11 Jun 2004

Climate change study looks at impact on daily life in Kiribati

10:19 am on 11 June 2004

A new study has examined the impact of global warming on people in Kiribati.

The University of the South Pacific social scientist, Doctor Uentabo Neemia-McKenzie, carried out the research.

Kiribati has only two seasons with one normally associated with rain and storm-carrying westerly winds.

Dr Neemia-McKenzie says now that surety has gone, people are more vulnerable to changes.

He says the study, funded by the World Bank and Japanese government, is a world first, in trying to measure the impact of global warming at a country's basic social level.

Dr Neemia-McKenzie went to Kiribati and asked what changes people there had seen in the last 30 years.

It's reported almost everyone who used to go barefoot is now wearing thongs or sandals because the roads and footpaths have become too hot.

Coconut meat is taking a shorter time to dry before it can be pried from the shell, and coconut oil, once rubbed into the skin and hair, has been abandoned because it now melts off.