Thu, Apr 14, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Water shortages set to increase in ‘bipolar’ climate

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The government may have to deal with more water shortages as Taiwan’s climate has become “bipolar,” academics said yesterday.

Chou Chia (周佳), a research fellow at Academia Sinica, said that as global warming alters climate patterns, people can expect more rain in the rainy season and less during the dry season.

“In the areas of Asia affected by the monsoon, which include Taiwan, the weather has become bipolar,” Chou said. “The phenomenon has become more obvious in central and southern parts of the country, including Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan counties.”

The news came two days after the Water Resources Agency announced a plan to further restrict water usage at swimming pools and other locations in central Taiwan if the water situation does not improve by the end of next month.

Chou said annual rainfall had not changed much in the past 30 years, with the nation receiving an average of 2,600mm. However, the distribution of rainfall was uneven. While severe rainfall led to floods in some areas, others were hit by drought.

Rainfall intensity is estimated to increase about 15 percent in the rainy season by the end of the century, but the chances of droughts were also higher, he said. The Greater Kaohsiung area, for example, would not have received even half the normal annual rainfall for 2009 had it not been for the torrential rain brought by Typhoon Morakot.

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