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South Pacific Islands Are Sinking

Earth Observations
Torres Island: South Pacific
Click on Interactive Map
January, 2007
There was no real impact on Masig with recent high tides, due to mainly to the absence of the traditional strong, high-velocity winds, usually in the 30 knot range. “It has rained but it’s not monsoonal. The weather pattern has really changed and is now very unpredictable.” The change in weather patterns had been a gradual process over many years, but had accelerated in recent times. “It’s now quite obvious; so obvious it’s unpredictable. It’s interesting to note the local community seems to have forgotten about the high tide issue given the current weather patterns, and if the strong winds fail to emerge, the damage should be minimal. The high tide will shift the sand, but the water shouldn’t invade the Island as was the case last year.” Global warming is impacting on the Island. “It needs to be remembered it’s not just Masig, Iama, Poruma, Boigu, Saibai and Warraber, but also Cairns and the entire South Pacific where some islands already have been abandoned. And what about the 5000 people living along the coastline of PNG? But people seem to have left it to the politicians. The monster of global warming is not going to get smaller, it’s going to grow and grow; it’s a time bomb waiting to happen. Someone needs to educate the people throughout the entire Torres Strait, not just the five or six islands affected.” People in the South Pacific are losing their whole islands.
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