AT A GLANCE
Region Central Asia
Risks Extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change
Area of Engagement Strengthening hydromet services and early warning systems
The Central Asia Hydrometeorology Modernization Project is helping countries in the region adapt to disaster and climate risk by bolstering their weather forecasting and early warning efforts.
A GEOGRAPHY OF RISK AMPLIFIED BY CLIMATE CHANGE
A geographically diverse region consisting of steppes, mountain ranges, rivers, and deserts, Central Asia faces a range of natural hazards. In Tajikistan, as much as 36 percent of the country’s territory is under threat from landslides. In the Kyrgyz Republic, avalanches, which numbered over 330 between 1990 and 2009, pose a serious risk to communities. Such natural hazards, which also include floods and mudslides, are often exacerbated by conditions of pervasive poverty and weak infrastructure.
Across Central Asia, the impacts of climate change, such as rising temperatures and changes in weather patterns, are expected to intensify disaster risk in the coming decades. The rising temperatures alone could lead to the disappearance of more than one third of the glaciers from the region’s mountains by 2050, putting nearby communities at greater risk from flooding, landslides, and other natural disasters. Uncharacteristically high temperatures could also lead to a drop in agricultural yields of as much as 30 percent in some parts of the region, underscoring the threat that climate change poses to hard-won development gains.