Carterets' people ~

officially evacuated because of climate change

Rising sea levels entirely swamping the islands is the last act of a long, perhaps unstoppable process.

Bernard Gaile on Piul, one of the Carteret Islands.  

The stumps of coconut palms reveal where the shore line used to be.

For more than 30 years the 980 people living on the six minute horseshoe-shaped Carteret atolls about 100 km northeast of Bougainville have battled the Pacific to stop salt water destroying their coconut palms and waves crashing over their houses. They failed.

Pacific Atlantis: First Climate Change Refugees By John Vidal 25 November, 2005 The Guardian

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Starting as soon as money is available to the Papuan New Guinean regional government, 10 families at a time will be moved by the authorities to Bougainville, a larger island 62 miles away. Within two years the six Carterets, roughly the size of 80 football pitches and just 1.5 metres high, will be uninhabited and undefended. By 2015 they are likely to be completely submerged.

PIUL ~ This swamp used to be a productive garden.  Years of regular inundation by rising seas have turned the garden into a saline swamp that breeds malarial mosquitoes.

The Carterets will join many other Pacific islands that are on the point of being swallowed by the sea. Much of Kiribati, the Marshalls and other low-lying island groups might only be visible through a glass-bottomed boat in decades to come.

Two uninhabited Kiribati islands, Tebua Tarawa and Abanuea, disappeared underwater in 1999.

the number of people in the Oceania region affected by weather-related disasters has soared by 65 times during the past 30 years. (Red Cross) A12_s4_1