Terrified in the Pacific Ocean

1990/09/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

The inhabitants of the islands scattered across the Pacific are terrified by global warming. This warming would cause the thaw of the poles. Therefore, they could raise sea level and flood coastal lands.

However, when determining the speed of ascent and sea level rise, experts do not agree. In the islands of the Pacific Ocean, the two data cited (how much and at what speed) consider them very important. Some claim that sea level will rise 4 meters, meaning that Marshall, Tuvalu and Kiribati and many Polynesian islands would disappear completely. If anything remained on the water, every time there was a storm the waves would occupy everything below.

According to the inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean, the consequences of the excesses carried out in the Northern Hemisphere for three centuries with fossil fuels are the same, since its inhabitants have never damaged their environment. Therefore, coral reefs and mangroves can offer remedy against sea level rise. For thousands of years, coral reefs have been able to adapt to sea level change and have survived despite the sinking of the volcanic island on which they were based. In the mangledia, a forest of trees called mangle, the roots of the trees are under water or above water according to the tide. The mangrove is able to ascend quickly by fixing the sediments. It is also the perfect protection that breaks the waves in storms.

Ignoring the biologists' recommendations, the attack on these natural protections has been constant. New tourist beaches, opening of ditches, construction of ports, dumping of toxic products, industries, accumulation of waste, etc. All this has hurt coral reefs and mangroves. The mangroves, for example, have been thrown in the vicinity of the cities with the excuse that they collected.

It would be good, then, to try to save the madrepores and mangroves and, with the help of the biologists, to try to resurrect those who have disappeared.