- The ocean is getting more acidic: The ocean is absorbing a large proportion of the extra CO2, which then reacts with the sea water making it more acidic. This affects the ability of corals to create their skeletons.
- Less frequent, more intense typhoons and storms: If the Pacific Islands natural coral defences begin to die, they become even more vulnerable to storms and typhoons predicted to increase in strength. The wind speed in these typhoons are likely to be up to 11% faster, while rainfall intensity is predicted to increase by 20% within 100km of the centre.
- Decreasing rainfall: Data since 1950 has shown an overall decrease in both average and seasonal rainfall in the Marshall Islands. This means that droughts, such as the one which affected the northern region of the country, may become more frequent.
- Temperatures will continue to increase: Temperatures have increased on average 0.12°C in Majuro and 0.20°C at Kwajalein per decade, and by 2030 the temperature increase is expected to be .4-1.0°C under a high emissions scenario.
- More extreme rainfall days: Modelling predictions show extreme rainfall days are likely to occur more often.
More detailed information from the Australian Government’s ‘Pacific Climate Change Science Program’ can be downloaded here –> Marshall Islands Climate Change Factsheet PDF.
What is the Government’s position on Climate Change?
In a statement at the United Nations in 2012, President Christopher Loeak stated that “sea level rise predictions of more than a metre pose complex risks to our future statehood”. After urging an end to the constant arguments between nations around climate change responses, and even responsibility, he asked other nations to increase their climate change ambitions to meet the Marshall Islands, which has a “national energy plan … to cut our own emissions, boost our efficiency and pursue new technology such as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion”. His entire series of statements can be viewed by clicking here.
We’re currently in contact with a number of our team coordinators, representatives and volunteers on the ground in the Pacific Region – compiling information on the key climate issues facing the country, what our teams are doing locally, and how local groups are standing up and confronting the challenge of climate change.
As we compile more information, this link will be appropriately updated. So check back soon!
350 Pacific team