November 22, 2002

Sea Levels to Rise by 0.9 Meters

Seal levels will rise by 0.9 meter and many Pacific island states will simply cease to exist due to global warming in the new century, scientists warned in the World Disasters Report published on Wednesday.

Scientists describe the climate change as inevitable and the Pacific islands are on the front line, according to the report launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and the South African Red Cross Society in Pretoria.

In the next century, global temperatures are projected to rise faster than any time in human history and sea levels by up to 0.9 meter. Many islands will disappear in the Pacific Ocean.

Tuvalu, an island nation in the Pacific, is a string of nine coral atolls no more than a few meters above seal level at their highest point. The government has asked neighboring countries to help relocate its people.

On March 5, Prime Minister of Tuvalu Koloa Talake announced he was considering taking the world's worst polluters to court.

Climate change threatens to make cyclones more intense and unpredictable. Storm surges associated with cyclones are already eroding coastlines and contaminating freshwater supplies, according to the report.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2001 was the second warmest year on record. Since 1976, the global average temperature has risen at a rate approximately three times faster than the century-scale average.

Rising temperatures are increasing the spread of infectious disease vectors. Droughts in some regions are predicted to become more frequent.

The latest data show that the number of people in the ocean region affected by weather-related disasters has soared by staggering 65 times over the past 30 years.

(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2002)

In This Series
Global Warming Brings More Weather, Climate Extremes

Global Warming Accelerates China's Sea Level Rise



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