1) The Philippines has become increasingly vulnerable to typhoons for lots of reasons — and climate change is only one angle here.
Thanks to basic geography, the Philippines has long been one of the most storm-ravaged places on Earth, with about 8 to 9 typhoons making landfall each year, on average. The warm waters surrounding the island nation help fuel strong tropical cyclones, and there are few natural barriers to slow the storms down or break them up. …
2) Typhoons aren’t the only natural disaster the Philippines has to worry about. … But the precise risks are often difficult to pinpoint — and that makes preparation even harder. Many climate models still have trouble making predictions at a very fine-grained, regional level. And typhoons are especially difficult to forecast: While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change thinks it’s “likely” that tropical cyclones will get stronger as the oceans warm, it’s less clear how the frequency of storms will change in the years ahead (they may even become less frequent).
3) Adaptation can help, but it’s not always enough. Many countries have managed to reduce their exposure to natural disasters over the years by implementing detailed adaptation plans. If climate change does increase the risk of natural disasters in the years ahead, then those plans will become increasingly important. …
Bangladesh, for instance, has steadily reduced the number of deaths from tropical cyclones since the 1970s through early-warning systems, shelters and evacuation plans, and building coastal embankments.
4) Where will the money come from for adaptation? There are two key questions that always come up at international climate talks like the one now going on in Warsaw. First, how will the world cut its carbon emissions to slow global warming? And second, where will the money come from to help poorer states prepare for its effects? The second question is likely to get more attention in the wake of Haiyan. …
"We have received no climate finance to adapt or to prepare ourselves for typhoons and other extreme weather we are now experiencing," Saño told the Guardian. “It cannot be a way of life that we end up running always from storms.”
Posts tagged islands.
President Barack Obama pledged “significant” humanitarian aid for the Philippines Sunday, as the U.S. began sending marines to typhoon-ravaged areas as part of a massive relief effort.Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel [ordered[ the U.S military’s Pacific Command to assist with the search and rescue operation and provide air support for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.
The storm made landfall on Friday, ripping through the central Philippine province of Leyte. In the coastal city of Tacloban alone, an estimated 10,000 residents were killed by the typhoon, local officials have said.
"Very strong" Typhoon Francisco. Doesn’t look like it will track to Fukushima, Japan.
A tense opening session of the 44th Pacific Islands Forum has been dominated by appeals from pacific leaders for ‘real action’ against the threat of rising sea levels associated with climate change.
Speaking at the International Conference Center in Majuro, the capital of Marshall Islands, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, responded to a presentation from Nobel Peace Prize Professor Elisabeth Holland by decrying what he intimated as the dollar approach of ‘theoretical scientists’ to an issue that requires ‘concrete action.’
The Halligen Islands in the North Sea are one of many low-lying and island regions that are very concerned about climate change.
Not protected by dikes, the Halligens are a set of small islands (some as small as 17 acres) that have separated from the mainland after centuries of flooding and erosion. Because of the periodic storm flooding, homes on the Halligens are built atop small, artificial hills (Warften) that keep them above sea level.
Like large areas of the Netherlands, northeastern Germany, and Denmark, the Halligen Islands are keenly aware of the risk of sea level rise due to global warming and are investing in climate adaptation strategies.
The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project is working in 14 Pacific Island countries to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to the adverse effects of climate change. Go to 3:00 to skip the long intro on water shortages. The video does go over the PACC, shows maps, and various architectural design and adaptation projects.
The idyllic beaches on the island of Buoj where Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak fished as a boy are already submerged, and the ever-encroaching ocean now threatens to wash away roads, schools and airstrips.
"The end of the island gets shorter every year. Some places we used to stand on the beach to fish are now in the water," Mr Loeak, 60, told AFP.
Buoj is one of 52 islands in Ailinglaplap, an atoll that a Marshall Islands survey found was one of its most vulnerable to climate change.
"I have great attraction to Ailinglaplap," Mr Loeak said in the capital, Majuro. "I can live on other islands, but I was born and raised there. I always think about going back there to live."
The Marshalls, an island nation of some 70,000 people about halfway between Australia and Hawaii, will have a rare moment in the international spotlight in September, when it hosts the annual Pacific Islands Forum.
Chinese ship runs into protected UNESCO reef in Philippines — while transporting 11 tons of illegal Pangolin meat
A Chinese vessel that ran into a protected coral reef in the southwestern Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 22,000 pounds of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater.
The steel-hulled vessel hit an atoll on April 8 at the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site on Palawan island.
Coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said Monday that 400 boxes, each containing 25 to 30 kilograms of frozen pangolins, were discovered during a second inspection of the boat Saturday.
The World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines said the Chinese vessel F/N Min Long Yu could have been carrying up to 2,000 of the toothless, insect-eating animals rolled up in the boxes, with their scales already removed.
The boat’s 12 Chinese crewmen are being detained on charges of poaching and attempted bribery, said Adelina Villena, the marine park’s lawyer. She said more charges are being prepared against them, including damaging the corals and violating the country’s wildlife law for being found in possession of the pangolin meat.
