Marshall Islands

Is ocean flooding a sign of things to come?

Recently the Marshall Islands has seen substantial ocean flooding causing roads to be filled with debris and water, and locals are wondering if the cause is simply seasonal, or a sign that climate change is starting to have a greater impact.

According to a report by the World Bank Group, sea levels in the Marshall Islands area have risen over 0.7 mm since 1980, higher than any other area of the world.

Rising temperatures add to climate change concerns with the nation recording an average increase of 0.12 degrees over each decade for the past 30 years, as reported by the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative.

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Even though this weather has been seen many times, Marshall Islands Police Department Official Junior Bolkeim said that he has no doubt climate change is making an impact.

“This….happens at the same time every year, so it’s seasonal but yes definitely [climate change] is making it worse.”

“A couple of days ago we probably had the biggest flood we’ve seen in my town.

Is ocean flooding a sign of things to come?
By 2050 Marshall Islands could be inundated if countries around the world don’t stick to the goal of maintaining 1.5 degrees. Picture: Flickr

“It’s the biggest one we [Marshall Islands] have seen in years.”

Echoing these thoughts is Tina Stege, a climate envoy for the Marshall Islands who told Sky News that climate conditions are already serious but the future seems impossibly grim.

“Living with 1.1 [degrees] is a challenge and living with 1.5 degrees is going to be very painful.

“We are an atoll nation that sits just two meters above sea level and we’re looking at a sea level rise of 0.5m at 1.5 degrees by 2050. That would mean inundation.”

Developed nations have pledged $100 billion to aid the Marshall Islands in their race against climate change yet beyond the planning stages little has been done to ensure their survival.

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