Host (m): We are extremely fortunate today to have so many experts who will thoroughly explain to us the main causes and effects of climate change and make concrete suggestions of actions that can be taken.
S(f): Yes，action now is very important. Our esteemed experts have put lots of effort to study climate change and are appealing to the people of the world to recognize the very real threat of global warming. First，we would like to introduce Dr. Liu Shaw-Chen.
B(m): Yes，Dr. Liu is currently the Director of the Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica. He is also the Co-chairman of the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Change, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. He used to be the Director of the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics， National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Join us in welcoming Dr. Liu Shaw-Chen.
LSC(m): Thank you. Supreme Master Ching Hai, President Shaw Jie-Fu, honorable VIPs, ladies and gentleman, good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me to share with you this afternoon about one important subject, that is global change and the August ８th flooding, by Typhoon Morakot. Global change or global warming is going to give us the kind of environment to make the August ８th disaster more often and worse. I think that message is extremely important. Global temperature increase is, over last century, about ０.６ degrees centigrade.
And also the global ocean surface rise is above １５ centimeters. And the third is the snow cover has been decreasing. The increase of the global temperature and also the sea surface rise is relatively small over the last century. And most people, I think, would have the perception that the increase is gradual and long term. But what they forgot to think is, together with global warming, we actually also have very urgent change - that's the change to our extreme weather events.
Significant increase in very heavy precipitation, and also decrease in very light rain, has been occurring all over the world. We'll show you some examples. Even over the oceans, the same thing has been happening. And with the increase of very heavy precipitation comes the increased risk of flooding and also mudslides, just like the August ８th flooding in southern Formosa (Taiwan). And also with the decrease of light rain… we all know that light rain is very beneficial to the soil because it's a very critical source of soil moisture.
And by losing light precipitation, we are increasing the risk of drought. Despite the disaster of flooding only two months ago, the drought situation in Formosa (Taiwan) in the last few years have been very severe and very frequent and that has to do with the decrease of light rain in Formosa (Taiwan). This figure shows the change of precipitation intensity in Formosa (Taiwan). Showing to the right, these are very heavy precipitation. Here are very light precipitation, and different color means the average of every １０ years, except the blue one is the last five years,２００１-２００５.
And years １９６１-１９７０ is on top. You see light precipitation has been decreasing and heavy rains are increasing. This is the whole United States. You can see the same thing - the heavy precipitation increasing. The light one, the United States is different from Formosa (Taiwan). The light one actually didn't show much change - that's mostly because in the US in the last ５０ years or so the entire precipitation has been increasing, while in Formosa (Taiwan), the total precipitation has been rather constant. This one is for China, of course you see, this shows the linear trend of number of days of very light rain,０.１ millimeter per day - that's Chinese drizzle, what Chinese call 『Maomaoyu.』
And blue means decrease, and you can see, over most of China has been decreasing. There are some exceptions. And over Formosa (Taiwan), we had the same thing - our light drizzle, our『Maomaoyu』 decreased in the last ４０，４５ to ５０ years. Our Maomaoyu ５０ years ago was ７０ days per year, and now we got only ３５ days - a factor of ２ decrease in drizzle, in Maomaoyu. That's a big loss of precipitation, particularly for places like Taichung and further south. In the spring we need the light drizzle to give us the precipitation for the spring planting.
Researchers in Academia Sinica in the last two years have been finding some very alarming changes in heavy precipitation. Essentially, in the last ５０ years we found that the top ten percent of very heavy precipitation increased by almost a factor of two. So that's a large increase in ５０ years. And corresponding to that, the light precipitation decreased by a factor of two, by ５０％ also, and that's a very large change for Formosa (Taiwan). There are only four typhoons, on average, each year landed on Formosa (Taiwan).
