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Climate Risk Country Profile - Nepal

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• Warming in Nepal is projected to be higher than the global average. By the 2080s, Nepal is projected to warm by 1.2°C–4.2°C, under the highest emission scenario, RCP8.5, as compared to the baseline period 1986–2005. The range in possible temperature rises highlights the significantly lower rates of warming expected on lower 21st century emissions pathways.

• Rises in maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to be stronger than the rise in average temperature, likely amplifying the pressure on human health, livelihoods, and ecosystems. Temperature increase is expected to be strongest during the winter months.

• Climate change is already having significant impacts on the environment in Nepal, species’ ranges are shifting to higher altitudes, glaciers are melting, and the frequency of precipitation extremes is increasing.

• Natural hazards such as drought, heatwave, river flooding, and glacial lake outburst flooding are all projected to intensify over the 21st century, potentially exacerbating disaster risk levels and putting human life at risk.

• Modelling has suggested that the number of people annually affected by river flooding could more than double by 2030 as a result of climate change. At the same time the economic impact of river flooding could triple.

• The vulnerability of Nepal’s communities, particularly those living in poverty, in remote areas, and operating subsistence agriculture, increases the risk posed by climate change.

• Some important adaptation approaches, such as air conditioning, irrigation, water storage and new crop varieties, may be inaccessible to these communities, and even with adaptation they are likely to experience damage and loss. Without support to the poorest in Nepalese society inequalities are likely to widen.

Asian Development Bank: © Asian Development Bank