Tropical Storm Ketsana/Ondoy was a deadly typhoon that cut through Southeast Asia in September 2009. In one night it dumped a month's worth of rain and flooded 80% of Manila, thereby clearly reminding the region of its vulnerability to climate change.
Man Made Climate Change is Now Happening
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is THE global authority on Climate Change (also called Global Warming), has predicted that tropical cyclones (typhoons) will become more intense, have stronger peak wind speeds and heavier precipitation.
Typhoon Ketsana (called Ondoy in the Philippines) dropped 410 mm of rainfall on Metro Manila in 9 hours, more than the total amount of rain recorded in 25 days in September, which was a very rainy month.
An Asian Development Bank study says due to Climate Change the Philippines will have:
During the past 15 years, the Philippines was hit by:
Some people still won't believe that Climate Change is man made, meaning that it is caused by human activities such as greenhouse gas emissions. But the facts speak loud and clear.
The IPCC, an international UN panel of experts (they received the Nobel Peace Prize for their effforts), along with most scientists worldwide have shown volumes of scientific data that strongly supports the theory that Global Warming is caused by human activities, man-made machines and factories.
Typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy showed that even a weak tropical storm (85 kilometers per hour) can adversely affect millions of people.
Climate Change Treaty Talks
192 countries are meeting in Bangkok this October to create a draft of a global warming treaty that world leaders aim to sign in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Developed and developing nations have been arguing over who should cut carbon emissions and pay for the necessary steps. Poorer nations do not want to slow their development and say the West must cut emissions first, and also paying for the cost of adapting to climate change.
Small nations most likely to suffer the effects of global warming have been overshadowed in climate talks by major greenhouse gas emitters such as the USA, Europe, China and India.
But after Typhoon Ketsana killed more than 300 people in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Southeast Asian nations had a good reason to call on richer nations to do more.
With its many islands and coastline cities, the Philippines is one of the countries MOST vulnerable to Climate Change.
"These countries (in Southeast Asia) in a way are the canary in the mine, they're the ones that will be confronted by the impacts of climate change if we fail to reach an agreement in Copenhagen," UN Climate Chief Yvo de Boer told AFP. Southeast Asia's long coastlines and high population density make it one of the world's most vulnerable areas.
Coastal cities already affected by severe storms, flooding, and changing weather patterns will be affected even more by the rising level.
The Philippines made an impassioned plea at the Bangkok talks, saying that Typhoon Ketsana showed the need for developed nations to cut emissions.
Philippine chief negotiator Secretary Heherson Alvarez said that if the storm spurred richer countries to act then "the ruin and the pain may not have been in vain."