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O Verão interminável das cidades asiáticas

POTSDAM/MANILA — É a estação das monções na Ásia, o que assinala o fim de meses de temperaturas abrasadoras. No entanto, o calor extremo irá regressar e as cidades serão afectadas por condições particularmente brutais. O número de dias quentes nas zonas urbanas da Ásia é duas vezes superior ao registado nas zonas rurais, e este valor poderá aumentar quase dez vezes mais até 2100. Se tal acontecer, não haverá forma de inverter a tendência.

A primeira avaliaçãopormenorizada dos riscos climáticos da Ásia, levada a cabo pelo Banco Asiático de Desenvolvimento (BAD) e pelo Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), deixa claro que as cidades da Ásia estão na linha de frente da luta contra as alterações climáticas. Com efeito, muitas das consequências de um planeta mais quente — como fenómenos meteorológicos mais extremos, o aumento do nível das águas do mar, a migração ambiental e as tensões sociais crescentes — encontram intersecção nas zonas urbanas.

Isto é particularmente verdade no caso da Ásia, cujas cidades albergam mais de metade da população e geram quase 80 % dos resultados económicos. Em 2050, a população urbana da Ásia poderá aumentar para cerca do dobro, ou seja, para três mil milhões de pessoas. Não havendo novas iniciativas de combate às alterações climáticas, as cidades da região poderão contribuir para mais de metade do aumento das emissões globais de gases com efeito de estufa nos próximos 20 anos.

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