PH sea level rise may be faster than global average: climatologist
MANILA – Sea levels in the Philippines may be rising faster than the global average, a climatologist said.
Meteorologist and climatologist Lourdes Tibig said a coastal island in Visayas may be experiencing a sea level rise faster than that of the global average.
“The global average is 3.7 millimeters per year. In Visayas islands, in that particular study site, they found out that the sea level rise is happening four times 3.7 millimeters per year. 3.7 millimeters times four. That’s more than one centimeter every year,” she said.
“Imagine what that coastal island would look like, say, in 2050. It really is very grim. That coastal island would be submerged almost the whole year. It would be totally submerged in water if sea level rise is, rather climate change is not really decelerated.”
Tibig said the impact of climate change on coastal communities could be severe.
“The way we are acting now, the way people are acting now is like nothing, they’re not causing any problem at all. They don’t realize the gravity of the situation. But I tell you, sea level rise in the Philippine seas is faster than what the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report says,” she stressed.
The United Nations IPCC on Tuesday released a report that said global warming is dangerously close to spiraling out of control, warning the world is already certain to face further climate disruptions for decades, if not centuries, to come.
Tibig also said tropical cyclones will have greater impact as climate change worsens.
“Because the projection is that while the number of tropical cyclones may not increase, the intensity will certainly increase. And you have seen how much is the destruction being wrought about by any tropical cyclone has become in recent years,” she warned.
“And if we do not heed new report, we are bound to see more problems in terms if weather security, in terms of agricultural produce, in terms of health…and in terms of the environment itself.”
Tibig said she hopes government would incentivize and subsidize renewable energy projects.
She urged the public to use resources sustainably in order to slow down the impact of climate change.
“Simple thing ordinary people can do is plant more trees, use natural resources sustainably--meaning there’s a limit to natural resources. We need to learn to use it sustainably. We don’t use it as if there’s no tomorrow,” she said.