GOOD-BYE TUVALU!

Animasjon av øy som forsvinner i havet!

The tiny country in the South Pacific is disappearing in the ocean
- and the islanders are waiting to be washed to the sea!

Tuvalu was the first nation in the world to really feel the effects of the climate-change. Suddenly hurricanes appeared, in a country that not is supposed to have hurricanes because it is so close to equator. Waves washed across the flat islands, with an average height less than 2 meters, and threatened to wash everybody to the sea. Rising sea level, a result from the global warming makes the situation even worse: They will soon see their country disappear!
If you want to know more about what is happening in Tuvalu: What the United Nation's climate-panel says about the situation and what the inhabitants of the country feel - keep on reading:


EVERYBODY FLOATING?
"It seems that the world do not care what happen to my people, they want to see everybody floating before they respond", the former Prime Minister Kamuta Laatasi of Tuvalu said, "but they might not even be able to do that. We might not have enough wood here to build paopaos (rafts/canoes)!"

EL NIÑO STRONGER!
Former vice-president Al Gore of USA said the following on a El Niño top-meeting in California: "Our scientists say that the emission of greenhouse-gases contributes to that El Niño gets stronger and more destructive each time".

VERY DANGEROUS!
"Our islands are low-lying atolls, barely two meters above the surface, and much of the land-mass is already eroded and the sea has flooded on to the land. If the sea continues to rise, then we will have no islands; we will be disposed from these islands. So that is very dangerous", said the former Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Bikenibeu Paeniu.

BURY OUR HEADS IN THE SAND?
"The potential for serious climate disruption is real" US former president Bill Clinton said in a speech opening a conference on climate change, "it would be a grave mistake to bury our heads in the sand and pretend the issue will go away. Although we do not know everything, what we do know is more than enough to warrant responsible action."

THE CHILDREN SHOULD LIVE!
"Soon big waves will roll across our islands. We will try to climb the coconut-trees, but then we will drown. I donít mind dying, I am old now, but the children should live!", said my mother-in-law, Fakalei.
We left, but Emmaís family are still there...!

THOR HEYERDAHL: "FRIGHTENING!"
"You have an important mission in telling your frightening message, you have experienced something that we other will feel later on if we donít change our direction in time!", says Thor Heyerdahl in a letter to me 25/4-97.

THREATEN OUR EXISTENCE "The greenhouse effect and sea level rise threaten the very heart of our existence", the former Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Bikenibeau Paeniu.

HUMAN INFLUENCE
The UN climate-panel (IPCC 1995):
"The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate."

THE RISE OF SEA-LEVEL
UN climate-panel:
"Average sea level is expected to rise as a result of thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of glaciers and ice-sheets.
Models project a "best estimate" increase in sea level of about 50 cm from the present to 2100.
Sea level would continue to rise at a similar rate in future centuries beyond 2100, even if concentrations of greenhouse gases were stabilized by that time, and would continue to do so even beyond the time of stabilization of global mean temperature."
The Norwegian Meteorological Institute:
"In case of a general sea-level rise, then the ocean will rise fastest close to equator due to the rotation of the earth."

INCREASING NUMBER OF HURRICANES:
The atolls of Tuvalu is situated in/near the equatorial belt (between 5 and 11 degrees) and this is not a place one would expect hurricanes. In the encyclopedias you can read that the development of the rotation of wind that forms a hurricane only can take place on latitudes higher than 5-10 degrees south or north. In the British Admiralties Pilot Books you will find that it is considered safe for hurricanes between equator and 8-9 degrees.
List of hurricanes that have caused damages in Tuvalu this century:
1958 Hurricane NN, 1972 Hurricane Bebe, 1984 Hurricane Eric, 1990 Hurricane Sina, 1990 Hurricane Ofa, 1991 Hurricane Val, 1992 Hurricane Joni, 1992 Hurricane Kina, 1993 Hurricane Kina, 1993 Hurricane Nina, 1997 Hurricane Gavin, 1997 Hurricane Hina, 1997 Hurricane Kili.
The development is frightening, and the most frightening is perhaps that the last hurricane took place in the middle of June, the season for the southeasterly trade winds.

Funafuti
All the islands of Tuvalu are low-lying atolls, here the main-island Funafuti.
Want to find out where Tuvalu is, click for a map!

ManihikiALREADY HAPPENED
What might happen in Tuvalu has already happened in Manihiki in the Cook-islands, east of Tuvalu. The atoll was hit by a hurricane in 1998, and 12-meter high waves swept across the coral islands and washed the islanders to the ocean. They were very lucky, only 19 people died. The survivors were evacuated to New Zealand and most of them are living there today.
Emma, Sonia, me and our home in TuvaluWORLDS FIRST CLIMATE-REFUGEE
My connection to Tuvalu is that I sailed single-handed to the Pacific from Norway in a my yacht Coco Loco. After four years my little home was run into in the Solomon islands. After a few months in Norway I returned to the Pacific and was married to the Emma Toematagi in Tuvalu. We built our home on Nukulaelae, one of Tuvalu's nine atolls. After six years and three hurricanes we were forced to leave - we feared for the life of our daughter Sonia. We are today called the world's first climate-refugees and know what the dangerous climate-change with life-threatening hurricanes and rising sea level really mean!
Tuvalu is the first country that really has felt the effects,
- but the climate change does not stop in the Pacific!
I launched an action in Norway in 1997 to try to make people aware of the problem. Norway, as the worldís second largest exporter of fossil fuels, should definitely take itís part of the responsibilities for the future of the inhabitants of Tuvalu. The above is an extract from the action, and to read the original page, click here.

TERRY DAHL'S WORLD:
Index-page

The solo-sailing

The island-life

The greenhouse- effect

The books and novels

The music

The Sextant

The food
The Norwegian Pages

 



E-mail: terje@sydhav.no