Green Pulse Podcast: The race to adapt in Asia as climate risks grow

In this episode of Green Pulse, Dr Chandni Singh, Senior Research Consultant at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bangalore tells us more about the importance of adaptation efforts and how it is subjected to its limits.  ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Dr Chandni Singh, Senior Research Consultant at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bangalore and lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report. PHOTO: CHANDNI SINGH

Synopsis: The Straits Times analyses the beat of the changing environment, from biodiversity conservation to climate change.

Record heatwaves, floods and storms. The headlines bear witness to a world facing greater weather extremes threatening people and nature. A major report from the UN’s top climate science body last month underscored the growing risks. As the world gets hotter, climate change impacts are intensifying, affecting ecosystems, people, settlements, and infrastructure.

In its report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, said there was clear evidence of increases in the frequency and intensity of climate and weather extremes, including hot extremes on land and in the ocean, plus heavy rainfall events, drought and fire weather.

Climate change has caused substantial damage, and increasingly irreversible losses, to the natural world, including coral reefs and some forests. Climate change is also driving increased food insecurity and contributing to humanitarian crises. And unless greenhouse emissions are quickly reined in, the impacts will only accelerate, placing more people and nature at greater risk.

With such a worrying outlook, the IPCC report outlines the importance of adapting to climate impacts but finds such efforts are patchy and in need of greater funding and coordination. In this episode, ST environment correspondent Audrey Tan and climate change editor David Fogarty discuss the findings of the report with one of its lead authors, Dr Chandni Singh, Senior Research Consultant at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bangalore. She tells us more about the vital need to boost adaptation efforts but also the limits. 

Highlights (click/tap above):

01:18 Dr Chandni on big findings about Asia from the report

04:21 How is climate change affecting human societies? 

07:13 How are natural ecosystems going to be affected by climate change? 

09:50 Which segments of society are more vulnerable to climate impacts? 

16:10 What are soft and hard limits to adaptation?

Produced by: Audrey Tan (, David Fogarty (, Ernest Luis, Teo Tong Kai and Paxton Pang

Edited by: Teo Tong Kai

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