Climate change is causing increasing hardship and lifestyle changes in rural areas throughout Sri Lanka. It is predicted that temperatures will rise here faster than the average global rate of warming, and that extreme weather events such as cyclones, heat waves, and heavier rainfall will become more frequent.
The effects of climate change will be felt most profoundly in agriculture and food security, water and coastal resources, biodiversity, and human health. Rice yields could fall by nearly six percent with a 0.5C temperature rise – in turn leading to a reduction in Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product of 0.2 percent, as paddy salinity increases following sea level rises. Increased evaporation will boost demand for irrigated water, further contributing to water scarcity. Higher rainfall will increase soil erosion and silt up reservoirs.