Here’s a NatGeo video of the endangered pangolin.
Sea level rise causes salt water to mix with fresh water inland, creating a toxic saline that kills trees, destroys aquifers, and corrodes soils. These banana trees died from salt water inundation.
From the excellent slide show on climate impacts on Kiribati islands:
“What happens when you trade the foundations of your society for cash?” - Céline Rouze, a brave journalist who wrote Exxon Mobil’s Papua New Guinea LNG Project. This project is the largest energy project in the history of the entire Pacific Rim. Exxon’s promises of economic development has instead brought chaos and violence.
Céline Rouze is very courageous journalist. People like her give me hope…
From the Pulitzer Center’s Meet the Journalist Channel:
Papua New Guinea is a country torn between its traditional culture and the global economic system.
Journalist and radio documentary-maker Céline Rouzet shares what attracted her to this place, why she decided to investigate this topic, and the main challenges she faced reporting there.
Her reporting series, “Exxon Mobil’s Papua New Guinea LNG Project,” explores the social and economic issues related to the biggest development project undertaken in the history of the Pacific region.
terramarique asked: I'm studying the storm-surge buffering capabilities of the Boston Harbor Islands as well as possible plans to install barriers and sea gates between the islands in the future. What is the feasibility of such plans? How big of a role do the Harbor Islands currently play in protecting Boston Harbor? Do you have any suggested resources? Thank you for any help you can give.
I’m going to assume you’ve done a lot of research on climate, so I’ll just point you to some sources.
For climate science and some good maps, I’d check Woods Hole/USGS, MIT, and UMass.
Boston Harbor Association put out a brand new adaptation report, but on first glance it looks vague.
You might be surprised by calling the folks at Mass/DCR, they’re actually real friendly on the phone.
You may want to look into orgs that do disaster, conservation, and beach erosion management work on the Cape (possibly Manomet, but definitely check with MassDOT).
And I’m sure the Army Corps of Engineers has their hands in the harbor (the Corps websites are a nightmare, so be persistent. There are hidden gems!).
The City of Boston’s climate report is embarrassingly weak. But, you should scour the authors and sources of the report for leads.
VHB, an engineering firm, does a lot of work on infrastructure using climate data, and I believe they have several contracts with the City of Boston, Logan Airport (in fact, Logan and VHB hosted me on a tour of the airport’s infrastructure and facilities). VHB has a strong climate division, and they’re very friendly folks and if you ask nicely, they’ll send you some climate CDs and climate reports by mail.
And finally, check with MassPort Authority. You’ll run into roadblocks when calling them directly, so you should target specific people in the organization and be persistent. Nothing gets built in the harbor without MassPort’s blessing.
That’s all I got off the top of my head. Good luck and let me know how it goes!
The world’s oldest-known wild bird — a 62-year-old albatross on Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean — is also a new mother. The bird, a Laysan albatross whom biologists have named Wisdom, hatched a chick this week, her sixth in the past six years….
The chick, which scientists describe as healthy, hatched Sunday.
The mother, by now an old pro at the finer points of the birds and the bees, received her first identification band during the Eisenhower administration, in 1956. Back then, USGS scientist Chandler Robbins estimated she was 5 years old. Since then, she has worn out five ID bands, returning year after year to lay an egg at Midway, a remote island northwest of Hawaii that was the site of a famous 1942 naval battle. Today, it’s a U.S. national wildlife refuge where hundreds of thousands of albatrosses nest every year.
Albatrosses lay only one egg a year. Legendary long-distance marvels of the animal kingdom, they fly thousands of miles across the ocean, gliding on wind currents with their large wings. They feed on fish, squid and other marine life. Researchers estimate that if Wisdom flew typical routes, she quite probably has traveled 50,000 miles a year as an adult. That’s at least 2 million to 3 million miles since she was first banded, the equivalent of four to six trips from Earth to the moon and back.
Most Laysan albatrosses live between 12 and 40 years, although some have been documented surviving into their 50s. About 70 percent of the bird’s world population nests on Midway. Researchers estimate that Wisdom has hatched up to 35 chicks in the past half-century.
SHETLAND’S pre-Christmas storms have revealed remains of an iron age building and a human skeleton believed to be 2,000 years old.
Archaeologists said a structure was briefly exposed at Channerwick before being buried again by a rockfall over the festive period.
Before it disappeared from view, police officers and archaeologists were able to investigate the site and take a bone sample for radiocarbon dating.
Shetland Amenity Trust assistant archaeologist Chris Dyer said: “The skeleton, initially reported by a local resident, looked as if it were contemporary with the Iron Age remains.
“The original burial now lies under several tons of fallen bank and the Iron Age structures have also disappeared from view.”
County archaeologist Val Turner added that during the investigation she and freelance colleague Samantha Dennis discovered evidence of at least one, and possibly two other burials. Read more.
So interesting what storms and weather can bring.