Climate Risk Country Profile - Papua New Guinea

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• Projections suggest warming in Papua New Guinea (PNG) could be similar to, or very slightly below, the global average. Warming of around 3.6°C is projected by the 2090s, compared to the 1986–2005 baseline under the highest emissions pathway (RCP8.5).

• Minimum and maximum temperatures are expected to rise considerably faster than average temperatures, potentially amplifying risks to human health and ecosystems.

• Understanding of climate-related risks in PNG is hindered both by the lack of study of localized historical and future climate changes, and by the limited data on many aspects of social vulnerability.

• Available evidence suggests that without significant global mitigation and local adaptation action PNG’s communities face very significant increases in disaster risk as a result of climate change. These risks are likely to disproportionately burden the poorest communities.

• Hazards such as flash flooding, landslide, and coastal flooding are all likely to intensify. The population affected by river flooding, and its economic damages, are both projected to double by 2030.

• Exposure to hazards is significant and likely to increase, with many rural communities living in flood and landslide risk areas, and coastal communities and infrastructure exposed to sea-level rise with potential amplification of future storm surges.

• Extreme heat is very likely to present a human health risk in PNG as temperatures will move closer to unsafe levels under even lower emissions pathways. Health risks associated with potential new exposure to diseases are poorly understood.

• The degradation of natural resources is likely, as well as shifts in the viable ranges for plant and animal species, potentially reducing agricultural yields, and accelerating the decline of PNG’s unique ecosystems.