ADPC and ASMC in association with Mekong River Commission (MRC) and Vietnam Academy for Water Resources (VAWR) conducted a webinar to take first steps towards integrating Seasonal-to-Sub-seasonal (S2S) Prediction and its application in flood and drought management at regional and national level in Southeast Asia.
Climate change is a major threat to Southeast Asia. The climate-related hazards are expected to increase in frequency or intensity with climate change in the future. However, the impacts will not be felt evenly as some communities are more exposed than others, or will experience changes sooner or to a greater extent. Impacts are not limited by national boundaries. Upstream impacts can have implications downstream, and vice versa, and adaptation options implemented by one country may pose direct or significant cross-border implications for other countries. Southeast Asian countries are regarded as one of the most exposed regions to climate change in the world. Rising temperatures and changes in the intensity of rainfall, river flows, floods, and droughts are destroying or affecting homes, infrastructure, crops and fisheries. As a result, vulnerable communities are faced with food shortages and diminished livelihoods. Additionally, projected rises in sea levels are set to increase salinity and floods in the deltaic areas, damaging crops in the most productive areas of the basins. As a component to climate change adaptation, the development of sub-seasonal and seasonal predictions can help countries and populations prepare for these extreme events and mitigate some of the damages and losses.
Weather and climate related extreme events remain the key driving force for natural disasters and pose significant challenges for sustainable development in Southeast Asia. Weather and climate services provide essential information such as for crop planning (plantation to harvesting), for selecting travel routes over land, sea and air, for building roads and critical infrastructure, as well as for preparing against impending natural hazards. To serve these needs, weather and climate information is classified around multiple timescales such as: (a) weather (up to 7 – 15 days), (b) sub-seasonal (typically two weeks to two months), (c) seasonal (typically one to six months), and (d) climate change (typically 30 years or longer). The shorter timescales are focused on response actions while the longer timescales for preparedness planning. Weather, climate variability and climate change are interrelated, with global and regional aspects manifesting into local impacts. In the past decades, scientists and forecasts have made significant progress, with the emergence of sub-seasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) forecasts (covering the timescale of two weeks to 45 days). These will in the future help various sectors, communities and institutions to improve their decision-making in responding to natural hazards arising from weather and climate extremes.
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) collaborated with ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), Regional Flood and Drought Management Center (RFDMC) of Mekong River Commission (MRC), and Vietnam Academy for Water Resources (VAWR). The webinar was held under Urban Resilience to Climate Extreme in Southeast Asia (URCE) and supported by Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). This webinar brings producers, co-producers and users of seasonal and sub-seasonal prediction together to improve understanding on the predictability at sub-seasonal (up to 45 days) and seasonal timescales (up to 6 months); and to introduce sub-seasonal and seasonal prediction products, with special emphasis on those relevant to high-impact weather events in Southeast Asia. This webinar was important because the applications of seasonal and sub-seasonal prediction were discussed at regional level (with MRC) and national level (with VAWR). During this webinar, recent developments in S2S prediction and seasonal prediction were showcased along with various sources of information as well as examples of applications in Southeast Asia.
Dr. Senaka Basnayake, Director for the Climate Resilience Department at ADPC moderated the webinar. His vast experience on severe weather events, numerical models, observe and analyze meteorological and climatological data for understanding climate change, variability, and extreme weather events was very useful during moderation and facilitating the Q&A session.
Dr. Senaka Basnayake, Director, Climate Resilience Department at ADPC moderated the Webinar and Q&A Session.
Dr. Thea Turkington, Senior Research Scientist at ASMC presented on “Introduction to S2S Predictions and Predictability”
The panelists in the webinar:
Mr. Ryan Kang, Executive Meteorologist at ASMC showcased “ASMC S2S Products”,
Dr. Sothea Khem, Flood Forecasting Specialist at the RFDMC/MRCS presented about “Flood and Drought Forecasting and Warning Systems of the Mekong River Commission,
Dr. Phong Nguyen, Deputy Director-General of Viet Nam Academy for Water Resources (VAWR) presented about “Mainstreaming of Seasonal Forecast into Integrated Drought Management for South Central Region of Viet Nam”,
Dr. Aurel Moise, Deputy Director (Climate Research) at ASMC summarized the importance of Seasonal and Sub-seasonal Prediction in Southeast Asia basing on the key facts highlighted by the above-mentioned speakers.
Lalit Kumar Dashora, the Senior Multi-Hazard Early Warning System Specialist at Asian Disaster Preparedness Center guided discussions and exchange of ideas between the panelists and the audience.
The webinar was attended by more than 100 participants including Technical Staff of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS), Technical Staff of National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMO), Researchers and Academic Staff from Academic Institutions and Individuals who have interests in the subject.