Friday, 25 February 2011


climate photo of the weekTuvalu

On the island of Fongafale, part of Funafuti Atoll of Tuvalu, Tito Tolu, a government employee, watches as water bubbling up from the ground surrounds his home on the third consecutive day of very high King tide flooding, 18-20 February 2011.

This is the capital of the nation and is home to about half the total 12,500 population of Tuvalu. The island is only 500 meters wide at the widest, but most is much narrower, a thin strand about 60 meters wide and about 6 km long. The coral ridge along the ocean is no more than roughly 5 meters high, and along the lagoon the ridge is about a meter lower. Between sea level rise and severe storms, the seat of government is at risk of flooding.

The center of the island is a basin, with some low spots 2 to 3 meters above sea level. Even on calm King tide days, when waves do not crash over the high ocean and lagoon ridges, the pressure of the rising ocean forces salty ground water up into the low areas through the porous coral rock which makes up the island.


On the first day of King tides in 2011, Gary Braasch rephotographed two of the kids from his well-known image of Tuvalu tidal flooding of 2005. They are no longer little kids -- the oldest is 17.


A portfolio of photos from Tuvalu, with reports and impressions, is on the Tuvalu 2011 page.

In March I will widen the documentation of threats to small island nations with a visit to Kiribati, just north of Tuvalu.

For more information about World View of Global Warming' achievements, please see the Project Background page.

Locations documented by Gary Braasch in World View of Global Warming, 1999-2010


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This project would be impossible without scientists and observers around the world who have provided hundreds of scientific contacts and papers. See Background, Advisors, and Reference for documentation, funders and major advisors, without whom I could not complete the work.

World View of Global Warming is a project of the Blue Earth Alliance, Seattle Washington, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. The project is supported entirely by donations, grants, and license fees for the photographs. Information about how to contribute is on the Blue Earth web site, or contact Gary Braasch. Thank you.

For other information about Gary Braasch's climate change projects and books, please see the books Earth Under Fire and How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate, and the exhibit "Climate Change in Our World" (information to the right above on this page). Link to PDF version

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