And Formosa (Taiwan) has about ４０％ of precipitation from typhoons. That means most of the heavy precipitation is coming from typhoons in Formosa (Taiwan). In other words, the very heavy typhoon precipitation in the last ５０ years has increased by a factor of two. And you can imagine, that really increases the flooding and the mudslides. We are predicting there'll be more strong precipitation associated with typhoons to Formosa (Taiwan) in future years.
In fact, we are predicting the next increase by another fold instead of by a factor of ２ - the next one will be by a factor of ３. And the increase by another fold will take, not ５０ years, only about ２０-２５ years. Because the increase in global temperature is going to speed up in the next century, essentially almost doubling, in fact, near the end, tripling the rate of global temperature increase.
Actually, we try to quantify the change in the precipitation intensity with the global temperature. We divide the intensity into １０ equal parts. So this is the top １０％ precipitation - very strong precipitation, typhoons - and this is the light drizzle, the Maomaoyu. And you can see the strong heavy precipitation, for each degree increase in global temperature, would increase by a factor of １.４，or １４０％， and the light one would decrease by ７０％. Now，this is the IPCC's prediction of temperature increase in this century, the ２１st century，and the often mentioned C１ case is the case that the temperature would increase by a factor of ２ by the end of the ２１st century.
And thus, when we try very hard to decrease the greenhouse gas emission, we increase temperature only by ２ degrees. If we don't try to limit the greenhouse gas emission, we would get the A２ case - that's the pink one, or this one. And A２ case, the temperature increase is very close to ４ degrees. With B２ case, because it's increased by ２ degrees and each degree is １４０％ - ２ degrees means a ２８０％ increase in heavy precipitation - and A２ case is ４ degrees - ４ times １４０ is ５６０％ increase in precipitation, heavy precipitation, and that's really alarming.
I can't believe living in that kind of environment. And that means that typhoons in Formosa (Taiwan) would bring ３-５ times more heavy precipitation, and imagine, that would mean at least ３-５ times more floods and more mudslides. And here, I want to mention that we should not forget the decrease of light precipitation, because it's in a different season in Formosa (Taiwan). In winter and spring, the decrease of light precipitation will continue to increase the risk and the frequency of drought in Formosa (Taiwan).
This shows, for southern China, it's the similar thing - the heavy one is not as much, it's ６３％ for each degree, and that's about half of Formosa (Taiwan). The pink one， you see, the global average, the heavy precipitation would increase by １１０％ - a little bit less than Formosa (Taiwan) but very large. And these increases are going to be larger in the tropical region and that means, where there's a lot of precipitation already, it's going to increase more. And also in places like India, in the summer monsoon they have very heavy precipitation - those are going to get more and more frequent.
So，the places with a lot of flooding，it's going to have an increase, but where there's very little precipitation, actually，the drought is going to get worse. What we are saying is that, globally, we are seeing the same thing - very alarming change in heavy precipitation and light precipitation. And the only way to stop these kinds of disastrous changes is to stop increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Thank you for your attention.
S(f): Thank you，Dr. Liu， for your insightful speech.
B(m): Thank you very much ，sir. We need more scientists like you to awaken people and make people understand the seriousness of climate change. Let's give him another round of applause please.
The next guest speaker is also an expert on climate change and another highly esteemed individual - he is Dr. Liu Chung-Ming. Dr. Liu is the Professor of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and the Director of the Global Change Research Center of National Taiwan University. Let's now warmly greet and welcome Dr. Liu Chung-Ming.
LCM(m): Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm really honored to be here. In the past １０-１５ years, I've been attending many different kinds of seminars, conferences, lectures, and so on. But today, there's more than a thousand audience members and I understand through broadcasting, it's probably like a １００ million. I'm really honored to have this opportunity to talk about what I have been doing in the past few years.
Climate change is ongoing, the global temperature keeps warming. It's actually like Typhoon Morakot, people in Formosa (Taiwan) think it's very serious, then probably next year or the year after, we will have another typhoon, probably breaking this year's record. So what we need is, we need to adapt to the climate change. We have to live with it, we have to dance with it, we have to stay alive with the coming disasters.
