Climate change a major threat to Solomon Islands

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Lilisiana village, near Auki, Malaita province
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BY ELLISON VAHI

 GLOBAL sea levels are rising and the world’s land ice is disappearing.

Sea levels have risen 6 to 8 inches in the past 100 years, and Antarctica has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometres of ice per year since 2002, according to NASA satellite data.

It is estimated that by the year 2100, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that sea levels will rise as much as 20 inches.

While rising sea levels ultimately influence the entire planet, they pose the greatest threat to the islands currently residing at sea level.

Solomon Islands as a sovereign country consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi) is also one of the most vulnerable islands ever debated.

With rising sea level, it is an issue where some still ignore, however is destroying land and the livelihoods of many islanders.

For many small islands residing on low lying islands or atolls, sea level rises have become a major concern, as huge chunks of their coastline in their area are now washed away.

According to a study published in Environmental Research Letters have stated that five of the Islands in the western Pacific have disappeared due to rising sea levels over the past seven decades as well with another six islands there having lost more than 20 percent of their surface area, forcing people to relocate.

A study’s lead author, Simon Albert of the University of Queensland stated also stated that the Sea levels in the Solomon Islands have been climbing by 7 millimetres per year since 1994.

According to his studies Simon Albert said that the human element of this is alarming and whilst said that working alongside people on the frontline who have lost their family homes that they’ve had for four to five generations it’s quite alarming

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