Sea levels on Pacific islands are rising faster than world average


According to the UN meteorological agency on Friday, sea levels in the south-west Pacific are rising faster than the global average, endangering low-lying islands and harming marine ecosystems.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported in its State of the Climate in the South-West Pacific 2022 report that water levels were rising at a rate of roughly 4 mm per year in certain areas, which is slightly faster than the global average.

This means that low-lying areas such as Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands may be flooded over time, devastating agricultural and habitable fields and rendering residents unable to relocate to higher elevations.

"This will have a big impact on the South-West Pacific region as it is frequently associated with higher temperatures, disruptive weather patterns and more marine heatwaves and coral bleaching," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

Taalas said that El Nino, a rising of water surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean that has returned this year, will have a significant impact on the region.

According to the report, the region had 35 natural disasters last year, including floods and storms, which killed over 700 people. More than 8 million people were directly harmed by these threats. Meanwhile, the number of reported disastrous weather events in the region fell last year compared to 2021, although the size of economic damages due to flooding and weather events grew.

(With input from Reuters)

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