24 Sep 2015

Climate change models too simplistic - report

5:07 pm on 24 September 2015

A new report says climate change models which focus only on sea level rise are too simplistic and do not reflect the realities of changing weather patterns and coastal erosion.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Tebikenikora to discuss local people’s concerns about the effects of climate change on their low-lying land. 05 September 2011

The United nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Tebikenikora in Kiribati to discuss local people's concerns about the effects of climate change on their low-lying land. Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

According to a multi-agency study published this week in Nature Geoscience the predicted increase of severe El Nino and La Nina events will bring increased storm events with extreme coastal flooding and erosion across the Pacific.

Patrick Barnard from the US Geological Survey says other studies have analysed coastal impacts at local and regional levels but this is the first to look at patterns for the whole of the Pacific.

"So it is not just a simple raise the water level but it's the combination of you know sea level rise in 2050 or 2100 and if you grow a significant storm season on that then you really have significant impacts and those are the kind of impacts that need to be considered in policy and coastal management."

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