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Tuesday, April 6, 1999 Published at 04:22 GMT 05:22 UK


Bangkok overheating

Bangkok suffers with heat, humidity and pollution

Maria Veronese reports from Bangkok

Global warming is affecting temperatures in Bangkok twice as much as anywhere else in the world, according to scientists.

[ image: Researchers use a weather balloon to measure the temperature]
Researchers use a weather balloon to measure the temperature
Southeast Asia's Centre of Global Change has been monitoring the region's temperatures over the past two years, and scientists there say figures are worrying.

Throughout the year, Bangkok's temperatures average out at about 35°.

But scientists say this average has increased by 1.2° over the last 50 years.

And the global warming rate stands at only 0.7°.

Hazardous to health

[ image: It is rising at an alarmingly rapid rate]
It is rising at an alarmingly rapid rate
Heat, humidity and pollution in Bangkok can combine to make a dangerous cocktail for the city's 10 million residents.

"On a large scale it can cause acid rain," says environmental scientist Jariya Boonjawat.

"Photochemical reactions will change molecules like nitric oxide and sulphur dioxide to nitric acid and sulphuric acid which is hazardous to human health," she added.

Although the problem is particularly pronounced in Bangkok - Tokyo and Washington have also reported dramatic overheating.

Ventilation suggested

Scientists blame man-made pollutants and say that Bangkok must use energy more effectively and create "green zones".

To combat the increase, halting all tower block construction near the sea has also been proposed.

This would allow the sea wind to ventilate the inner city.

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