Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The rains coming down and the waves coming up

An article titled El Salvador: ‘How long until the waves reach us?  from Global Post reminds us of the vulnerability of El Salvador to the effects of global climate change:

This tiny Central American nation will lose between 10 percent and 28 percent of its coastal territory in the next 100 years, according to El Salvador’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN).
Those two scenarios are based on whether sea level rises by 5.1 inches or 43.3 inches, two extremes predicted by some current climate change models.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that sea level rise has already begun. It’s caused by both the thermal expansion of the oceans and flows of melt-water from the Arctic and other ice masses....
The left-wing government of President Mauricio Funes is actively seeking international funds to help El Salvador, one of the poorest nations in the Americas, cope with climate change.
“The government, of course, wants money,” says Ricardo Navarro, president of CESTA, the Salvadoran branch of Friends of the Earth. “But it has done little to show that it is managing its own environmental responsibilities, or to cut El Salvador’s own carbon emissions. Without committing to that, it will be even harder than normal to get money from foreign donors.” 
Yet it is not just rising seas that, according to scientists, make El Salvador highly vulnerable to climate change. Climate chaos, in the form of increasingly frequent storms and unpredictable rainfall, is also already wreaking havoc here.
Read the rest of the story here.

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