Many Vietnamese regions at risk of deep sinking due to rapid sea level rise

21:38 21/01/2022

In the event that sea levels rise by 1 metre, it will engulf 47.29% of the Mekong Delta area, approximately 17.15% of the area of Ho Chi Minh City, and 13.20% of the Red River Delta area, according to the 2020 climate change scenario.

Average temperature and rainfall show upward trend

According to the 2020 version of the climate change scenario, which has recently been announced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, there are many important factors for relevant agencies and localities to study. Indeed, they must refer these as part of the process of updating planning strategies and development plans moving forward.

In terms of temperature, the average annual temperature will increase nationwide in periods throughout the 21st century, with the end of the century seeing temperature increases at even higher levels. The northern region will consistently record the highest increase, gradually descending to the south, while the lowest will be recorded in southcentral and southern regions.

In terms of annual rainfall and the rainy season, both tend to increase over the majority of the nation. Rainfall in the dry season will show a trend of increasing, with a common increase of 8% to 20% in the middle of the century and a rise of 10% to 25% at the end of the century, in which, the highest increase will be in the northeast coast and the lowest increase in the Central Highlands and northcentral coast.

The 2020 scenario outlines that some extreme weather events such as the number of days of extreme cold and harmful cold could decrease in the North in periods throughout the 21st century. The number of cold days is therefore forecast to see a fall from five to 20 days.

By the end of the 21st century, the number of drought months will increase in the majority of the northcentral region, the Central Highlands, parts of the north, and in southcentral plains. The trend will see a fall in most of the north and central regions.

More than 47% of the Mekong Delta at risk of flooding

Under the 2020 scenario, it is forecast that in the event that the sea level rises by 100 cm, the area at risk of flooding will be in areas such as 13.20% of the Red River Delta, 1.53% of the land area of the central coastal provinces from Thanh Hoa to Binh Thuan, roughly 17.15% of Ho Chi Minh City's area, and 47.29% of the area around the Mekong Delta.

The 2020 scenario also shows that, by 2050, the average sea level rise for the entire East Sea region will be 24 cm or 28 cm, rising to between 56 cm and 77 cm by 2100.

The average sea level rise along the Vietnamese coast is likely to be higher than the global average. Sea level rises in the coastal areas of the southern provinces will be higher than that in the north. The area between the East Sea, including the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes will face a higher sea level rise than other areas.

Moreover, the 2020 scenario has added 10 global models and six regional models to outline in detail climate change and sea level rise scenarios, with the risk of flooding due to sea level rise.