It is foreseen that Vietnam will be strongly affected by future climate changes in terms of increased rainfall, increased number of typhoons, and especially an increase in sea level. Vietnam is that country in South East Asia that will be most affected as a major part of Vietnam is low-land and big delta areas as the Mekong River delta. A sea level rise here of just 1 m will flood and area of about 15.000-20.000 km2. The present project focuses on the ecology of estuaries, which is where fresh water from the river enters the ocean. There are more than 250 large and small estuaries along the Vietnamese coast, and millions of people depend on the estuaries for transportation, aquaculture, fisheries, shrimp farming etc. The estuaries are, however, far from pristine as with the latest clearing of mangrove forests for shrimp farming etc. but we still need to know how the ecosystems are functioning today in order to evaluate any future climate changes.
We will collect the data from the different components as Biological, Physical, Geological, and Chemical from 1 year of observations and measurements in the Nha Phu estuary, which was chosen for this project. These data will form the basis for the ecological modelling, which is a description of the ecosystem today, and then raise questions to the model as – What will happen in the estuary?