Changes in the autumn precipitation and tropical cyclone activityover Central Vietnam and its East Sea

Wang, S.-Y. Simon; Promchote, Parichart; Truong, Luu Hong; Buckley, Brendan M.; Li, Rong; Gillies, Robert; Trung, Nguyen Tran Quoc; Guan, Biin; Minh, Ton That

One of the largest concerns about climate change in Vietnam is an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events as well as the rising sea level [Neil Adger, 1999; Koetse and Rietveld, 2009], both of which may lead to loss of life and property. The recent devastation in the Philippines by the Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 demonstrated the type of extreme events that Vietnam might encounter in its coastal regions: i.e. widespread flooding, extremely high winds, and storm surges – these being compounded by the rising sea level. This situation poses a significant threat to the lives, properties, and ecosystems in Central Vietnam during its peak typhoon season from October to November. Recent research [Murakami et al., 2011; Chen, J et al., 2012; Yang et al., 2012] has found that late-summer typhoons initiated between Vietnam and the Philippines have become increasingly frequent since 1995, and the amount of rain associated with typhoons may also increase due to increasing sea surface temperature (SST) supplying more moisture and heat into the air. Since over two thirds of the October-November typhoons that affect Vietnam develop west of the Philippines [Chen, J et al., 2012], their increased frequency and intensity is of grave concern. Various international organizations have identified Central Vietnam as one of the most vulnerable places facing significant socioeconomic impacts of climate change [McElwee, 2012]. According to the WWF-Indochina Programme [WorldBank, 2001], Central Vietnam belongs to the globally significant landscapes where a great majority of endemic species is potentially at severe risk in the short term, and at high risk in the long term. However, most climate change-related studies for Vietnam have been limited to social science and human perception, while the physical mechanisms and their impacts have received little attention [Buckley et al., 2014]. With this paper we provide a climate diagnostic analysis of central Vietnam’s precipitation regime change and tropical cyclone characteristics, followed by discussion of potential consequences and best practices that may help this vulnerable region adapt to potentially damaging changes in the regional climate.

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Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences

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