• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 8:02am

Second world war dead washed up by Pacific Ocean's rise - caused by global warming

Coffins and skeletons thought to belong to Japanese soldiers flushed from graves as global warming increases level of Pacific Ocean

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 June, 2014, 5:45am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 June, 2014, 10:27am

Skeletons of second world war soldiers are being washed from their graves by the rising Pacific Ocean as global warming leads to inundation of islands that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict.

On the day Europe commemorated the 70th anniversary of the storming of Normandy beaches in the D-Day landings, a minister from the Marshall Islands, a remote archipelago between Hawaii and the Philippines, told how the remains of 26, probably Japanese soldiers, had been recovered so far on the isle of Santo.

"There are coffins and dead people being washed away from graves; it's that serious," said Tony de Brum, the minister of foreign affairs for the Marshall Islands.

Tides "have caused not just inundation and flooding of communities where people live but have also done severe damage in undermining regular land so that even the dead are affected".

Spring tides from the end of February to April had flooded communities, he said at the latest round of United Nations climate talks in Bonn.

The minister's comments bring home the stark future for low-lying island nations as the planet warms, causing sea levels to rise. The Marshall Islands, a string of more than 1,000 such isles with a population of about 70,000, is about two metres at its highest point, de Brum said.

The tropical western Pacific is a region the UN said was experiencing almost four times the global average rate of sea level increase, with waters creeping up by 12 millimetres a year between 1993 and 2009. The global average pace is 3.2 millimetres a year.

"Communities in the Marshalls, because we are atolls, are either along the lagoon shoreline or the ocean shoreline," de Brum said. "If you want to move away from traditional community sites, you are moving inland for a few yards and then you're already moving closer to the ocean on the other side. So there's not very much room for manoeuvre."

The UN projects the global average sea level may increase 26 centimetres to 98 centimetres by the end of the century.

The Marshall Islands were used by the Japanese Navy in the run-up to the Pearl Harbour attack during the second world war. The US Navy based at Pearl Harbour is now trying to identify the skeletons and repatriate them, de Brum said.

"We think they're Japanese soldiers, but there are no broken bones or any indication of being war casualties," he said. "We think maybe it was suicide or something similar. The Japanese are sending a team in to help us."

Rising seas have eaten away about 300 metres from the tip of the capital island of Majuro in the past 20 years, de Brum said. Second world war ordinance has been unearthed, including a bomb on a runway, and roads connecting some outer islands have been pounded so much that cars have to drive over the reef. The ocean has washed away several smaller islands including Boken, which has subsided beneath the waves, the minister said.

The 12-day session in Bonn included two ministerial-level sessions meant to give a political boost to the troubled process.

Ministers warned that the clock was ticking for countries to lay the foundations of a 2015 deal to tackle climate change.

They said a special UN summit in September, followed by a round of talks in Lima in December, must lay the first bricks of a highly complex accord due to be sealed in Paris in December 2015.

China's top negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, pointed to traumatic memories of the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, the last time countries tried to forge a worldwide deal on curbing earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions. "We hope we do not see a recurrence of the Copenhagen scenario … [with] a final agreement that is accepted by some parties" but not others, Xie said.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse


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God is exposing the Japanese ****s.
A Kuro
Japanese barbarism, war crimes are so heinous even to this day. Even the earth is rejecting these abominations.
It is no coincidence that the coffins and skeletons of those washed from the graves are Japanese.........It is Karma's way of reminding the Japanese people of today like Shinzo Abe that if they continue to persist in their imperialistic ways again, they will end up like these dead from WWII.
Get the message Abe, or does it need to be spelt out for you?
First off as a veteran and a son of a veteran of wwii.....The last war that America as a whole was represented. After that, the children of the elite skated duty and lately didn't go at all...BUT AMERICA LOVES WAR! They just don't want to pay for it and NOW they demand that you present yourself as a 100% flawless individual. Yes those with no chance of ever getting in (mental, physical, pussies, PRIVILEGED) love war and love sending men & women to fight it. Unprepared, under geared, with no exit strategy. AMERICA has a lot of "F" thinking people, or maybe that's the problem they just don't know how too without someone else dictating to them how, when, who. 99% don't join the military and this ungrateful nation spends a good portion of it's time screaming SUPPORT THE TROOPS, as long as they are dying in the battlefield, hoping they don't come home, so THEY don't have to take care of them! PATRIOTS they call themselves, and they have never served America in anyway shape or form but they feel obliged to dictate what deems a military person good enough for them to give one iota about! JUST DIE ALREADY they hope, so they dont' even have to look at you if you just happen to be 1 or many of the 58K homeless veterans, it was 100K at the end of Torturer in chiefs Bush's reign! So America you have many decisions to make, but only one about the people who wear a uniform AND one for those who don't....oh yeah and those who don't do a thing. SUPPORT ONLY THOSE WHO REFLECT YOU!
Truer words were never spoken about America's elite and its' veterans.
When the U.S. starts a war and sends its' troops to invade a country, all the ELITES say: "Support The Troops". But, when the troops come home, after they have killed enough people, and the Elites have "milked the system" dry, financially, the ELITES (some of which are politicians) do everything within their power, to deny the returning vets their deserved medical treatment. The Republicans, in particular, are the most severely at fault on this issue - of which, former V.P. **** Cheney is a prime example.
I have in front of me a web page from The Daily Kos showing seven (7) Congressional Bills meant to help veterans that the Republicans have "shot down". Read it and weep!
Time to mediate these comments sections.
That sounds terrifying especially for the small children or anyone who has watched the film "Dead Snow."
Did the Japanese ever compensate the Marshall Islands for trespassing on their islands and causing such a mess?
No, it means that like the Germans who ran out of bullets on D-day from the safety of the still standing today cement bunkers, the Japanese were chucking the ball when it looked like their defeat was likely.
But why didn't they figure that out BEFORE they picked a fight with everyone especially China? They could have saved themselves (because who cares about the rest of us) a lot of trouble, a lot of money, a lot of death nevermind agonizing pain.
When this war does happen and Japan is humiliated, will they finally understand that Wong Kar Wai's Grandmaster is about them? That when both the father and daughter use the same two-handed maneuver on the traitor, it is about face that the traitor loses for himself because he refuses as the movie constantly warns "look back" - turn away.
Old monkey or hunchback or troll or goblin or whatever, HANG UP YOUR BADGE.
mega ditto. **** Cheney, Bush 2, all chicken hawks. add in the Rush Limbaugh and the right wing talk show guys who made up all kinds of excuse of avoid serving but calling for wars.,
**** Cheney, George W. Bush, Wolfowitz (former Deputy Pentagon Chief), Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, et al., most were out spoken chicken hawks (except for Powell, who was out spoken, but served in Vietnam).
But, it's a funny thing. Ten years (about) after the beginning of the Iraq war (2003), Wolfowitz is having second thoughts. In other words, his conscience is bothering him. So, in order to "appease" his conscience, he now admits that the Iraq war was "bungled". He spoke to "The Sunday Times", and had this to say:
After killing over one million Iraqis, displacing millions more Iraqis, killing over 4,500 American troops and wounding and maiming another 35,000 American troops, and costing the U.S. tax payer over THREE TRILLION DOLLARS (when you factor in treating the last veteran), Wolfowitz says, "Oops!", and then moves on to "greener pastures" - as they all did.



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