News You Really Need To See: “Climate Change Helps Seas Disturb Japanese War Dead”

“Climate Change Helps Seas Disturb Japanese War Dead”

BBC, June 6, 2014

“Rising sea levels have disturbed the skeletons of soldiers killed on the Marshall Islands during World War Two.  Speaking at UN climate talks in Bonn, the Island’s foreign minister said that high tides had exposed one grave with 26 dead.  The minister said the bones were most likely those of Japanese troops.  Driven by global warming, waters in this part of the Pacific have risen faster than the global average.  With a high point just two metres above the waters, the Marshall Islands are one of the most vulnerable locations to changes in sea level.  The 29 atolls that make up the Marshall Islands are home to around 70,000 people…. Now the waters are posing a new, macabre challenge.  ‘These last spring tides in February to April this year have caused not just inundation and flooding of communities but have also undermined regular land, so that even the dead are affected,’ said foreign minister Tony De Brum, speaking on the sidelines of the UN climate negotiations.  ‘There are coffins and dead people being washed away from graves, it’s that serious.'”

Quickie Analysis:  A sobering reminder, during this weekend of WWII remembrances, that armies may have been the threat of the 20th century but are not the only threat to the 21st.

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