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Jakarta Post

Climate change cause of Greater Jakarta floods, BMKG says

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya
    Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 26, 2020   /   07:12 pm
Climate change cause of Greater Jakarta floods, BMKG says Atlantis for a day: Bendungan Hilir is seen flooded in Central Jakarta on Tuesday. JP/Donny Fernando (JP/Donny Fernando)

Climate change-driven global warming is a factor behind repeated instances of severe flooding across Greater Jakarta since early January, including a flood that inundated parts of the capital on Tuesday, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati said the string of floods that hit Jakarta and its satellite cities over the past two months was a result of several changes.

“In addition to the increase of rainfall intensity and the continuation of extreme conditions, it turns out that the temperature of Indonesia has also significantly increased,” Dwikorita said.

Dwikorita said the BMKG recorded higher average temperatures in most Indonesian provinces last year compared to the average temperatures recorded in the same regions between 1981 and 2010.

The highest was recorded in Banten and Riau Islands between January and October 2019, with each province seeing an average temperature increase that was more than 1 degree Celsius higher than the temperatures recorded in the provinces between 1981 and 2010, according to BMKG data. 

In Jakarta, the average temperature last year was 0.82 degrees Celsius higher than the average temperature between 1981 and 2010.

BMKG head of climate and air quality information Siswanto said that, between 1866 and 2010, the annual temperature rise in Jakarta was 1.4 times higher compared to the global trend.

He said the global annual temperature had increased at an average rate of 0.86 degrees Celsius from 1866 to 2010, while in the same period, “Jakarta’s land temperature increased at an average rate of 1.6 degree Celsius”.

Read also: Rising sea levels threaten 23 million in Indonesia's coastal cities by 2050: Study

Dwikorita said Indonesia needed be cautious and keep watch of the rising temperature “because this is an indicator of global climate change that has a local impact”.

“From the results of the BMKG analysis, there is a significant correlation between [the temperature rise] and the concentration of greenhouse gases in Indonesia’s regions,” she said.

The BMKG head said the rising greenhouse gas emissions were caused by high concentrations of carbon dioxide, with transportation, industry and deforestation among the main drivers of the change.

“Extreme weather and climate phenomena are happening more frequently with greater intensity. Such occurrences are predicted to also happen in the future, from 2020 to 2040, if we fail to carry out mitigation measures,” she said.

Greater Jakarta was hit by floods on Tuesday morning following overnight torrential rainfall in the fourth major flood to hit Jakarta and its satellite cities since the beginning of the year. 

The BMKG found that, from 7:00 a.m. on Monday until 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, rainfall intensity reached 278 millimeters per day, enough to be categorized as extreme rain given it exceeded 150 mm per day, Dwikorita said. 

At least 19,901 residents across 214 subdistricts in Greater Jakarta were displaced following the floods, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Jakarta's highest daily rainfall since 2007 came on Dec. 31, 2019 at 377 mm per day. The heavy New Year’s Eve downpour caused major floods across Greater Jakarta, Banten and parts of West Java and claimed 60 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people for days.