Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sea level monitors for Torres Straits islands

PS News (Australia): The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has joined with the Torres Strait Regional Authority to provide sea-level monitors to four island communities in the Torres Strait to measure the impact of climate change.

The $1 million initiative will allow island communities in the Torres Strait to monitor mean sea levels and assess tidal variation, potential sea level rises and support decision-making in response. Minister for Climate Change, Senator Penny Wong also announced $400,000 for new research into the impacts of climate change on the Torres Strait that would help build scientific knowledge about the risk of inundation to local communities.

Senator Wong visited several Torres Strait islands along with Labor MP for Leichhardt, Jim Turnour to examine problems caused by sea inundation and coastal erosion. “After seeing firsthand the unique challenges faced by these Island communities, it is obvious that we need to gain a better understanding of the potential future impacts of climate change in this unique region,’’ Senator Wong said.

Mr Turnour said regular flooding at times of high sea levels was already affecting communities in low lying areas, putting small townships and cultural sites under threat. “Climate change is a real risk, we need to help these communities to better understand the risks and to prepare for it,’’ Mr Turnour said….

Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, shot by Feral Arts, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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