What is the impact of climate change in rural areas due to high temperatures, torrential rain and water shortage?

Published: 2024-07-23 Author: mysheen
Last Updated: 2024/07/23, What is the impact of climate change in rural areas due to high temperatures, torrential rain and water shortage?


(by Phil Newell) / Ke Yazhi (project researcher, Rural Development Foundation, a consortium)

According to the results of the 2017 Taiwan Climate change Science report, the number of summer days in Taiwan has increased by about 30 days over the past 50 years, and the difference between dry and wet seasons is becoming more and more obvious. If the trend of climate change is allowed to continue to worsen, extreme high temperatures may occur on 1/3 days each year, and the rainfall intensity caused by typhoons will increase by 20%. In other words, the 823 flooded rain in central and southern Taiwan in 2018 and the high temperature approaching 40 degrees across Taiwan in the summer of 2020 are no longer "abnormal" but may become the "daily" of our lives.

The phenomenon that fruit trees do not blossom, fish and shrimp die suddenly, there is no water available, and furniture is lost, these phenomena are actually not far away from us, perhaps reflected in the price of the ingredients on the table, or rumored to be in the mouth of your hometown relatives and friends, and the countryside is taking the lead in experiencing the problems brought about by these climate changes. In order to master the rural adjustment strategy under climate change, we must first understand the impact of climate change on rural production, life and ecology.

Rising temperatures and extreme rainfall patterns provide the best scene for possible disasters

The rising temperature year by year not only causes high temperature and heat in the living environment, but also affects the physiological functions of all kinds of organisms in the natural environment. For crop production, the winter temperature is not low enough, which may affect the flower bud differentiation in spring and cause problems in the follow-up results; fruits and vegetables originally produced on flat land may have to seek a suitable growth environment at higher latitudes and elevations. Climate change has affected the quality, yield date and production areas of all kinds of farming. For aquaculture and animal husbandry, animals are easy to overheat and infectious diseases are more active, which also increase the management costs of farmers and fishermen.

Under the trend of increasingly polarized rainfall patterns, too much and too little Rain Water has become a possible disaster factor. The time without rain is gradually lengthening, and the issue of drought and water shortage has become a hidden worry for all kinds of industries. Once the water vapor is concentrated quickly and in large quantities, the rainfall that may have fallen in the past few days may now be finished in a few hours at a time. Instantaneous heavy rainfall not only makes it difficult for farmland fish fish drainage to vent in time, but also increases the probability of debris flow on sloping land, and even increases the sediment turbidity of the reservoir, making it impossible to retain available clean water.

The elusive sunshine and Rain Water make the farmers' rule of thumb of "watching heaven eat" inaccurate.

Changes in climate patterns disrupt the growth of crops and make it difficult to control the quality of agricultural products. Qiu Ronghan, whose farm is located in the Taoyuan mountain area, mainly produces green bamboo shoots in summer and grows a small amount of organic vegetables in autumn and winter. Qiu Ronghan says that as a result of continuous rainfall in Ching Ming Festival last year, the output of bamboo shoots that would have grown before and after the Dragon Boat Festival was lower than expected, but in May and June this year, the sun came out, the soil became very dry, the fiber of bamboo shoots became thicker and tasted worse, and sales and income were greatly reduced.

The cultivation of organic vegetables without medicine and fertilizer is also facing challenges in the face of rising temperatures. In the past, in order to avoid the situation of more insect pests in summer, vegetable seedlings were not planted until the beginning of autumn, but until the end of August this year, vegetable-eating insects such as bean coryza and small leaf moths were still active in the fields. With more hot days and longer time for insect activity, the time suitable for growing vegetables is relatively compressed.

In the past, farmers could grasp the timing of planting and harvest on the basis of experience and solar terms. Nowadays, the climate is no longer regular, and it is difficult to predict whether it will become hot or cold, which makes the judgment and decision-making of field work more difficult.