Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change already having drastic effects on Torres Strait islands

Climate change eats away at Torres Strait islands, prompting calls for long-term solutions, ABC Far North 

A flood prevention method that withstood wild weather this week may be rolled out to other vulnerable Torres Strait communities, including Yam Island where families were left homeless after king tides last year.

Torres Strait Island Regional Council deputy mayor Getano Lui said geotextile sandbags were used for the first time in the Torres Strait this week when abnormally high tides impacted Poruma Island, a cultural hub home to just 200 people.

“It’s getting worse every year,” he said.”Climate change is really having a detrimental effect on all the communities.

“When I was growing up the elders could predict the weather but right now it’s unpredictable.

“The worst is yet to come this year, the king tides are predicted [on February 19] and anything could happen, we could end up with the same catastrophe as Yam Island last year.”

Connection to land, culture under threat

Research from the Torres Strait Regional Authority shows sea levels are rising by 6mm each year — double the global average.

“If this trend continues, relocation is an option many of those on the Torres Strait’s 200 islands and coral cays may be faced with,” Mr Lui said.

“What is instilled in us and our ancestors is if the Torres Strait sinks, we’ll sink with it.

“We would be very reluctant to be relocated.

“Most of us would refuse to leave.”

Torres Shire Council mayor Vonda Malone said the region’s two councils would now look at installing the sandbags on other vulnerable islands such as Yam Island, Masig Island and Boigu.

“The weather over the last two weeks has been unpredictable; it has been full on,” she said…..

Sinking cemeteries a concern for State MP


February 8, 2019 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, Northern Territory

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