Climate Risk Country Profile - Kazakhstan

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• Temperatures in Kazakhstan are projected to rise at a faster rate than the global average and faster than most other Asian nations, with potential warming of 5.3°C by the 2090s, compared with the 1986–2005 baseline under the highest emissions pathway (RCP8.5).

• Warming is projected to be even stronger for maximum and minimum temperatures and the extreme temperatures which will result are likely to threaten human lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems.

• Projected temperature rise in the 2090s under RCP8.5 is 3.7°C greater than the rise projected under the lowest emissions pathway (RCP2.6), indicating the large difference in outcome for Kazakhstan that could be achieved by controlling global emissions.

• Severe droughts are expected to occur more frequently under all but the lowest emissions pathway. Increased drought risk is likely to contribute to land degradation, desertification, and associated issues such as dust storms.

• Temperature rises will accelerate the melting of Kazakhstan’s glaciers, which is projected to lead to an increase in river flow and flood risk through the middle of the 21st century, followed by a longer-term decline in river flow.

• Mudflows are forecast to increase in frequency by a factor of 10 and pose a threat to 156 towns and cities in Kazakhstan, among them the country’s largest city, Almaty.

• More frequent droughts and reduced water security could damage agricultural productivity of crop and livestock farming. In the absence of adaptation, spring wheat yields in Kazakhstan are projected to decline by as much as 50% by the 2050s due to higher temperatures and reduced soil moisture.

• Grain yield losses due to climate change in Kazakhstan are expected to have serious implications for global food security as the nation represents one of the world’s largest exporters.

• In combination, the above changes represent a major threat to the lives and livelihoods of the poorest and most marginalized communities in Kazakhstan. Unless adaptation and disaster risk reduction support is provided, inequalities are likely to grow and poverty to prevail.

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