Climate variability in Vanuatu — ASN Events

Climate variability in Vanuatu (9186)

Melinda Natapei 1
  1. Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department, Port Vila, Vanuatu

According to the United Nations 2011 World risk report Vanuatu ranks as having very high exposure to natural disasters and high social vulnerability. While this could be interpreted from many different angles, it is important to first understand that these are events which shape and contribute to the character of a country and its people. As such the approach taken here is to monitor and understand the forces or drivers behind climate variability and extreme events. Having a greater understanding of the behavior of the climate drivers provides us with the opportunity to make better choices and decisions in accordance with what can be anticipated and expected with climate events. To facilitate this process meteorological data collection on a regional level and a national level is very important. With the assistance of the Bureau of Meteorology and other Regional and international institutions, sea surface temperature (SST) and southern oscillation index (SOI)data collection is possible on a regional level which facilitates better understanding of large scale drivers such as ENSO, ITZC and SPCZ. National level rainfall data collection along with other climate data collection facilitates better understanding of the effects of the different behaviors of these drivers on the ground. With this data and information Vanuatu is able to provide 3 monthly forecasts and monthly updates on the behavior of these drivers enabling people to adjust and make preparations appropriately.