25 Jun 2007

Dire warnings for Pacific over global warming

11:59 am on 25 June 2007

A US government specialist on environmental health has told a conference in Honolulu of the hazards faced by the Pacific because of global warming.

Dr. Mark Keim, of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, says rising seas and coastal flooding will affect millions worldwide, starting in the Pacific.

He said American Samoa, Micronesia, Fiji and Tuvalu "will be the most affected early on."

Speaking at a Pacific Global Health Conference, Dr. Keim described the Pacific as one of "the most hazard-prone areas in the world" with high death rates from diseases and environmental emergencies.

He believes the Pacific will be "the most disaster-prone area in the world" if nothing is done.

Dr. Keim warned that low-lying atolls will no longer exist in the next two generations unless something is done to to mitigate climate change.