Pacific Islands Climate change explained by the Team Norvergence
Islands of the Pacific Ocean are divided into three major groups such as Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. But on this webpage, Norvergence environmentalists will not discuss the cultural beauty of New Guinea, Tasmania, Luzon, and New Britain.
We will discuss the Climate change in the Pacific that is threatening the health of Pacific islanders, as well as economic and social development.
Extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, cyclones, are displacing human population and leaving a psychological trauma on their mindsets.
Climate Change for Pacific Islanders is more than Losing Land to Rising Seas
Few of the island states of the Pacific are responsible for only 0.03 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. But, the important point is millions of people who live there are experiencing or about to experience the most severe consequences because of climate change.
According to the various studies, as the continuous rise in sea level, there are chances that some islands might run out of water even before they ran out of the land.
Also, because of the continued rise in sea level or flooding, the freshwater will likely to become contaminated.
A paper from 2002 reads, “While the popular press has focused on the threat of inundation of island coastal areas by rising sea levels, perhaps the most critical near- and long-term threat to these nations is the possible impacts of climate change on freshwater quality and availability.”
Norvergence environmentalists, one-by-one will talk about the major 5 islands groups such as Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, and French Polynesia.
Being the states of the United States of America, Hawaii encompasses nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, constitutes of 137 islands spread over 1,500 miles. It is the 8th-smallest geographically and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the 50 states.
In 2014, Hawaii Climate Adaptation Initiative Act was announced, which states: “Climate change is the paramount challenge of this century, posing both an urgent and long-term threat to the State’s economy, sustainability, security, and way of life.”
Out of 27 extreme weather events that happened in 2016, researchers have found that 21 were related to human-caused climate change.
Followings are some findings of the National Climate Assessment:
- Rising sea levels and changing ocean chemistry will affect nearly every aspect of life in Hawaii.
- Because Pacific Islands are almost entirely dependent upon imported food, fuel, and material, the vulnerability of ports and airports to extreme events, sea-level rise, and increasing wave heights is of great concern.
Must Visit Here to Read About Climate Science
Officially known as the Republic of Fiji, the island is formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago. It is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts.
Fuluna Tikoidelaimakotu Tuimoce, a Fijian sailor attending the lead-up to COP 21 in Paris made a heart-wrenching statement, Ever since I can remember, I would hear about climate summits and climate conferences – all of this talk. But it seems like climate change is going too fast now. We contribute a little to climate change, but not much. We are [mainly] victims of climate change.
We can see that [climate change] is affecting us. Seven or ten years ago, my island – which is 180 nautical miles from the capital Suva – wasn’t flooding.
Now, it’s flooding. And then the beaches: the closest house to the beach was twenty meters [away] in 1997, [and now it is only] five meters – in a short period.
Followings are some findings of the World Bank Report:
- The rise in average temperature leads to an increase in storms and higher rates of diseases.
- The intrusion of saltwater damages existing farmland
- Weather patterns become more severe.
For decades, Samoa is suffering from the effects of climate change. The people of this island fear that very soon they will feel the force of tropical cyclones which comes disastrous consequences not only for them but also for the lucrative tourism industry on that island.
Following are some important points of Climate Change, happening in American Samoa:
- Higher air and ocean temperatures
- Ocean acidification
- Sea level rise
- Changing rain patterns
The island is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands where the people are battling the sea every day. According to local activist Pascal Erhel Hatuuku, fishery business is affected to a major extent on the island.
After cyclones all of the coral reefs are destroyed; because the coral is dead, there is no more fish around the coral in the parts close to shore where the population can fish. That’s a big problem.
Indeed, the destruction of coral reefs around the region holds far-reaching and potentially catastrophic implications for a population that has traditionally depended on coastal fishing for sustenance. In the succinct words of Hatuuku, the resources to feed [our people] are fewer than before.