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South Pacific Islands Victim of Climate Change

Aug 16, 2012 08:18 AM EDT
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An alarming study that will be published in the journal Nature claims that greenhouse gas emissions will have a devastating effect on South Pacific countries.

These countries will witness traumatic climate changes that will range from extreme floods to droughts.

The South Pacific rain band is known to be the largest and most persistent of the Southern Hemisphere, and faces harsh alterations due to the changing greenhouse warming. It is known that the rain band moves northwards toward the Equator by 1,000 kilometers, bringing in climate change.

This study was led by CSIRO oceanographer Dr. Wenju Cai. His study focuses on the frequency of these movements and to what extent these movements will be altered in the future. According to the study, there are greater chances of this frequency to multiply in the future, with a corresponding intensification of the rain band.

For the study, researchers considered the archives of general circulation models that were submitted for the fourth and fifth IPCC Assessments. In this, it was clearly indicated that greenhouse gases were projected to improve equatorial pacific warming. In turn, this warming leads to the increased frequency of extreme excursions of the rain band.

"During extreme El Nino events, such as 1982/83 and 1997/98, the band moved northward by up to 1,000 kilometers. The shift brings more severe extremes, including cyclones to regions such as French Polynesia that are not accustomed to such events," said Cai, also a scientist at the Wealth from Oceans Flagship.

Residents are left in a state of panic, trying to understand how the warming atmosphere will influence the intensity and incidence of such disastrous events.

Cai concludes saying, "Understanding changes in the frequency of these events as the climate changes proceed is therefore of broad scientific and socio-economic interest."

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