GLOBAL warming and climate change may not be the only cause of sea level rise leading to our atolls and islands disappearing, an academic at the University of Papua New Guinea has raised.
“While the emphasis is on thermal effect (green- house signal) as the cause, other perimeters that contribute to sea level rise must not be overlooked,” Prof Than Aung, an oceanographer and physics lecturer, said.
He raised these concerns during the second day of a threeday climate change training workshop hosted by the Office of Climate Change and Environment Sustainability, in Port Moresby.
Prof Aung said “daily tides, atmospheric effects, vertical land movement, oceanographic and seismic effects” were some contributing factors.
He pointed out that the sea level was not increasing at an accelerating rate and policies made should be based on local rates of sea level rise.
The tide gauges are located in four monitoring stations in PNG to monitor sea level.
The sites are Manus, Milne Bay, Rabaul and Madang.
Prof Aung also noted that the Carteret Islands in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and other atolls in Manus that are disappearing are due to the combination of all the factors mentioned and not thermal change (climate change) alone.
Fellow academic at the university, Prof Chalapan Kaluwin reiterated the sentiments raised and urged that “when conducting awareness to the local vulnerable communities, it is important to inform them of all the factors involved”.
Churches are now also engaged in the climate change issue throughout the country.