Frontier Islands and Climate Change: A Story From Indonesia’s Sangihe Islands

What Is Climate Change?

Climate change is the permanent change of climatic conditions in the atmosphere due to the emissions of greenhouse gases by human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels. These emissions are trapped in the atmosphere, making the world warmer.[1] 

Climate change has fuelled the rise of sea levels, increases in sea temperature, and an increased likelihood of coastal flooding and severe weather events, including heatwave, prolonged drought and hurricanes. Other forms of ecological and environmental degradation have exacerbated the situation. For instance, forest and peatland could absorb some level of carbon emissions, but rapid and unsustainable changes in land use have made peat, forest and bush fires more likely. Thus, instead of functioning as guardians of the ecosystem and atmosphere, peatland and forest turn into disaster zones, releasing large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. 

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