The Importance of Climate Data to Mitigate Climate Change Risks

The Importance of Climate Data to Mitigate Climate Change Risks

Climate Data plays a critical role in the prevailing climate change. With global temperatures on the rise, climate change poses a profound challenge for economies and communities. It is extremely urgent to shift to a more sustainable, resilient society and economy before climate crisis causes irreversible damage to every life on Earth. Leveraging Climate Data to manage the risks of this global threat and develop sustainable solutions should be at the core of all businesses.

The recently held two-week-long United Nations Climate Convention (UNFCCC) showed that governments across the world are committed to doing their best in keeping global warming below 1.5°C, or at least well below 2°C by the end of the century. Based on the recent data by Moody’s, we’re getting really close to the 1.5°C threshold. In fact, we’re currently at an average of 1.1°C. Human-induced warming reached approximately 1°C above pre-industrial levels in 2017.

The 1.5°C limit seems like a small number; however, we’re dangerously close to passing the threshold that scientists have warned will bring dire consequences. Scientists say that limit is critical to avoid worsening impacts of the climate crisis and to steer away from catastrophic climate change. Extreme weather events linked to climate change—heat waves, floods, and forest fires—are intensifying, and the past decade was the warmest on record. The Philippines is a good example of a country where weather disasters are definitely increasing.

Climate Data integrates climate models and forecast information on how the future will look like and how the climate will evolve depending on the path of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions: Climate Models & Weather Data (how the impact and the concentration of GHG will affect temperature, precipitation, and the increase in terms of intensity and frequency of extreme weather events), Environmental Risk Data (information on the topography of a given location and how vulnerable it is, in terms of coastal flood for example, because of sea level rise), and Corporate & Financial Data / Global Trade & Economic Data (relates to financial, social, economic data across the world).

With the help of Climate Data, we can learn how climate change will impact the frequency and intensity of the risk of indicators such as heat stress, hurricane and typhoon, sea level rise, floods, water stress, and wildfires.

In the Philippines, water-related indicators are the most relevant: floods, water stress, and sea level rise. Flood Score measures the susceptibility to historical floods and the frequency or intensity of heavy rainfalls. According to Moody’s data, 41% of the global population will be exposed to damaging floods by 2040. Water Stress Score looks at the increase or decrease in terms of water supply (i.e., how much more water will be available in a given area, with projection on the population and demography). By 2040, over 1/3 of today’s agricultural area will be subject to high water stress risk. Sea Level Rise measures both how we’ll see an incremental change in terms of sea level, and how that might translate into an increase in the frequency of coastal flooding. By 2040, 80-100% of the population of small island nations will be exposed to sea level rise.

Most studies in the world show that the Philippines is among the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts. Looking at the water stress and drought risk forecast, by 2040, 73 of the 118 subnational entities in the Philippines will likely have a high or red flag exposure to water stress. This represents more than 60% of the Philippine population that is subject to high water stress.

The impacts of climate change are multifaceted, and they’re almost already set. The climate crisis can have impacts on human health, water scarcity, and on major industries and economic activities. In particular is agriculture, and therefore will affect water supply, production in the agricultural area, and ultimately food security.

Data also shows that flooding is one of the major risks in the Philippines. It is estimated that 79% of the country’s GDP will be exposed to emerging floods by 2040. In addition, Manila lies among the most exposed cities in the world according to Moody’s database. Of course, this has disastrous impacts on both the economy and society, especially in terms of assets and productions, and a huge potential impact even on tourism.

Data looks pretty scary, but it’s not yet over. We must always bear in mind the future we want to live in and the future we want for the next generations to guide us in our decision-making process. We need to better understand what’s happening, and therefore we really need to look at the numbers—to utilize Climate Data. Thanks to climate science we can understand what will happen in the next years. Let’s use this information in ensuring that we build resilience and sustainability.

Here, at Solenergy, as one of the main players in the Philippine solar energy industry, we’re passionate about providing clean energy resources and green technologies. Let’s be partners in sustaining a brighter and greener future! Get in touch with Solenergy today!

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