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Climate Change Being Studied In Belize #406370
04/28/11 08:21 AM
04/28/11 08:21 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,954
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Scientists studying the effects of climate change on small island states are being hosted in Belize for the next two days, as they share their findings on this Global phenomenon impacting small economies like Belize and sister nations of the Caribbean region.

While industrialized countries are blamed for one of the main causes of climate change, that is, the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, smaller nations seem to be feeling the brunt of its effects; just look at Belize's weather damaged reef and you'll know that to be true.

In a move directed at encouraging scientists from the region to participate in global scientific research efforts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is hosting the workshop along with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. Today Seven News spoke with two of the key panelists on how economies of the region have been impacted.

Dr. Kris Ebi - Head, IPCC Tech Support Unit
"This is a first time that the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change has held a regional meeting, so we're very excited about these meetings. We've held two so far: one in Asia and one in South America; this is the third and the fourth is going to be in Africa. And it's an opportunity of the scientists, in this case who work in small Island States, to come together and talk about the research that they're doing to make sure that it's put into a format that can be accessed Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change and so can become a part of the assessment. So all of this rich knowledge can then inform the conlusions that will come out in 2014 when the working group to contribution is concluded."

Jim McFadzean
"Dr. Leslie, how has climate change - and has there been any research specifically in Belize as to how is Belize is suffering from climate change - do we know?"

Dr. Kenrick Leslie - Executive Director, CCCCC
"The answer to that is that we do know the extent. But we do know that the impacts are already being manifested in various ways. One of the areas we always talked about is the question of the coral reef, and we know that the temperatures of the Caribbean Sea is well above what is considered to give rise to a healthy reef. As a result, we have been conducting along with the University of the West Indies, University of Belize, and a number of research programs, in fact, the Center has been able to put together some very critical research stations. One is in Discover Bay, Jamaica, which is jointly manned by NOAA and the Center. We are now in the process of putting another one in Belize that will be operated by the University of Belize, and later on, a second station in Belize, because the Barrier Reef being so long, we can have different parts. We can extend this to the Eastern Caribbean as well."

Jim McFadzean
"How can small economies such as Belize confront the effects of climate change?"

Dr. Kris Ebi
"There is an international process that is working on negotiations around this very issue. One of the outcomes of the last round of negotiations that came out of Cancun in December, was that the industrialized countries said that they are committing up to a 100 billion dollars a year to help smaller economies, particularly the small island states and other very vulnerable countries, adapt to the changes that they are seeing."

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Gaspar Vega is expected to address the participants tomorrow morning.

Channel 7

Re: Climate Change Being Studied In Belize [Re: Marty] #406379
04/28/11 08:30 AM
04/28/11 08:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,954
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Intergovernmental Panel on climate change meets in Belize

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It’s a scientific group that deals with the complex issue of climate change. Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the group on a voluntary basis. They are meeting at the Biltmore Plaza in an information sharing workshop on climate change and its relevance to the small islands. News Five’s Andrea Polanco found out that the scientists have come from as far as Australia and as close as Barbados.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The IPCC Regional Small Islands Workshop which brought together over twenty-five climate change representatives of small islands around the world in an effort to expose young scientists to the processes that are used to assess the status of climate change globally.

Leonard Nurse

Dr. Leonard Nurse, Senior Lecturer- CERMES: UWI, Cave Hill Campus

“Every four or five years or so the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the mandate of governments of the world undertake assessments in relation to climate change science. What we thought we should be doing is to begin to expose young scientists who are not yet a part of the process to get them expose to the processes that are used, the guidelines, the kind of science that is required, and to get them involve in doing research to fill some of the gaps that exists in the assessments, particularly focusing on small island states.”

One such small island participating in the workshop is Trinidad & Tobago, and for Professor John Agard who has participated in the last meeting, there are expectations for growth and advancement:

John Agard

Professor John Agard, U.W.I., St. Augustine Campus

“The response to some of the issues has been disappointing, not to talk but from the measurements we make in this part of the world we know that sea level is rising that’s a fact and there are monitors through-out the region. There are certain things that we should be doing because we know the temperature is rising that’s not a hoax because it’s easy to measure and publicly available to all sundry. Yes I would find that there is a big difference between science and dealing with facts because of the political framework because the rules and decision making is far more complex something I’m yet to quite understand myself so I hope that we’ll make some advance here.”

And it is the goal to bring together the small islands because the climate change challenges are shared by everyone, regardless of state size.

Emeritus Roger McLean

Professor Emeritus Roger McLean, University of New South Wales, Australia

“I have been associated with the IPCC since the second assessment. The very first assessment was done over twenty years ago and since then there have bee five assessments. In the last three of those IPCC assessments, the small island states and small islands have had a separate identity and identity is one of the reasons why we have been coming to this particular meeting.”

Arthur Webb

Dr. Arthur Webb, SOPAC, Fiji Islands

“We do have a number of representatives from the Pacific Islands here again joining us. We again just hope to take home some of the experiences that we’re hearing from this region as well it’s great to see similar environments dealing with similar sorts of challenge whether it be historical or politically, the challenge is in climate change. We all have those and we can learn from each other in better ways to try and bring back ultimately better solutions to this problem.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

The workshop will continue through to Friday with a series of presentations and discussions.

Re: Climate Change Being Studied In Belize [Re: Marty] #406465
04/28/11 09:18 PM
04/28/11 09:18 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,954
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Small islands are very much in the front-line of climate change with its impacts on people, economies, tourism income and ecosystems likely to be severe according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Scientists from the region are in Belize for a three day workshop to share research data that impact climate change.

Dr. Kris Ebi – Head, IPCC Tech Support Unit

“This is the first time the IPCC has held these kinds of regional meetings and we are really hoping that people will go away and write up some of the work they are doing. The challenges in the past has been outstanding research has been done it hasn’t been written up in a way that could be assessed by the IPCC. We are hoping that will happen that people will get that work written up so it is available and we can provide assessments that are more relevant to the questions policy makers are asking."

Maria Novelo - Reporter

When it comes to climate change why is it that little attention is given to it by the general populace?

Dr. Kris Ebi – Head, IPCC Tech Support Unit

“I think many people in the general population think that climate change is something in the future, it is something in the future but it is also something in the here and now. If people paid attention to what is going on in their back yard they would have an understanding that in many countries spring is coming sooner, fall is coming later in the year, bird migration patterns are changing, what you can plant is changing, so people are already seeing that in their backyard but not really understanding that these are the patterns to expect with climate change.”

These could also contribute to other key goals including poverty eradication, energy security, better waste management, healthier fisheries and improved water supplies. Adaptive measures include the rehabilitation and conservation of natural sea defenses and fish nurseries like mangroves and coral reefs. Peniamina Leavai, who is the project officer for the Pacific adaptation for climate change project says they are researching the adaptation options that are out there in the Pacific Region. Researchers say that future changes in rainfall patterns, coupled with storm surges leading to salt contamination of freshwaters will be a key challenge for many small islands. A reduction in the size of the island, as a result of land loss from sea level rise, would reduce the thickness or depth of the freshwater lens by close to a third. Meanwhile, rising sea levels may also raise water tables close to or above the surface on some small islands increasing the rate of losses from evaporation. Many small islands in the Caribbean are also facing increased water stress as a result of climate change, especially during the summer months. It is likely that most will be unable to meet islanders’ needs during low rainfall periods.


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