Vietnam is in record heat again

Vietnam is in record heat again


by Hong Hoang, 350.org Vietnam


The year 2010 was the world’s warmest year on record, when the temperature in Vietnam also reached a record level. In the capital city of Hanoi, the outside temperature in June 2010 sometimes went up to 44-45oC (111-113oF).


And in April and early May this year, the Vietnamese people experienced the record heat again. People in many cities and provinces coped with the worst heat, totally unusual for early summer. Highest temperatures were recorded in many provinces in North and Central Vietnam (Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Hoa Binh, Bac Kan, Nghe An…), which broke all the previous records made in these provinces for the last 30-60 years. Although the announced temperatures were around 40-41oC (104-105.8oF), the actual outside temperatures usually went up to 45-46oC (113-114.8oF), because the heat was added up by the blazing sun rays, the gas emission, an other factors related to urban heat island.


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 The fierce heat could be the main reason that caused dozens of forest fires throughout Vietnam in the past month. The worst one was the fire in Hai Van Special Use Forest in Central Vietnam on 2 May, that burned down 100 hectares of primitive forests and plantation forests. With more similar heat waves expected to come from now until July, many forests are in high risk to catch fire.


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Fighting hard with the horrible heat, volunteers of 350.org in Ho Chi Minh City decided to do anything to cool the city down. As part of Connect the Dots campaign, they took on the mission to plant 1.000 trees in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City, where people do not only suffer from the heat, but also from the frequent inundations caused by high tides, that have constantly made new height records for the past 4 years, which was determined by the local meteorologists to be the consequence of the sea level rise. In addition to that, the volunteers will also help the local residents to reinforce the dykes that were broken during the recent floods, and clear up water hyacinth along the river branches that go around the villages, which will help to ensure easier water flows and therefore prevent the water from overflowing into the houses.


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“I was born and grew up in this city and I love it,” said Mai Khanh Vo, volunteer  leader of Connect the Dots HCMC. “We are all aware that global climate change has something to do with the recent weather extremes. For the first time in my life, I experience a bad storm that attacked HCMC in early April, which according to scientists was a very unusual for this season and for this region. I have friends from various provinces, and they all tell me about the unusual weather events that recently caused damages to their families. And even in HCMC, the most developed city of Vietnam, we have to live with tide-caused inundations every month. While we cannot do anything to immediately stop the floods, we can do something to reduce the impacts, and to prevent the water from going up even higher in the future.”


 


For more information please contact Hong Hoang hong@350.org

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