11 Apr 2007

Climate change expert says some Pacific Islanders may have to leave their islands

10:35 am on 11 April 2007

The author of a UN report on climate change in the Pacific warns some Pacific peoples could be forced out of their island homes.

Graham Sem is the lead author of the small islands section of the IPCC report, which warns of depleted fish stocks, massive storm surges and more intense weather patterns in the region.

Some small atolls may also disappear as sea levels rise.

Graham Sem says more havoc is forecast for the Pacific than anywhere else, especially as key infrastructure is often located on the coastline.

"For some islands. they are able to mve the infrastructure inland. For some the choices are very limited. In Tuvalu, om the island of Funafuti, which has about five thousand people, it's very hard to move inland because it's already very crowded. So, the long-term solution would be migrating."

Graham Sem says the effects of global warming are already evident and the future looks gloomy.