Thailand

Climate Risk Country Profile - Thailand

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KEY MESSAGES

• Observations show temperature increases across Thailand since the mid-20th century and an increase in annual precipitation. Most of this increase occurs during the wet season.

• By the 2090s, the average temperature is projected to increase by 0.95°C–3.23°C above the 1986–2005 baseline, with the rate of warming dependent on the emissions pathway.

• Projected temperature increases are strongest in the south, and in daily maximum and minimum temperatures.

• Floods are by far the greatest natural hazard facing Thailand in terms of economic and human impacts. Thailand is cited as one of the ten most flood-affected countries in the world. Drought and cyclone impacts also represent major hazards. All may intensify in future climate scenarios.

• The number of people affected by an extreme river flood could grow by over 2 million by 2035–2044, and coastal flooding could affect a further 2.4 million people by 2070–2100.

• Projections suggest that Thailand’s agriculture sector could be significantly affected by a changing climate, due to its location in the tropics where agricultural productivity is particularly vulnerable to temperature rises.

• The combination of rising seas and sinking land, as well as potential cyclone-induced storm surge resulted from the climate change impact, place the country’s capital Bangkok in a precarious position when the net, or relative, rate of sea-level rise. Large amounts of critical public and private infrastructure are in areas which are likely to be exposed under future climate change situation.

• The aftermath of devastating floods in 2011 provides an example of how climate change can adversely affect poorer people in Thailand, with studies showing that post-flood, higher income groups received more government compensation than lower income groups.

• The human impacts of climate change in Thailand remain dependent on the approach to adaptation adopted, but there is a significant risk that the poorest and marginalized groups will experience disproportionately greater loss and damage.

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