Press Release
February 21, 2011


The Philippine Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC) along with the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) reported that a new study by three universities show that human contributions to the environment can cause more extreme rainfall and floods.

The study, with contributions from Environment Canada, the University of Edinburgh, and the university of Victoris indicates that, "human-influenced global warming may be partly responsible for increases in heavy precipitation."

The researchers used elaborate computer modeling to study the effects of natural conditions on weather variability, but the results show that under no normal natural conditions could the extreme flooding and rains come about. It is only when factoring in human contributions like carbon emissions that the extreme weather occurrences happen.

The DSMC and COMSTE have been holding a series of lectures by renowned scientists that present show the effects of climate change and disasters in the local setting.

The latest in the series of lectures was given by renowned control theorist Dr. Jose Cruz to discuss utilizing system complexity in disaster science. The lecture was entitled "Climate Change, Climategate and Geoengineering".

The lecture brought to light data from NASA indicating the rise in temperatures and melting of perennial arctic ice cover. Dr. Comiso said that melting ice has caused a sea-level rise of 3.20 mm per year globally, and if this continues then Metro Manila has the potential to be drowned. Short term effects of climate change also include stronger typhoons, forest fires and drought.

Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo began the series of lectures by giving a general overview of climate change with a lecture entitled, "Reading climate history from ice cores, how the world's glaciers are melting, and what that has to do with us Filipinos?"

The lecture explained how to extend the history of climate change farther back in time, first by examining the rates at which mountain glaciers are losing length, then by seeing how ice cores from deep within the Greenland and Antarctic icecaps yield their secrets. The lecture also discuss how future sea level might be affected, how the process 'feeds back' on itself, and how human water supplies will be affected.

COMSTE Chair Senator Edgardo J. Angara said the ongoing lectures will become more technical and build the foundation of local disaster science, which will tackle issues like how flooding and can affect insurance companies and how to quickly adopt Renewable Energy Systems to lessen local fossil fuel use. Both local and foreign scientists and experts will be lecturing.

The DSMC is a public-private initiative that the scientific community can use to better understand the mechanics of managing disasters with the cooperation of neighboring countries that have experienced similar storms and natural calamities as the Philippines.

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