Saturday, 22nd July 2017

King Tides on Funafuti

Posted on 22. Feb, 2011 by Florent Baarsch in King Tides

To get the description of the pictures, click on the full screen image (right bottom corner of the slideshow). Due to the relatively slow connection on Tuvalu, the pictures are not in a full definition. If you want to get our pictures, please send us an email at klimatuvalu@gmail.com. We will be quite happy to share them with you.

Every month at full Moon, the high tides are coming in on Tuvalu. In the months between January and March the tides are exceptionally high. The highest high tide of the year is popularly referred to as « King Tides » and happens in February. This year the tides measured around 3.24 meters.

According to IPCCs Third Assessment Report, Sea level rose between 0.1 and 0.2 meters in the 20th century. The projection for the 21st century is an increase of between 0.50 and 0.95 meters at an average rate of 5 mm per year.

On the islands of Tuvalu, where the highest points rage between 3 and 4 meters, an increase of just 10 or 20 cm makes a huge difference on the intensity of the tide water, cyclones and tropical storms.

The people on Tuvalu are already experiencing flooding in places that were not flooded some years ago. The seawater is seeping through the ground, salting the arable soil and ground water. Growing the traditional pulaka, taro, papaya, breadfruits and bananas gets harder because of the progressive salinization. Consequently, the population is increasingly dependent on costly imported food.

The waves and rising tides are washing away the coastline and the once so beautiful sandy beaches. As the ground is swept away, the coconut trees are falling down, increasing the erosion process. Even the seawalls, built to protect the coasts, are giving away to the rising and intensified waters and the waves are now washing over and behind the walls.

With the estimated sea-level rise, Tuvalu might loose up to 1 meter of shoreline a year – a huge loss for the islands where the widest part is just about 400 meters.

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One Response to “King Tides on Funafuti”

  1. Kari Brinch 13 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Forstår at tsunamien ikke forårsaket så stor skade på Funafuti.Det er jeg glad for



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