March 2009 Archives

"The Maldives and Kiribati highlight a hidden challenge for coping with climate change. It's not just about slowing the emissions of greenhouse gases. It's also about figuring out what to do for localities threatened with the possibility of extinction from rising ocean waters.

"They are like the canary in the coal mine in terms of the dramatic impact of climate change on a whole civilization of people," says Harvard University biological oceanographer James J. McCarthy, past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "They didn't cause the problem, but they will be among the first to feel it.""

Read the entire article at http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/40789/title/First_wave.

. . . . . . . . . . As mentioned in this film, the diet of the residents of this island has diminished in the past five years from planted crops and fish, to merely coconuts and fish. Food is running out, and since 1999, two islands have disappeared. Do we really need to keep burning Coal?

By Cristine Russell

February 28th, 2009; Vol.175 #5 (p. 24)

Summarised by Veronique Carola, Sea Level Rise Foundation

Special and Vulnerable

The island nations of Maldives and Kiribati highlight a hidden challenge for coping with climate change. It is now about figuring out what to do for localities threatened with the possibility of extinction from rising ocean waters. As says Harvard University biological oceanographer James J. McCarthy, "They didn't cause the problem, but they will be among the first to feel it."

These two exotic equatorial paradises may soon be the lowest spots on Earth and consequently are in danger of becoming the first drowning victims of global warming and sea level rise. In island and coastal countries, the impact may become so drastic that adaptation is not really an option, eventually forcing people out of their homes.

Since taking office in November, President of Maldives, Mr Mohamed Nasheed has been drawing international attention with his proposal to set aside funds to purchase lands abroad and relocate his population within this century.

For Kiribati, President Anote Tong has travelled the globe speaking to the UN and other international gatherings on how his country will suffer with climate change. He is not optimistic on getting land elsewhere but he is asking for help from various countries such as New Zealand and Australia.



--
Posted By Rolph Payet to Climate Change and Sea Level Rise at 3/11/2009 01:07:00 A

From: The West

2nd March 2009, 13:15 WST

A group of Australian scientists is helping to save a tiny central Pacific island nation from a dangerous byproduct of rising sea levels.   

Kiribati is slowly being swamped by salt water, shrinking the land mass and threatening the islanders' precious supply of fresh water stored in underground reservoirs.   

A team of experts from the Australian National University in Canberra has devised a plan to help the small nation of 100,000 secure its water supply against seawater and other contamination.   

"They're living in a precarious situation in terms of their water resources," said project leader and environmental expert Professor Ian White.   

"They don't know how much they've got, and what they do have is in danger of mixing with salt water as the sea level intrudes and making people very sick.   

"In that sense, it was vital to come up with a plan to help protect it and therefore the population who rely on it."   

Kiribati is made up of 33 atolls, almost all of which sit just six metres or less above sea level.   

The nation, which has strong ties to Australia and uses the Australian dollar, is considered one of the most vulnerable to climate change in the world, along with Tuvalu and the Maldives.   

It was one of the first countries selected by the Global Environment Facility to trial new strategies to adapt to climate change, but a recent survey showed water supply was the biggest and most pressing concern.   

Prof White said investigations revealed the underground water supply was in danger of being tainted with salt water or becoming polluted as reservoir areas became more built up.  

This was particularly true in urban areas with a density of 12,000 people per square kilometre, significantly more than in Sydney's Kings Cross.   

"They have very limited land areas and they're all living over the fresh water reserves and because these atolls are very porous, things get in the water very quickly," Prof White said.   

"As a result, the health issues they face are among the worst in the world in terms of infant mortality to water-borne diseases."   

The new water policy, developed in partnership with Fiji and France, aims to conserve water through sustainable use and efficient management.   

Climate change experts have warned that countries like Kiribati have just 50 to 100 years before they lose large areas of land to the sea and salt water renders other land useless for living and farming.   

AAP

Categories

Powered by Movable Type 4.1