Monday, January 22, 2007

Guyana flood of 2005

It is now 2 years since the 'Great Flood'. Said to be Guyana's worst natural disaster. Thankfully we have been spared a repeat - so far. Lessons have been learned and many improvements made in neglected infrastructure. The medium prospects remain uncertain however given climate change.
Here is an SDNP website from 2005 with links to other flood web sites (not all of which still exist) documenting the event.
Here is a Stabroek News article from today about families still recovering from the flood.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Guyana sea level

Reading a recent BBC article on sea level rise I was reminded of an article in one of our main national newspapers (Stabroek News) . The first article is about recent research suggesting that the rate of sea level rise is more than some had predicted and is about 10mm per year:
The team from Germany and the US found that for the timescale relevant to human-induced climate change, the observed rate of sea level rise through the 20th Century held a strong correlation with the rate of warming.
When applied to the possible scenarios outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the researchers found that in 2100 sea levels would be 0.5-1.4m above 1990 levels.
This agrees with local records which are referred to in the Stabroek News article:
According to the project document, an analysis of tide gauge records from 1951 to 1979 shows the trend in sea level rise for Guyana to be in excess of 10 mm/year, which implies a net change in sea level of 0.9 ft for the 28-year period examined. Assuming that the rate found remains constant then the net change in the sea level from 1951 - 2005 is some 1.8 feet. According to the studies quoted in the PID, sea level rise in the region of Guyana is 2 to 5 times faster than the global estimate.
The project referred to seek to address water control issues arising from climate change.
Given that most of our population lives near or below sea level these figures indicate how serious the situation is for us here! Short-term planning no longer suffices...