Leaders sign historic sustainable energy & climate resilient treaty

September 2: Over 150 delegates and members of the international development community from more than 45 countries were stunned to see leader after leader approach the podium to sign a historic sustainable energy and climate resilient treaty that will significantly change the lives and destiny of over 20 million small islanders, for the better.

Led by the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon. Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, multiple leaders from the Pacific, Caribbean and African, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea (AIMS) regions, forcefully raised their voices in unison and accepted responsibility for fulfilling the commitment to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy mechanism – SIDS DOCK. The opening for signature of this historic SIDS DOCK Treaty – a SIDS-SIDS Initiative – was a major highlight of the first day of the United Nations (UN) Third International Conference on SIDS, taking place in Apia, Samoa, from 1-4 September.

The unprecedented and unexpected number of Heads of State and Government present, sent a strong signal to the standing room only audience, the SIDS population and the international community, demonstrating how deeply committed SIDS leaders are and that they all firmly believe that SIDS must, have and will take responsibility for charting the future of their countries towards a path that would see a total transformation of the SIDS economy away from fossil fuels, to that of one driven by low carbon technologies. The event was considered so important to the Republic of Cabo Verde, that the Prime Minister, Hon. José Maria Neves, excused himself and his entire delegation from the Plenary Hall, to ensure that Cabo Verde, a SIDS DOCK Founding Member was well-represented at the signing – the Cabo Verde Government has one of the most ambitious plans in SIDS, that aims to achieve 100 penetration of renewable energies in Cabo Verde, by 2020.

More than half the members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) were present for the signing of the historic treaty, witnessed by the SIDS DOCK partners Denmark, Japan and Austria, whose kind and generous support facilitated SIDS DOCK start -up activities; also present were SIDS DOCK partners, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Clinton

Foundation. The treaty was signed by the governments of Barbados, Belize, Bahamas (Commonwealth of the), Dominica (Commonwealth of), Cabo Verde (Republic of), Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, Fiji (Republic of), Grenada, Guinea Bissau, Kiribati (Republic of), Niue, Palau (Republic of), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa (Independent State of), Seychelles (Republic of), and Tuvalu.

The Statute will remain open for signature in Apia, Samoa until September 5, and will reopen for signature in Belmopan, Belize, from September 6, 2014 until it enters into force. Belize is the host country for SIDS DOCK, with Samoa designated as the location for the Pacific regional office. More

 

 

 

Wednesday’s rainfall a ‘once in a 200-year’ weather event, climatologists say

Several weather records were broken Wednesday after 13.27 inches of rain fell at Islip Town's Long Island MacArthur Airport in what the Northeast Regional Climate Center calls a 24-hour 200-year storm event.

That means that “rainfall of this magnitude is only expected to occur once in a 200-year period,” according to the center's website.

At play was a complex weather system that the National Weather Service had been monitoring for days, warning of the threat of flash flooding, in which an upper level disturbance, a low pressure area at the surface and very moist environment all combined over the area, said Tim Morrin, weather service meteorologist in Upton.

The “bull's-eye” of the heaviest rainfall that deluged an area of western Suffolk was right near MacArthur Airport, he said.

“A very small micro-scale event took place” in that area, one that is yet to be explained, he said, but that will likely be researched extensively, with follow-up papers written. Such a phenomenon is “impossible to forecast,” he said, as “there's not enough skill in the computer models to pinpoint that kind of extreme” on such a small scale.

As for hourly rainfall, 5.34 inches fell from 5 to 6 a.m. Wednesday at the airport in Ronkonkoma, followed by another 4.37 inches from 6 to 7 a.m., according to the Climate Center. They may have come back-to-back, but each is considered a 500-year event, said Jessica Spaccio, a climatologist with the center, which is at Cornell University.

Records were also broken, and, “when we break a state record, that's pretty exciting,” Spaccio said

According to a preliminary report from the weather service, the previous New York State record for precipitation in a 24-hour period was broken. That was set Aug. 27 to 28, 2011, in Tannersville when 11.6 inches fell during what the service referred to as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene.

With half the month still to go, Wednesday's rainfall also resulted in a record for the month of August, previously 13.78 inches set in 1990, the weather service said. The airport's August rainfall now stands at 13.88 inches, said the weather service, which has maintained official records for the airport for the past 30 years.

While Long Island has been considered “abnormally dry” this year by the U.S. Drought Monitor, the 13.27 inches at the airport in just about one day exceeded normal rainfall for June, July and August combined — 11.68 inches — based on precipitation records from 1981 to 2010, according to the Climate Center.

Wednesday's rainfall also broke the airport's all-time daily rainfall record, which was 6.74 inches set Aug. 24, 1990, Spaccio said.

And as for the record rainfall for Aug. 13 — beating that was a piece of cake, with the previous record for that day 0.91 inches, set in 2013, the weather service said.

As for hourly rainfall amounts — top honors now go to Wednesday from 5 to 6 a.m. when 5.34 inches fell at the airport, followed by 4.37 inches the very next hour, Spaccio said. The highest previous amount was 2.64 inches, which fell in one hour on July 18, 2007. That's based on data maintained since July 1996, she said. More