And to pave the way to do it, it's not just personal, everyone, what we can do about it. We actually need the government, we need people working together, so we need the law. We need to establish this National Climate Security Act. What I want to talk about is adaptation - to decrease climate vulnerability and to increase adaptation capacity. This is the general temperature increasing trend in Formosa (Taiwan) and this is the global trend. So this is just saying that we are in the same warming trend as the world. This shows that the central part is climate change.
This means that the ongoing climate change is composed of a lot of events like temperature increase, heavy rainfall, and sea level rise - everything. So we will have more hazards, disasters, and will affect all primary industries, like agriculture and so on, and certainly will affect our ecosystem and human health. And we need all people concerned to be involved. We just saw the video showing that our President Ma has mentioned about we will establish the national protection law. This is all included.
So, under the United Nations climate change framework, we usually talk about this mitigation, so we have the Kyoto Protocol which talks about reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, including the theme of today which actually is how to reduce the emissions. But the other thing is adaptation, which means we have to live with the climate change. So we have to do the impact assessment, we have to have a certain strategy for the coming １００ years. We need to know how to live with it.
So, under the UNFCCC, they actually have this Nairobi work program for these developed countries and certainly for the least developed countries; they all need to work on this subject. First of all, you need scientists to work together to project the future climate change and to assess sea level rise; so Formosa (Taiwan) will probably lose how much land. So we'll probably have to just protect ourselves and we'll probably have to live inward.
And also, about these heavy rains, if we can estimate how much frequency this heavy rain will increase and how much amount of water will come in, then we'll probably have to figure out, like, for the mountain area, could we have more people living there？ I mean, all these landslides, more serious events will come out, so what we should do with that？ So that's actually a very difficult task.
And this is under the UN development program, they also have a strategy to do this, a similar concept. And definitely for this coming disaster, we always have loss, so to talk about adaptation is just to minimize the loss. So, in simple words, this year we have record-breaking rainfall, we also have record-breaking loss. But later, for the coming years, we'll probably have another record-breaking rainfall and typhoon and so on.
But we don't want to have another record-breaking loss. How much we can benefit from doing this adaptation task？ And this is talking about worldwide, besides UN， each country, what do they do？ Are they working on this subject, like the EU, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom？ The UK actually passed the climate bill to tackle this issue. And for developing countries like China, like India, they have set up the initial program to work on this and certainly for these least developed countries or small island developing states, they are working on these subjects under UN guidance.
And currently in Formosa (Taiwan), last year, I have been working on this project, so we did certain surveys. And it seems that most people in Formosa (Taiwan), they understand the current status of climate change. They know the threat to these small islands, and the issue is how can we tackle this？ For instance, if another Typhoon Morakot comes, do we construct more, like, a high wall so we can protect ourselves within it？ I mean, the engineering approach probably will not work, so we need something else.
We need a non-engineering approach. However, talking about adaptation, people will say that once you adapt to the climate change, it probably means that we will not be facing another serious typhoon. Actually, no. We will still have serious typhoons, because of the temperature warming. We have higher temperature seawater and it will help to intensify the intensity of these typhoons and also widen the typhoon's influence area. The natural disasters still cannot be avoided, but we can hope to reduce the damage.
That's the general expectation, we hope. Under this general idea, last year we proposed a framework on the national climate change impacts assessment adaptation strategy. We need legislation adaption, industry and land use adaption. So, our president mentioned about national land production law, it's actually one of them; it's just a part of this general framework. This is for the coastal, that's the low lying area, like this year in Pintung, this land-subsidence area. The total population, I think it's close to ５０，０００ people，so we cannot just move them. We cannot just say,『You are not suitable to live in these subsidence areas with the sea level rise and land subsidence.』
This area is definitely the most vulnerable area in Formosa (Taiwan), but we cannot just move them. We have to have a plan. We have to have a strategy to work on this issue and it probably takes ３０ years to thoroughly move them. That is a long term and a difficult task. So we need legislation to pave the foundation for all the tasks. One simple act I propose is this Climate Security Act. Under this, the greenhouse gas emission is right here. With this greenhouse gas emission, we have a lot of interaction going on.
