SW Taiwan predicted to suffer most flooding due to global warming

1.2 million people in SW Taiwan could be displaced by flooding due to global warming by 2050

(Tainan City Government EPA Bureau image)

(Tainan City Government EPA Bureau image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Southwestern Taiwan, including Tainan City, in particular, is expected to be the region most heavily impacted by global warming, affecting over 1.2 million people, according to the environmental protection group Greenpeace.

On Sunday (Sept. 22), Greenpeace set up an 250-centimeter-tall ice sculpture inscribed with the Chinese characters "climate crisis" in Taipei's Ximending area, reported CNA. Greenpeace representatives at the exhibit said that if action is not taken quickly, 310 square kilometers could be submerged in Tainan by 2050.

Through the melting of the ice sculpture, Greenpeace activists hoped to raise awareness of global warming and demanded that Taiwan's 2020 presidential candidates propose sustainable solutions. They said that government leaders should actively respond to the crisis with a new energy policy.

The activists said that if Taiwan and the world do not take measures to actively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, an estimated 1,398 square kilometers of Taiwan's southwestern coastal areas could be flooded, the equivalent to 5,377 Da'an Forest Parks, according to the report. The environmental organization estimates that over 1.2 million people in Taiwan could be displaced by this flooding, with Tainan City the most heavily impacted area.

Ice sculpture display in Xinmending. (Greenpeace photo)

The Paris Climate Agreement, which was signed in 2015, set a goal of preventing global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius. Many scientific studies have predicted that once the temperature rise exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, it will have a catastrophic effect on the earth's climate.

Tang An (唐安), an energy project manager for Greenpeace East Asia, told CNA that according to Greenpeace's latest report titled "The Analysis of the Impact of Taiwan's Sea Level Rise due to Global Warming," Taiwan's average annual surface temperature has increased by 1.3 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years. She said that in recent years, there has been an alarming increase in temperature trends in Taiwan, especially daily high temperatures.

Tang said that under a worse-case scenario, Taiwan's average temperature may increase by more than three degrees by the end of the 21st century. The event in Ximending was held two days after 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg inspired millions to participate in climate change strikes in over 150 countries around the world.