Sea warming faster in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea has experienced some of the fastest rates of sea level rise anywhere around the globe in the past twenty years.
Situated on the Western Pacific Ocean, the region has experienced fifteen centimetres of sea level rise since the early 1990’s.
Climate Change experts from the Intergovernmental Climate Change Panel in Australia revealed the rate of sea level rise in the country is three times faster than the average over the rest of the oceans.
This revelation was made recently by the experts whilst answering questions raised by the NBC reporter attending a training workshop on Climate Change Reporting for journalists from the Asia Pacific regions.
Questions raised include how much detriment sea level rise would be having on low lying areas in Papua New Guinea in the next twenty years.
The experts say it is important to understand why the increase in sea level rise in the region is much faster than the rest of the oceans.
They also explained that there are some well- known natural cycles in the tropical Pacific that may cause extra warming and faster sea level rise.
But scientists say they still do not know whether the recent rise in sea level is driven or caused by global warming, in which case it may continue, or whether it is part of a natural cycle, in which case further dramatic rise could be delayed.
However, what they can say now is that something between three and fifteen centimetres of further sea level rise seems likely in the western tropical Pacific in the next ten years.
And in the long run, the range is much bigger, between 30 centimetres and 2 meters by the year 2100.
Scientists also say that it is very difficult for societies to make decisions about how to prepare for sea level rise when the range of possibilities is so large.
They further explained that natural cycles in the oceans may cause temporary declines in the future and this may last several years or even decades, although it is highly unlikely that levels will again be as low as they were in the first half of the 20th century.
They say that sea level rising and for all practical purposes, these changes cannot be reversed.