Thursday, 4 July 2013

Science predicts Climate Change hardship for Pacific

By Evan Wasuka, Pacific freelance reporter, Editor Pacific Media Team 2013

4 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - The Pacific Climate Change Roundtable has heard that, data has indicated that communities in the Pacific region Pacific is getting hotter, sea-levels are rising and ocean acidification has occurred.

Further warming, acidification and sea-level rise appear inevitable.

These long-term trends occur with a great deal of naturally occurring variability such as El Niño, but natural variability alone cannot explain past climate and will not wholly determine future climate.

The magnitude of future human-forced changes can be reduced if global emissions are reduced
SPREP meteorology & climate officer, Salesa
Nihmei at PCCR 2013, Nadi-Fiji.

SPREP's meteorology and Climate Officer, Salesa Nihmei told the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Nadi, that the recently climate change information has become available for countries after the completion of the set of studies carried out through the Ausaid funded project carried out in 2009 called the Pacific Climate Change Science Project  (PCCSP).

Information collected from meteorological stations in the region indicated that all Pacific islands have warmed over the past 50 years, most in the range 0.4˚-1.0˚C.

"For example in Samoa surface air temperature and sea surface temperature are projected to continue to increase over the course of the 21st century. There is very high confidence in this direction of change because and the warming is physically consistent with rising global greenhouse gas concentrations.
"By 2030, under a high emissions scenario, this increase in temperature is projected to be in the range of 0.4–1.0°C."

"Under the high emissions scenario, by 2090, temperature increases of greater than 2.5 °C are simulated by almost all models for the whole region."

Similarly, this detailed information is available for most of the Pacific Island Countries.

Nihmei says already the impacts of Climate Change are being experienced by Pacific Islanders.

There are projected increases in the annual mean rainfall over most of the region of the Pacific, especially along the equator.

For sea level, the Pacific is expected to follow the global trend but warned that higher values are possible.  The current measurements from the tide gauges confirmed by satellite altimeter measurements which are only from 1993 seem to suggest that the sea level trend show those of the high emission scenario. Ocean acidification is also expected to increase.

The 2013 Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is meeting from July 3-5.

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