So, actually, there is a lot money going through this greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, carbon tax or maybe these carbon trade activities, like emissions trade and so on. It will probably get to the general reduction of greenhouse emissions from this country. From all this money flow, we can take out some of it and put into these three funds. One is called Climate Security Fund, which is for each disaster. Like this year, our government has to put out a lot of money just for rebuilding the areas. And the other is for Minority Fund - for those most disadvantaged minority welfare.
Another is for Adaptation Fund. So my general conclusion, based on the evidence of climate change impacts, proper adaptation strategies are needed to sustain the future development of human existence. A proposal for national climate change adaptation framework is addressed to facilitate adaptation capacity building in Formosa (Taiwan). The Climate Security Act is waiting for positive response from legislation. Thank you.
B(m): Thank you， Dr. Liu Chung-Ming， for your excellent speech. Thank you，sir.
S(f): Ladies and gentlemen， we will be discussing other important issues later. But before that， let's watch a beautiful aboriginal dance performance to remind us about the nature with harmony.
B(m): Yes，here in Formosa (Taiwan)， there are over one dozen different aboriginal tribes and this performance is a very beautiful one. It's by the Ming Tai Aboriginal Dance Club， composed of high school boys and girls， who practiced very long and very hard to present a very special dance number.
S(f): Have you ever seen this before？
B(m): No，no， but in the Philippines we also have many aboriginal tribes and they are very similar to the ones you have in Formosa (Taiwan). So this is something the people of the Philippines and Formosan (Taiwanese) share， the aboriginal links， and today's dance is actually three special dances that are now merged into one called 『The Mountain Forest Shaking Dance.』 So，let's all extend a hand of friendship to our aboriginal brothers and sisters by giving them a warm round of applause.
B(m): Fantastic！ S(f): What a wonderful and beautiful dance！
B(m): Yes，what a wonderful performance！ I almost wanted to join them. Now, this is a beautiful example of the beauty of ancient traditions and the need for all of us to preserve these for generations to come. Now，many thanks to the Ming Tai Aboriginal Dance Club, whose members are actually members of Formosa's (Taiwan) indigenous tribes as well.
S(f): Yes. Do you know Eagle is the holy bird of aboriginals？
B(m): No，no. I saw some of them dancing kind of like an eagle dance.
S(f): Yes. Every boy has been taught to learn the spirituality of the male eagle.
B(m): How interesting，how interesting. And it is one of the three themes of the dance， the first one was『Harvest，』 the second『Youth，』 and the third 『Power of Nature.』
Dr. Liu, Shaw-Chen Director of Research Center For Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica(m): We should spare no effort in promoting the vegetarian diet. I hope today's conference can awaken people's awareness and help them become vegetarians. If you are not a vegetarian yet, then today is a good day to start. If you are a vegetarian already, you should try harder to promote it. Global warming is a very dangerous issue and its impact is enormous. The only way to mitigate global warming is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Ms. Tan Ai-Chen vegetarian, animal-lover, renowned actress，Host of『Modern Vegetarian Cooking Show』Q(f): I think regardless of nationality, religion, affiliation, and political party, we should work together to save the Earth by being vegetarian, which is not only good for our health, but also good for the environment.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: So that we can have time to, catch up with technology and have time to let our Mother Earth rest，to restore her health and then to replenish the abundance of whatever we need in this world. how I really want to embrace the leaders and the non-leaders people of this world.
『Wake up，wake up now. Wake up，my love; wake up my friend， save yourself. Wake up and save yourself and save all of us.』 How I really love to give them all the knowledge that I have，because that is the best present that anyone could give to anyone.