|The Regional Impacts of Climate Change|
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11.1. Regional Characterization and Baseline Conditions
This chapter is concerned with Tropical Asia, which extends over 80 degrees
of longitude (from 70°E to 150°E) and 40 degrees of latitude (from 30°N to 10°S).
The 16 countries that make up the region (see Box 11-1)
range in area from about 61,000 ha (Singapore) to 300 million ha (India). Three
states in the region (Nepal, Bhutan, and Laos) are landlocked. The region is
physically diverse and ecologically rich in natural and crop-related biodiversity.
The present total population is about 1.6 billion, and the population is projected
to increase to 2.4 billion by 2025 (see Table 11-1);
although the majority of this population is rural, in 1995, the region included
6 of the 25 largest cities in the world. Exploitation of natural resources associated
with rapid urbanization, industrialization, and economic development has led
to increasing pollution, declining water quality, land degradation, and other
This chapter is based primarily on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second Assessment Report (SAR) (IPCC, 1996), along with results from recent regional studies, such as the Regional Workshop on Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation in Asia and the Pacific held in Manila in January, 1996; national studies, such as the Malaysian National Conference on Climate Change held at the University of Agriculture in August, 1996; and other independent studies.
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