Fiji: Youths challenged on Climate ChangeFebruary 7th, 2011
Environmental scientists were given the chance to challenge delegates from the 23rd Ship of the world Youth Programme about the importance of climate change and its effects on Pacific countries.
Dr Russell Howorth, Director of SPC Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC), issued the challenge to the more than 40 international youth delegates who attended a presentation by SOPAC scientists on their work within
the region on climate change.
Dr. Howorth said climate change has gained prominence in the debate on development at all levels, national, regional and global.
“The ocean is often referred to as the engine room of the global climate,” said Dr Howorth.
“It occupies nearly three quarters (75 per cent) of the earth’s surface and stores most of the incoming energy from the Sun. Not only is the Pacific Ocean the largest physical feature on Earth, here in the SOPAC region over 95 per cent of the environment is the Pacific Ocean.”
Most of SOPAC’s work is linked to assisting its island members respond to the climate change challenge, and assisting island communities ensure effective adaptation strategies are in place, and sustainable.
This requires understanding the potential impacts of climate change, and understanding requires information that comes from timely ongoing scientific and technical data collection.
“Put simply, this is the very rationale for SOPAC,” said Dr Howorth
Dr Howorth explained that climate change is not discernable on a daily basis, it is about daily weather events and in particular, extreme weather events that are changed slowly over time, and whose frequency and intensity may be increasing.