Climate change raises dead as mass graves disturbed

Chris Davies - Jun 7, 2014, 7:47 pm CDT
Climate change raises dead as mass graves disturbed

Global warming has disturbed Japanese war graves, with rising Pacific ocean levels blamed for the gruesome resurfacing of 26 skeletons as attention again turns to the cost of rising temperatures. The remains, believed to be a mass grave of Japanese soldiers from World War Two, were found at the Marshall Islands, it was revealed at UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany this week.

The spring tides so far in 2014 have been higher than usual, Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony De Brum said during the conference. Residents of the 29 atolls making up the region have not only faced flooding, but graveyards have been impacted, washing up coffins and the bodies they contained.

Military equipment has also been washed up, including unexploded bombs.

While global warming threatens all areas, some – like the Marshall Islands – are more precarious than others. The UN Environment Programme estimates that the Islands face the fastest rising sea levels of all, the BBC reports.


The warnings around rising temperatures and increased rates of melting polar ice have been coming for some years, but recent advances in satellite coverage and monitoring have given more insightful results for the changes.

Last year, global temperatures were estimated to be at their highest level for 4000 years. That saw 1,600 years worth of ice melt in just 25 years, researchers claimed.

More recently, NASA said that its monitoring indicated there was no way to stop one key area of glacial ice from melting, with the erosion having simply gone too far to be turned around. Forty years of studying the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has led to ominous predictions that the melting glacier could bring the global sea level up by four feet.

IMAGE Christopher Michel

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