suddenly encounters the cooler surface of land.

All events of extreme weather have environmental experts figuring it might relate to climate change from rising levels of carbon dioxide being released in Laos and bordering countries.

However, Mr Syamphone added that the Lao government has set up a climate action strategy plan by 2050 which is in efforts to integrate disaster risk measures, sustainable natural resources management and human welfare into national development strategies.

Experts’ research has shown that many food crops become less nutritious when grown under the high CO2 levels expected by 2050, with reductions of protein, iron and zinc estimated between 3 to 17 percent.

Environmental experts predict that climate change is expected to bring increasingly severe drought and flood conditions to Laos, with crop yields possibly falling 10 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by the year 2050.

This could further affect food security improvement measures which the government is continuing to work on with its agencies and non-governmental organisations.