SIDS and the rising seas

Small island developing states should be well advanced by now in planning for climate change. A crucial decision is to move disaster response agencies and key ministeries inland and away from the coast. Schools need to be retrofitted as community protection centres powered by photovoltaic solar energy. Communication systems need to be storm-proof. Read More

SIDS and the carbon budget

The IPCC report on global warming has a grim warning for small islands--where the hammer of climate change will fall the hardest. At the same time, the Earth's carbon budget is depleting fast as emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise. Read More

Antarctic melt accelerates sea level rise

Recent satellite data from NASA and the ESA show that the Antarctic ice sheet is melting much faster than previously thought--leading to more rapid global sea level rise. The rate of increase of atmosheric carbon dioxide is also increasing. These data show evidence of geophysical positive feedbacks that will be difficult if not impossible to control without forceful measures to reduce emissions of carbon. Read More

Alberto, Beryl, and Chris

These are the names proposed for the first three named tropical storms that develop in the Atlantic and Caribbean during this year’s hurricane season.  Alberto has already shown up early. Although the season doesn’t officially start until June 1, Alberto who started life in the south west Caribbean close to Belize, is heading north for […] Read More

The disaster files – 2017

2017 was not a record a year for disasters. Not in terms of fatalities at least. The devastating hurricanes that flattened so many Caribbean islands and caused massive damage in the US thankfully caused far fewer deaths than many other disasters in the recent record. But the impact on many small Caribbean islands was catastrophic. The numbers show that the 51 Small Island Developing States are hugely vulnerable to climate change. Read More

COP23 – The SIDS take charge

The small island developing states, the SIDS, can play a starring role at COP23. As a group they have numbers. They come in at 51 countries.  That’s a good-sized pack.  They got clout. They can change the narrative – if they seize the moment. This is what they need to do: They tell the UNFCCC […] Read More

COP23: Small island States show how its done

With COP23 in Bonn not too far away, it’s a good time to mull over the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The international collaboration and coordination that led to the Paris accord in December 2015 was unprecedented—and a clear sign that almost every government in the world–except of course for the very notable […] Read More

COP21 : where do we go after Paris?

We should celebrate the many successes of the last year: Shell pulling out of the Arctic, fracking in the US and the UK blocked in many places; the increasing influence of land rights groups in protecting their lands; the collapse of oil prices as a major deterrent to exploration in environmentally fragile land and seascapes. […] Read More