Red Cross cartoon to demystify Pacific climate change

July 3, 2013
The South Pacific pounds the serpentine coastline of Funafuti Atoll, February 19, 2004. The Red Cross has launched a light-hearted education campaign aimed at those it describes as most vulnerable to climate change: Pacific islanders living on low-lying atolls threatened by rising seas.

The Red Cross has launched a light-hearted education campaign aimed at those it describes as most vulnerable to climate change: Pacific islanders living on low-lying atolls threatened by rising seas.

Red Cross disaster management specialist Tom Bamforth said the Pacific's complex were well understood by scientists, but the knowledge was not filtering down to local decision-makers.

To address the situation, the organisation has completed an animated feature entitled "The Pacific Adventures of Climate Crab", which uses humour to explain the science behind climate change in simple terms.

"If you talk about the South Pacific Convergent Zone, the Southern Oscillation, or even El Nino and La Nina, very few people know what they actually mean," Bamforth told AFP.

"This animation is part of an attempt to interpret between what scientists are saying, and what it actually means for local communities."

Some Pacific island nations are only one metre (three feet) above sea level and their long-term survival is threatened by waters rising due to global warming.

Bamforth said regional weather was becoming more extreme, and a better understanding of would help islanders plan for disasters such as cyclones.

"There have been recent droughts in places like Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands where they have run out of potable water," he said.

"If we know there's going to be an El Nino then we can start putting out messages about water conservation and water harvesting and these sort of things."

The video at www.pacificclimatechangescience.org/climatecrab was launched in Fiji on Tuesday night.

A second short film called "Cloud Nasara", focusing on Vanuatu, will be launched later this month. It features a reggae parrot and dancing cloud parties.

Explore further: El Nino, La Nina 'unlikely to make an appearance in 2013'

Related Stories

Breakthrough in El Nino forecasting

July 1, 2013

Irregular warming of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, dubbed El Niño by Peruvian fishermen, can generate devastating impacts. Being the most important phenomenon of contemporary natural climate variability, it may trigger floods ...

New rhythm for El Nino discovered

May 26, 2013

El Niño wreaks havoc across the globe, shifting weather patterns that spawn droughts in some regions and floods in others. The impacts of this tropical Pacific climate phenomenon are well known and documented.

Recommended for you

Tracking Antarctic adaptations in diatoms

January 16, 2017

Diatoms are a common type of photosynthetic microorganism, found in many environments from marine to soil; in the oceans, they are responsible for more than a third of the global ocean carbon captured during photosynthesis. ...

Study tracks 'memory' of soil moisture

January 16, 2017

The top 2 inches of topsoil on all of Earth's landmasses contains an infinitesimal fraction of the planet's water—less than one-thousandth of a percent. Yet because of its position at the interface between the land and ...

Multinationals act on ocean-clogging plastics

January 16, 2017

Forty of the world's biggest companies assembled in Davos agreed on Monday to come up with cleaner ways to make and consume plastic as waste threatens the global eco-system, especially in oceans.

How the darkness and the cold killed the dinosaurs

January 16, 2017

66 million years ago, the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs started the ascent of the mammals, ultimately resulting in humankind's reign on Earth. Climate scientists have now reconstructed how tiny droplets of sulfuric acid ...

Soil pores, carbon stores, and breathing microbes

January 16, 2017

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) recently studied how moisture influences soil heterotrophic respiration. That's the breathing-like process by which microbes convert dead organic carbon in the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.