Category Archives: Sea Level Rise

Endangered places around the world

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French Polynesia. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

We all know that climate change melts glaciers and shifts sea levels. But have you ever thought about how rising temperatures can threaten beautiful places in every corner of the world? Some of these spots may be closer to home than you think.

In celebration of Earth Day, Yahoo! News interviewed Gaute Hogh, publisher of the book 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear (distributed by Abrams in the U.S.). Hogh was inspired to produce the book after witnessing the effects of global warming in his native Denmark. He wanted to show how natural beauty around the globe could be forever altered by climate change…

Read Full Article, AP

100 Places Website

Arctic’s Icy Coastlines Retreat as Planet Warms

glacier-antartica
Antartica. Photo source: ©© Benjamin Dumas

Excerpts;

The coastline in Arctic regions reacts to climate change with increased erosion and retreats by half a metre per year on average. This means substantial changes for Arctic ecosystems near the coast and the population living there.

A consortium of more than thirty scientists from ten countries, including researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association and from the Helmholtz Centre in Geesthacht, comes to this conclusion in two studies published in Estuaries and Coasts…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Erosion Doubles Along Alaska’s Arctic Coast

State of the Arctic Coast, 2010 Report

Arctic’s Icy Coastlines Retreat as Planet Warms:LiveScience

Ozone Layer Faces Record 40 Percent Loss Over Arctic

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Left: Ozone in Earth’s stratosphere at an altitude of approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) in mid-March 2011, near the peak of the 2011 Arctic ozone loss. Red colors represent high levels of ozone, while purple and grey colors (over the north polar region) represent very small ozone amounts. Right: chlorine monoxide – the primary agent of chemical ozone destruction in the cold polar lower stratosphere – for the same day and altitude. Light blue and green colors represent small amounts of chlorine monoxide, while dark blue and black colors represent very large chlorine monoxide amounts. The white line marks the area within which the chemical ozone destruction took place. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Excerpts;

The protective ozone layer in the Arctic that keeps out the sun’s most damaging rays, ultraviolet radiation, has thinned about 40 percent this winter, a record drop, the U.N. weather agency said Tuesday.

The Arctic’s damaged stratospheric ozone layer isn’t the best known “ozone hole,” that would be Antarctica’s, which forms when sunlight returns in spring there each year…

Read Full Article, AP

Arctic Ozone Loss, Image, NASA

Sand Drift in Norway Caused by Sea-Level Changes and Human Activity

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Hoddevik, Norway. Photo source: ©© Maria Helgesen

Excerpts;

The sand along the south-western coastal rim of Norway has drifted for more than 9000 calendar years. This was triggered by sea-level changes and human activities, new research has found.

Researchers in countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland study sand drift, but most of them are focusing only on sand dunes along the coastline, not on the plains further inland, necessary to understand the whole process.

“Sand dunes are dynamic. For all we know, they may have been formed last year…”

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Earth’s Gravity Revealed in Unprecedented Detail

European Space Agency
How the Earth would look like if its shape were distorted to make gravity the same everywhere on its surface. Areas of strongest gravity are in yellow and weakest in blue. Animation: European Space Agency

Excerpts from the European Space Agency and from Guardian UK, Ian Sample

After just two years in orbit, ESA’s GOCE satellite, A European spacecraft that skims the upper reaches of the atmosphere, has gathered enough data to map Earth’s gravity with unrivalled precision…

VIEW VIDEO

Read Full Article “Goce satellite maps the Earth’s gravity in unprecedented precision” Gardian UK

European Space Agency

Melting ice sheets becoming largest contributor to sea level rise

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Rising sea and coastal erosion, Tahiti. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new study. The findings of the study, the longest to date of changes in polar ice sheet mass, suggest these ice sheets are overtaking ice loss from Earth’s mountain glaciers and ice caps to become the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, much sooner than model forecasts have predicted. The results of the study will be published this month in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union…

Read Full Article, American Geophysical Union

EU Pledges 90m Euros in Climate Funds for Sinking Pacific Island States

Vuanatu Sea Level Rise
“The melt has to go somewhere”. In Vanuatu, rising sea levels have forced the relocation of entire villages. Caption and Photo Source: Meredith james-Johnstone

By Leigh Phillips

Pacific island states on the frontline of climate change are to receive €90m (£76m) in EU cash for climate-related projects in return for siding with the European bloc at international climate negotiations.

