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BRIN: Indonesia's First Tornado Is A Climate Change Impact


Tornado Angin Puting Beliung
"Tornado" in Rancaekek (X @dizafr__)


Tornado, a Climate Change Impact?

Tornado a Climate Change Impact - On Wednesday, February 21, 2024, a tornado event shook Rancaekek, Bandung, West Java, highlighting not only the threat of extreme weather but also shedding light on what BRIN calls the first tornado in Indonesia. This event is suspected to be a possible consequence of climate change related to land use conversion and the loss of green areas. The phenomenon sparked heated discussions across various platforms, emerging as a trending topic on social media. According to the local Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), the incident occurred around 3:30 to 4:00 PM local time and its effects were felt as far as Jatinangor, Sumedang.


Senior Researcher at the Climate and Atmospheric Research Center of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Didi Satiadi, stated that this phenomenon resulted from extreme weather displaying the characteristics of a very strong tornado. In English, tornadoes are known as microscale tornadoes or small-scale tornadoes. Didi explained that tornado phenomena are characterized by wide-impact areas and very strong intensities, damaging buildings and vehicles.


Land Use Conversion and Increased Risk

Rancaekek, once known as a green area with abundant trees, has now undergone a change in function to an industrial zone. This change has not only altered the land use pattern but also increased the risk of extreme events such as tornadoes. Eddy Hermawan, a Professor at the Climate and Atmospheric Research Center of BRIN, highlighted that this change has led to high daytime temperatures and low nighttime temperatures, creating low-pressure conditions that trigger cloud formation.


Lack of Green Areas and Local Climate Change

The loss of green areas can also result in significant local climate change. The industries developing in Rancaekek produce emission gases that contribute to climate change. With limited areas covered by vegetation, the region loses the ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, which in turn can exacerbate climate change.


Limitations of Prediction and Further Research

Although initial research indicates a connection between land use conversion and the loss of green areas with extreme events such as tornadoes, there are still limitations in understanding and accurately predicting them. Albertus Sulaiman, Head of the Climate and Atmospheric Research Center of BRIN, emphasizes the need for better observation and deep understanding of local climate dynamics to reduce the risk of future extreme events.


Challenges and Hopes Ahead

Facing climate change triggered by land use conversion and the lack of green areas requires collaborative efforts from various parties. Technological innovation, further research, and public awareness of the importance of environmental preservation will be key to addressing these challenges. Thus, it is hoped that the risks and impacts of local climate change occurring in Rancaekek and its surrounding areas can be minimized.

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