Research Article Open Access

Sea Level Threat in Tuvalu

Than Aung1, Awnesh Singh1 and Uma Prasad1
  • 1 ,
American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 6 No. 6, 2009, 1169-1174

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/ajassp.2009.1169.1174

Submitted On: 18 November 2008 Published On: 30 June 2009

How to Cite: Aung, T., Singh, A. & Prasad, U. (2009). Sea Level Threat in Tuvalu. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 6(6), 1169-1174. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajassp.2009.1169.1174

Abstract

Problem statement: Recently the impacts of climate change, in particular, sea level rise, had been a major concern for many Pacific island countries. In early 2000, there were a series of media coverage over sea level rise issues using Tuvalu as an example. The daily life of Tuvalu revolves around the ocean and the immediate threat on the islands people, economy, environment and its islands is of concern to the Tuvalu government. The Tuvalu government has concluded that Tuvalu was destined to become the first nation to be sunk by global warming because it is one of the smallest and lowest-lying countries in the world. Approach: In this study, sea level data from the Australian project will be focussed on despite the fact that the length of data is not sufficiently long. The AusAID funded South Pacific Sea Level and climate monitoring project was set up in response to concerns raised by Pacific island countries over the potential impacts of an enhanced greenhouse effect on climate and sea levels in the South Pacific for 20 years. Results: Based upon the 15½ years of sea level data from the project, the sea level rise rate in Tuvalu as at september 2008 was 5.9 mM year-1. This was about four times higher than the global average of 1-2 mm year-1. Sea level in the Tuvalu area had risen approximately 9.14 cm since the inception of the project 15½ years ago. However, it was to be noted that the land is quite stable and the rate of land sinking is -0.06 mM year-1 only. Accordingly, there was no significant impact on the sea level trends. Conclusion: Although the data length is just over 15 years, the sea level trend values do not fluctuate significantly since 1999. It simply indicated that the rate of sea level rise in the Tuvalu region was not accelerating as anticipated by the community.

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Keywords

  • sea level
  • greenhouse effect
  • climate change
  • AusAID
  • Tuvalu
  • Pacific Islands