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March 17, 2010
Worldfocus Radio: Small Islands, Big Climate Changes

Members of the Maldives Cabinet meet underwater on October 17. Photo: on Flickr

In December, delegates from most of the countries from around the globe gathered in Copenhagen to discuss how to slow the pace of climate change.

While no full-scale agreement was reached, a political accord emerged from the conference, which China and India endorsed just last week.

But rather than discussing the big greenhouse gas emitters, we want to look deeper at the immediate consequences of climate change on small islands — from the Caribbean to the South Pacific.

Joining Martin Savidge are Ronald Jumeau and May Boeve to discuss:

  • Copenhagen conference: results, shortcomings and lessons
  • Best/worst-case scenarios: small islands, climate change and the future
  • U.S./wider world: carbon emissions, regulation and Obama’s policies


Ronald Jumeau has been the Permanent Representative of the Seychelles to the United Nations since 2007. Previously, he served as Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, and as Minister for Culture and Infomation.

May Boeve is a co-founder of the climate change group, where she works on international partnerships and political strategy. Previously, she worked on the Step It Up campaign, which helped shape the debate about global warming policy in the U.S.

Host: Martin Savidge
Producer: Ben Piven




If you want to know how the cycle works PBS did a good job of it in:
Scientific American Frontiers Hot Planet – Cold Comfort.
Its possible that a Ice age will reduce sea levels due to increased snow build-up but without global circulation of heat the climate will implode.

If you want to know how the cycle works PBS did a good job of it in:
Scientific American Frontiers Hot Planet – Cold Comfort.
Its possible that a Ice age will reduce sea levels due to increased snow build-up but without global circulation of heat the climate will implode.


SId, I have a PHD in Chemistry. And you do not know even the basic chemistry behind ocean acidification. Or behind carbonation.
CO2 + H2O —>> H2CO3 Carbonic acid
My guess is that you want to make a profit by advertising your unscientific and ignorant book in this forum to anyone who you can dupe into believing the lies it contains. I am shocked at how poorly educated you are. You come in here telling lies and thinking people will believe them, were are not that going to believe you.


Sid, you’re wrong. It does form carbonic acid.
But carbonic acid is still a very [i]weak[/i] acid at the highest concentrations of CO2 possible.
Here’s a relevant link to the topic:


Your claims are absurd Ms. Masterson. CO2+H20≠carbonic acid.
If what you claimed were true, then seltzer water would be carbonic acid. As would champagne, or any other carbonated beverage.
Again, the advocates of this whole charade prove to have no grasp of the actual science (but plenty of advocacy). It is shocking how poorly educated some people are.


Thank you for this focus on Mexico. I appreciate learning about this complex world from your reporting. Mexico is our close neighbor, and as D.D. said, we don’t see much more than a few recurring story topics in most news reporting on Mexico. Keep up the good work!


One point of view from many researchers:
The report, published by the EU-funded European Project on Ocean Acidification, a consortium of 27 research institutes and environment agencies, states that the survival of a number of marine species is affected or threatened, in ways not recognised and understood until now. These species include:

• whales and dolphins, who will find it harder to navigate and communicate as the seas become “noisier”. Sound travels further as acidity increases. Noise from drilling, naval sonar and boat engines is already travelling up to 10% further under water and could travel up to 70% further by 2050.

• brittle stars (Ophiothrix fragilis) produce fewer larvae because they need to expend more energy maintaining their skeletons in more acid seas. These larvae are a key food source for herring.

• tiny algae such as Calcidiscus leptoporus which form the basis of the marine food chain for fish such as salmon may be unable to survive.

• young clownfish will lose their ability to “smell” the anemone species that they shelter in. Experiments show that acidification interferes with the species’ ability to detect the chemicals that give “olfactory cues”.

The report predicts that the north Atlantic, north Pacific and Arctic seas – a crucial summer feeding ground for whales – will see the greatest degree of acidification. It says that levels of aragonite, the type of calcium carbonate which is essential for marine organisms to make their skeletons and shells, will fall worldwide. But because cold water absorbs CO2 more quickly, the study predicts that levels of aragonite will fall by 60% to 80% by 2095 across the northern hemisphere.

“The bottom line is the only way to slow this down or reverse it is aggressive and immediate cuts in CO2,” said Baxter. “This is a very dangerous global experiment we’re undertaking here.”


SId, again poor science and poor sources on your part part. Basic chemistry:
CO2 + H2O —>> H2CO3 Carbonic acid continues is slowly reduce the PH of the worlds oceans, killing coral reef, fish ect. Its a well know fact that the oceans are becoming more acidic due to carbonic acid increases. Studies throughout the world have confirmed this fact.


Morners sea level predictions of +/- 200 mm are wrong because he only looks at the last 300 years worth of sea level data. Rather poor scientific work but he is selling some books to the ignorant masses.


Cyclic increased in Ocean levels are an inescapable fact on earth. Of course green house gasses are part of that cycle, and is the salinity of the oceans which determine the effectiveness of the atlantic conveyer. The world changes, sea levels rise and fall. If you island nation is going under then its time to move not to expect the rest of the world to hand you billions of dollars to stave off the rise in the oceans. Nice stunt


I believe my comments that have links are being moderated; since I feel rather strongly about this subject, all I will say is that curious people should google “Dr Mörner sea rise.” He isn’t alone in his opinions.
On a related note, I’m disappointed World Focus addresses this pseudoscience (and its plethora of affiliated advocacy groups) with such credulity.


Sorry guys, but the idea of ‘sea level rise’ as a result of climate change has been wildly overblown. It’s disappointing World Focus manages to get duped by this kind of thing, but it’s fairly typical of the media’s coverage on all things ‘global warming.’
here’s just a taste of some of the problems with the ‘sea rise’ argument:
That’s not to mention some of the problems with the claims of ‘ocean acidification.’

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