Effects of Global Warming on Thailand
What effects will global warming have on Thailand?

Effects on climate change
Effects on agriculture

Effects on food


Climate Changes

O     Over the last 29 years, the average temperature has trended upwards by about one degree. What will happen next? The changes we can expect are fairly clear, though the timing is uncertain because predictions are very complex, and because much depends on what happens elsewhere in the world.

·         First, the good news. Warming is going to happen quicker near the poles than the equator, and over big land masses rather than near the sea. Isaan may get a bit hotter, but generally Thailand will warm slower than elsewhere.

Overall the world will also get drier. Here again, Thailand either escapes the worst, or at least the picture is unclear. The peninsula will get wetter. Over the rest of the country, some models predict more rain and some predict less.

·         But rainfall will become more erratic. The wet season will be wetter, and the dry season drier. There will be more flooding and flash flooding from huge downpours, and more droughts and shortages outside the monsoon season. Variability from place to place will increase, with one province swamped and its neighbour parched. Variability from year to year will also be more wayward. The dry El Nino years will be drier, and the wet La Nina years will be wetter. In short, both more floods and more droughts will make water management much tougher. (It's pretty obvious this is already happening.)

·         Warming will raise the ocean levels. The UN's (conservative) prediction is a rise of 20 to 80 centimetres in this century. In Thailand, this will not flood much land, but will cause salination along the lower reaches of all the waterways of the lower delta.


Agricultural Effects

·                 -The best warning of the impact of climate change for Thais could be on rice, the most viral grain farmed by 3.6 million families and the country's largest export.

·                  -Jasmine rice production in the northeastern region was found falling 45.5 percent between 1994 and 2005 because of increased drought and floods.

·                 -Rising sea levels caused by melting ice and warming oceans could also hit Thailand's coastal farms, as increased salt levels in the soil made it less productive.

       -Salination will affect some very valuable agricultural land. But overall, the impact on
Thailand's agriculture seems moderate by global standards. In temperate areas, crops are highly sensitive to changes in heat and moisture, so climate modellers predict big falls in output in the temperate zone. But year-to-year variation has always been a feature of monsoon-based agriculture. Crops have learnt to be reasonably tolerant, and the impact should be less.


Effects on quality of food

        Dr. Thirawat Hemachudha, a neurologist at Chulalongkorn University Hospital, said the Public Health Ministry should issue regulations to prevent restaurants from serving semi-cooked dishes like spicy raw meat salad.

·Rising temperatures could affect the life cycle of E coli and V cholerae bacteria, particularly in half-cooked dishes. These parasites can cause severe diarrhea, Thirawat said.

·         “If the temperature increases by 0.5-1.5 degrees Celsius it can affect the nature of the parasite. It can reproduce more easily and thus come into contact with humans more frequently,” he said.