New insights into climate change in Samoa
MNRE/CSIRO: New research providing critical information about the climate of Samoa is being launched today by the Meteorology Division of the Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment. Hon. Fa’amoetauloa Taito Dr. Faale Tumaalii, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment will deliver the keynote address to officially launch the report. The landmark, peer-reviewed publication, Climate Change in the Pacific: Scientific Assessment and New Research, presents the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date of climate change in the Pacific region. The research was produced as part of the Australian Government’s three year Pacific Climate Change Science Program (PCCSP).
The first volume of the report provides a regional overview. The second volume contains individual reports for 15 countries including a report on the past, current and possible future climate of Samoa. This was a collaborative effort between the Samoa Meteorology Division and Australian scientists.
“The government’s climate change adaptation strategies and actions rely on scientific information pertaining to the climate system and how it has changed over time under global warming. This report will complement existing knowledge and understanding of climate change in Samoa and will help develop climate-proofed adaptation strategies and building resilience of local communities to future climate change.” said Mr. Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Meteorology Division, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
“The research provides clear evidence of how the climate has changed across this region. For example, the past decade has been the warmest on record, sea level has risen and ocean acidity levels are continuing to increase in response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations,” said Geoff Gooley, from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
“In the future we expect widespread increases in extreme rainfall events, large increases in the incidence of hot days and warm nights, continued sea-level rise and ocean acidification, and fewer tropical cyclones but an increase in the proportion of cyclones in the more intense categories,” Mr Gooley said.
The information about the future climate of Samoa is easily accessible via a new interactive online tool called Pacific Climate Futures (www.pacificclimatefutures.net)
Pacific Climate Futures allows the user to explore future changes in various aspects of the climate including temperature, rainfall, wind, sunshine and humidity for 20-year averages around 2030, 2055 and 2090 under three greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
Key messages from the information in this report have also been summarised in user-friendly brochures available in English and Samoan.
The PCCSP was delivered by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO and managed by the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in collaboration with AusAID as part of Australia’s five year, $328.2 million, International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative. The PCCSP concluded in December 2011 and is now part of the Pacific-Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning Program (PACCSAP).
Electronic versions of the report and brochures summarising findings are available at: www.pacificclimatechangescience.org.