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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2

Posted on 13 January 2018 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

Climate change is triggering a migrant crisis in Vietnam 

Rice Harvesting in Viet Nam

Harvesting rice. Phuong D. Nguyen /

The Vietnamese Mekong Delta is one of Earth’s most agriculturally productive regions and is of global importance for its exports of rice, shrimp, and fruit. The 18m inhabitants of this low-lying river delta are also some of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change. Over the last ten years around 1.7m people have migrated out of its vast expanse of fields, rivers and canals while only 700,000 have arrived.

On a global level migration to urban areas remains as high as ever: one person in every 200moves from rural areas to the city every year. Against this backdrop it is difficult to attribute migration to individual causes, not least because it can be challenging to find people who have left a region in order to ask why they went and because every local context is unique. But the high net rate of migration away from Mekong Delta provinces is more than double the national average, and even higher in its most climate-vulnerable areas. This implies that there is something else – probably climate-related – going on here.

Climate change is triggering a migrant crisis in Vietnam by Alex Chapman & Van Pham Dang Tri, The Conversation UK, Jan 9, 2018 

Links posted on Facebook

Sun Jan 7, 2018

Mon Jan 8, 2018

Tue Jan 9, 2018

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Sat Jan 13, 2018

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Comments 1 to 3:

  1. From research by the university of Ryukyus in Vietnam, rates of sea level rise in Vietnam over 1991 - 2003 are 3.1mm.

    According to research published in Nature Journal, predicted sea level rise by 2050 is 300mm, and will cause further salinity intrusion.

    According to research in Environmental Letters Journal, the Mekong Delta area is also subsiding, due to excessive extraction of groundwater. This presumably compounds the flooding, sea level rise, and salinity problems.

    So imo with so many factors involved and pressure on the land, the migrant crisis is likely to get much worse.

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  2. nigelj,

    There is an additional concern related to the over-extraction of aquifer water in the delta that does not appear to be mentioned in the research in Environmental Letters Journal you linked because it does not affect the subsidence issue that was being investigated.

    Rapid aquifer drawdown near ocean/sea interfaces will result in salt water encroaching into the inland extraction locations. This occurred on Oahu, Hawaii when prolonged over-extraction resulted in salt water being drawn up from extraction wells. The over-extraction was not appreciated before the salt water arrived because the water head at the extraction point was not dropping.

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  3. Climate change may have added to the problem of oceanic dead zones but the primary cause is the export of Nitrogen from our farm lands via our rivers into the oceans.  Witness how the major dead zones are at the mouth of rivers.  The wide adoption of the so called Conservation Agriculture would hugely mitigate nitrogen pollution while keeping this valuable and expensive nutrient on the land where it would be a fertilizer instead of a pollutant.  The best explanation of Conservation Agriculture I have seen is the book by Prof Mongomery, Growing a Revolution

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