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Ocean Experts, Scientists In Fiji To Compile Climate Change Report

Director for Fiji Meteorological Services, Ravind Kumar said in Nadi yesterday that the wrath of last year’s Tropical Cyclone Winston would remain a living testimony of how the impacts of
03 Oct 2017 11:45
Ocean Experts, Scientists In Fiji To Compile Climate Change Report
From left; Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences Dr Panmao Zhai, Thekwini Municipality South Africa Debra Roberts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Vice Chair Ko Barrett, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France Dr Valerie Masson- Delmotte and Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research Germany Dr Hans-Otto Portner at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change( IPCC) on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate First Lead Author Meeting at Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi on October 2, 2017. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa

Director for Fiji Meteorological Services, Ravind Kumar said in Nadi yesterday that the wrath of last year’s Tropical Cyclone Winston would remain a living testimony of how the impacts of climate change had destroyed the lives of many in Fiji.

Mr Kumar was speaking at the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryopshere in Changing Climate First Lead Author Meeting at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

The meeting hosted by Government and the University of the South Pacific is aimed at bringing together experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group including scientists from the ocean and cryosphere communities.

More than 100 participants from over 30 countries are attending the Nadi meeting which concludes on Friday.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change vice chair Ko Barrett said they were excited to have the meeting in Fiji to discuss a very significant report.

“The report will cover many issues that are relevant to Fiji and other Pacific Island countries,” Ms Barrett said.

“Participants are experts on the ocean related issues and for the first time scientists would come together to share knowledge on how to bring together the report.”

Ms Barrett said it was aimed to give Governments a state of scientific knowledge on the issue of climate change. Participants include scientists and authors from China, France, Germany, Nepal, Japan, Canada, United States of America, Fiji, Switzerland, Norway, United Kingdom to name a few.

They are selected as co-ordinating lead authors and lead authors on a special report on ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate. The report is expected to be finalised in 2019.

“TC Winston was one of the most powerful cyclones to be ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, storm surge reached as high as 30 metres on Koro Island and inundation reached 200 metres inland in some islands,” Mr Kumar.

Mr Kumar who is Fiji’s focal point for IPSS added that the cyclone had caused damages and destruction to 30,369 houses, 495 schools and 88 health clinics killing 44 people.

“Cyclone Winston caused extensive destruction of crops and compromised the livelihoods of almost 60 per cent of Fiji’s population,” she said.

Mr Kumar said the air temperature has increased throughout Fiji since 1960 and sea levels have also increased forcing villages to be relocated.

“Nights have warmed and the number of cool days and cool nights has decreased, Category 5 tropical cyclones were rare in the past but have become an annual event since 2013,” he said.

The estimated value of disaster effects arising from TC Winston was around $1.99 billion with $1.29 billion in damage (destroyed physical assets) and $0.71 billion in losses.

He said the meeting would enhance Fiji’s role as it prepared to preside over the C0P 23 meeting in Bonn, Germany next month.



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