The European Union’s development commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, headed to Vanuatu Wednesday to unveil funding for climate-related projects.

The funding comprises redirected resources, according to the European Commission, and will back projects such as mangrove replanting, watershed reforestation, rainwater harvesting, soil retention, raising of infrastructure, disaster preparedness and moving hospitals to higher ground.

The cash may appear small in EU terms, but represents as much as 19.5% of the nominal GDP of Vanuatu, and more than 12 times the GDP of the Pacific Islands Forum’s poorest member, Niue.

Such an injection of cash does not come without strings attached however. Piebalgs is to make the funding announcement at a high-level climate conference on Vanuatu organised by the European commission where the he will present an EU-Pacific action plan for the island states to sign.

The document requires the states to embrace “joint positions on the international stage” as part of a “stronger Pacific-EU political dialogue on climate change”.

Climate negotiations have been at a stalemate with only moderate advances made since the global UN conference in Copenhagen in 2009, as Western countries try to convince the developing world to commit to binding emissions reductions.

Since 2009, the EU has revamped its climate diplomacy strategy, with France and the UK dispatched to try to pry some African states away from what Brussels officials describe as an “awkward squad” of refusenik nations. Germany has been tasked with the Pacific.

Isaac Valero-Ladron, the EU’s climate spokesman, said that the bloc has had a lot of success in the region, which contains countries with some of the lowest GDP per capita in the world. “If we put money on the table, it really creates a constructive atmosphere and good policies.”

“The Pacific islands are a very helpful, positive partner on the international level. Our positions are very close.”

The funds, which according to the commission are redeployments of existing development funds rather than new sources of climate financing as many development groups also demand – support projects that include mangrove replanting, watershed reforestation, rainwater harvesting, soil retention and the raising of infrastructure.

In advance of the meeting, the commissioner called on EU member states to increase their funds to the region.

Original Article


Pacific Islands Climate Change Conference: European Union Calendar

Excerpt from Europa, EU Calendar

Between 3 and 4 March, 2011, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will participate in Conference on Climate Change in Vanuatu and sign an Action Plan to enhance Pacific-EU cooperation on climate change.

Some of the small Pacific islands are under the threat to disappear. They dramatically need increased aid.which, Commissioner Piebalgs will call EU member states and other international partners and donors to engage politically and financially in addressing climate change challenges faced by Pacific Countries and Territories.

The Commissioner will also sign four programmes which show EU determination to combat climate change and poverty in the Pacific for €50.4 million in total. Two of them cover specifically Vanuatu and Solomon Islands climate resilience specific needs. One will support strategic actions on adaptation in 9 Pacific Small Island states and prepare those countries to absorb efficiently the expected international climate fast start funds. The second regional project, to be implemented by the University of South Pacific, seeks to strengthen capacity building, community engagement and adaptive actions along with applied research.

The background:

Pacific islands are very isolated developing countries which have already suffered from regular natural disasters. In the worse case scenario, some islands could disappear due to rising sea levels and increasing erosion occurring from intense storms. All these changes infringe on hunting, fishing and the quality water resources therefore contribute to increased poverty in the region. In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on time the poverty must be also addressed in the Pacific region.

The European Commission provides development aid to the Pacific, which amounts €600 million for 2008-2013. It has reached a 60% increase between the 9th European Development Fund (2002-2007) and the 10th EDF (2007-2013).. A specific support needed to be devoted to address the negative impact of climate change in the Pacific. The Commission is politically and financially leading this EU effort. Together with Pacific partners, the Commission is actively engaged in financial terms, with €90 million in ongoing and already planned development cooperation projects and programmes at country and regional level for the period 2008-2013.

The event:

Building on the Cancun Climate Change Conference, the High Level conference on Climate Change in the Pacific will be hosted by Vanuatu on 4 March and is organised by the European Commission. Commissioner Piebalgs will make the introductory speech and Prime Minister of Vanuatu will do the closing remarks. An action plan will be presented for endorsement by the Conference.

A press conference will be organised on site.

Commissioner Piebalgs will visit a first wind farm implemented in the Vanuatu archipelago, designed to help meet the country’s growing energy needs. He will also visit the National Disaster Centre and Meteorological Services to assess local capacities deployed at the forefront of disaster risk management.