PAGASA: Sea-level rise in the Philippines 3 times faster than global average

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Residents look for recyclable materials amidst waves due to Typhoon Koppu in Manila Bay, October 18, 2015. PAGASA climate change data chief Rosalina de Guzman said in a briefing that sea-level rise in the Philippines is three times faster than the global average. (Photo: REUTERS/Erik De Castro)
Residents look for recyclable materials amidst waves due to Typhoon Koppu in Manila Bay, October 18, 2015. PAGASA climate change data chief Rosalina de Guzman said in a briefing that sea-level rise in the Philippines is three times faster than the global average. (Photo: REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

Sea levels in the Philippines are rising three times faster than the global average, which could put the lives of those near coastal areas in danger, says Rosalina de Guzman, chief of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) climate change data.

Base po sa isang report na ginawa ng PAGASA … ay nakita po natin na ‘yung sea-level rise ng Pilipinas ay three times faster po siyang tumataas compared to the global average,” de Guzman said during a briefing of Laging Handa in state-run media outlet PTV.

(Based on a report by PAGASA … we saw that the sea-level rise in the Philippines is three times faster compared to the global average.)

Ito ay malaki ang impact, especially po ang Pilipinas ay napakahaba po ng coastlines natin. At tsaka po 70% of our municipalities are located in coastal areas,” she added.

(This could have a big impact, especially for us because our coastlines are too long. And 70% of our municipalities are located in coastal areas.)

With a coastline of more than 36,000 kilometers, the Philippines has the fifth largest coastline in the world, and if the sea-level rise continues, it could displace thousands of Filipino families.

Meanwhile, for the past 10 years, the Philippines saw fewer, but stronger typhoons.

Base po sa datos natin, nakita nga natin ‘yung frequency ng bagyo ay medyo bumaba,” de Guzman said.

(Based on our data, we saw that the frequency of typhoons in the country has lowered.)

At nakita po natin na ‘yung greater than 170 kilometers per hour ay may kaunting pagbabago. May slight increase in terms of intensity ng malalakas na bagyo,” she added.

(We also saw that there have been changes in typhoons with greater than 170 kilometers per hour. There’s a slight increase in terms of the intensity of typhoons.)

If left unresolved, the effects of climate change could be direr in the Philippines, based on PAGASA’s “climate projections.”

Nakita po natin na tataas ang temperatura ng bansa ng about four degrees centigrade at the end of the 21st century,” said de Guzman.

(We saw that the temperature of the country will increase for about four degrees centigrade at the end of the 21st century.)

​​Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.

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