EXPERT SAYS TOO EARLY TO ASSESS IF SEA LEVEL RISING

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 29) - Pacific Island Forum leaders meeting in Auckland next month will be told that it's too soon to say if sea level rise is actually an established fact and a potentially serious problem.

The government of the low-lying atoll nation of Tuvalu is in little doubt, and is looking at transporting its entire population overseas.

Bill Mitchell, director of Australia's National Tidal Facility, says their monitoring equipment has only been measuring sea levels around the Pacific for 10 years.

He'll brief regional leaders on the situation at the Forum but says he is reluctant to ring alarm bells yet:

"The main thing is that if you are living on a low lying atoll like Tuvalu, you get to see the ocean from a different perspective. Oh I think there is a moderate concern there for them and it certainly not a huge concern in the immediate term we will have to plan adequately for some sea-level rise obviously and it is just prudent to investigate at what level."

July 29, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

 

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