WMO Issues Dire Warning on Rising Sea Levels

Recently, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a stark warning, revealing that sea levels in the Pacific Islands are increasing at a rate of approximately 4 mm per year, slightly exceeding the global average.

Key Points:

  • Threat to Low-Lying Islands: The accelerated sea level rise poses a severe threat to low-lying Pacific Islands like Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands.
  • Over time, these islands could face catastrophic flooding, resulting in the loss of agricultural lands and habitable areas.
  • Marine Heatwaves Impact: The report also highlighted the occurrence of prolonged marine heatwaves in a significant area northeast of Australia and south of Papua New Guinea, spanning over six months.
  • These heatwaves have had detrimental effects on marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of local communities.
  • El Nino's Role: El Nino is characterized by warming water surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean.
  • It often leads to higher temperatures, disruptive weather patterns, increased marine heatwaves, and coral bleaching in the South-West Pacific region.
  • Natural Hazards and Human Impact: The report revealed that the region experienced 35 natural hazards in the previous year, including floods and storms, resulting in the tragic loss of over 700 lives and affecting more than 8 million individuals.