Saturday, February 28, 2009

Island sinking or at risk of rising sea level

Island sinking or at risk of rising sea level

(original numbers before rounding)

Maldives – 369,031 residents, southwest of India

Marshall Islands – 60,000 residents

Kiribati – 107,817 residents, approximately 30 islands submerging

Tonga – 116,921 residents

Vanuatu – 211,971 residents, some of whom have already been evacuated

Solomon Islands – 566,842 residents

Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea – 2,500 residents

Shishmaref in Alaska, USA – 600 residents

Kivalini in Alaska, USA – 400 residents

Over 2,000 other islands in Indonesia (population not known)

Dubai – 1,241,000 residents in the United Arab Emirates considered at risk

Rajendra Pachauri : There is a grim outcome that the world would have to face, in terms of sea level rise due to thermal expansion alone, and our estimate of this level of increasing sea (level) is 0.4 to 1.4 meters due to thermal expansion alone, and if you add to this the amount of water that would be released and would add to sea level rise on the account of melting of the ice bodies then we already committed the world to a threat, which is going to affect a large number of small island states, low line coast areas across the world that clearly, gives us an absolute warning that we have no time to lose at all and we have to ensure that we start reducing emission of green house gases, as quickly as possible.

President Tong of Kiribati:
I take every opportunity to express our position to explain our situation, as the minister has explained the Kiribati is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Along with our other pacific island relations, of a similar geographical structure and also other countries in other different oceans in another parts of the world which have the same structure that we have.
The Kiribati’s highest point in our Island is about average is about 2 meters above sea level.

I think we are, we might be beyond redemption, we may be at the point of no return, where the emission in the atmosphere will carry on with the momentum, will carry on to contribute to climate change, to sea level rise to the extend that in time, our small low lying island will be submerged. Because one has to feel the reality of the situation, and in order to feel the reality of the situation you have got to be there when the tides are coming over, and your are running around chasing your house goods, because the cases are floating all around, and you are trying to chase them after the waves have come. We have a whole communities, having to be relocated, villages which have been there over a decade maybe the century, and now they have to be relocated, where they’ve being living for the last few decades is no longer there.

It has been eroded. According to the scenarios, the worst possible case scenario, Kiribati will be submerged, within the century. It’s not an issue of economic growth; it’s an issue of human survival. And I think this is the point, it’s about human survival. For some at this point in time. If the world community, the different countries don’t kick the Carbon habits, there will be other countries next on the line, we would have been long gone, but I think the next countries will be next on the line.

Mr Achim Steiner (United Nation’s Under Secretary General & UN Environment Programme Executive Director):
Therefore there is no question that we have to act, and yes maybe there are many countries who will not immediately face the prospects of Kiribati, but indeed there are many island nations who are doomed already now, condemned if you want by the end of this century, to disappear. And that is just the beginning of the visible impact of climate change. The invisible part, the bits that we have not necessarily understood that are happening around us are also on their way.

Paul Tobasi – Government Representative of the Carteret Islands – It’s not their wish to go, but because the situation; it’s forcing them to move. Because today, there is also literally no food people can rely on. I think that is why most people around here are willing to go; to accept the resettlement.

Louise (F): Wonderful. And we’re going to load up those websites, links to those websites of our own because I think that’s incredibly interesting and important. Supreme Master, we move on to environmental refugees. A recent report by the Aid Agency Tearfund, estimated there are currently 25 million environmental refugees, which is more than 22 million officially recognized political and economic refugees.

And according to Dr. Janos Bogardi, Director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University in Bonn, environmental deterioration currently displaces up to 10 million people per year. And there are expected to be 50 million environmental refugees by 2010. However, international conventions do not recognize environmental refugees unless such they do not have the same rights to financial and material support. What can we do to help the environmental refugees?

Supreme Master Ching Hai : What can we do? They are refugees definitely. Ur. Because if we don’t have global warming then no one would be a climate refugee, would they? So no one would like to be a refugee in this case. So now, first we can help them to get back on their feet. The one who has meaning… mean and power, yes. We must consider their refugee status, legally, because they are refugees by all means. And by stopping global warming, we can help reduce this refugee issue.


POZNAN, Poland, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The impact of climate change could uproot around six million people each year, half of them because of weather disasters like floods and storms, a top U.N. official said on Monday.

The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) was making plans based on conservative estimates that global warming would force between 200 million and 250 million people from their homes by mid-century, said L. Craig Johnstone, the U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees.

Johnstone said relief agencies would need to aid almost three million people a year displaced by sudden disasters.

Another three million would likely migrate due to gradual changes like rising sea levels, and be more able to plan.

UNHCR statistics show 67 million people were uprooted around the world at the end of 2007, 25 million of them because of natural disasters.


Speaking on the sidelines of the Dec 1-12 summit of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Warner said 24 million people around the world had become climate refugees already, according to an estimate made by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.


Lohachara, India, home to some 10,000 people and one of the 102 Sundarban Islands, sank beneath the surface of the Bay of Bengal in 2006, & only 54 of the remaining 102 islands in the Sundarbans, home to 70,000 people, still remain hospitable.
13 islands in the Chesapeake bay, Maryland, USA have already disappeared with threat of more to come.

Tuvalu (prediction it will be submerged in 50 years) The New Zealand government is already gradually taking in a quota of Tuvaluans each year and has assured Tuvalu that her 10,800 residents can find a home in New Zealand.,

Cook Islands

Marshall Islands (where Majuro, one of the Marshall Islands has lost 20 % of its sea front)
Solomon Islands
Carteret Islands of Papua New Guinea (many parts are already uninhabitable)
Ghoramara (7,000 residents have already been forced to leave as half of the island has been lost to the sea since 1978, and the biggest of the Ghoramara Islands, Sagar, which had been home to refugees from other islands, is at risk of being lost to the sea in 15 years.
Indonesia is making plans for relocating people living on islands in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua, where the government expects about 2,000 islands to sink by 2030 or 2040.

40 Pacific Islands, part of the Alliance of Small Island States, at risk.
A three foot increase in sea levels would put South Padre Island, Texas, USA under water, with much of Galveston Island uninhabitable.
Shishmaref, an island inhabited by indigenous Alaskans in the US are at risk of losing their home of the last 4,000 years.

Dubai at risk of being under water in 50 years

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