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Articles by Than Aung
Total Records ( 6 ) for Than Aung
  Than Aung , Awnesh Singh and Uma Prasad
  Problem statement: Recently the impacts of climate change, in particular, sea level rise, had been a major concern for many Pacific island countries. In early 2000, there were a series of media coverage over sea level rise issues using Tuvalu as an example. The daily life of Tuvalu revolves around the ocean and the immediate threat on the islands people, economy, environment and its islands is of concern to the Tuvalu government. The Tuvalu government has concluded that Tuvalu was destined to become the first nation to be sunk by global warming because it is one of the smallest and lowest-lying countries in the world. Approach: In this study, sea level data from the Australian project will be focussed on despite the fact that the length of data is not sufficiently long. The AusAID funded South Pacific Sea Level and climate monitoring project was set up in response to concerns raised by Pacific island countries over the potential impacts of an enhanced greenhouse effect on climate and sea levels in the South Pacific for 20 years. Results: Based upon the 15½ years of sea level data from the project, the sea level rise rate in Tuvalu as at september 2008 was 5.9 mM year-1. This was about four times higher than the global average of 1-2 mm year-1. Sea level in the Tuvalu area had risen approximately 9.14 cm since the inception of the project 15½ years ago. However, it was to be noted that the land is quite stable and the rate of land sinking is -0.06 mM year-1 only. Accordingly, there was no significant impact on the sea level trends. Conclusion: Although the data length is just over 15 years, the sea level trend values do not fluctuate significantly since 1999. It simply indicated that the rate of sea level rise in the Tuvalu region was not accelerating as anticipated by the community.
  Awnesh Singh and Than Aung
  The city of Suva is home to nearly a quarter of the population of the Fiji thereby placing a lot of anthropogenic pressure on its lagoon. The Suva lagoon (comprising of Suva Harbour and Laucala Bay) has been subject to substantial sediment inputs generated by erosion and human activities. Freshwater input into the lagoon comes predominantly from the Rewa River, the largest fluvial system in the country. The high sedimentary load from the Rewa River, especially during the wet-warm period (November-April), has a strong impact on the lagoon. In addition, there are local sources of pollutant input into the lagoon via the Vatuwaqa River and the Kinoya Sewage Treatment Plant, which discharges effluents into the lagoon and degrades the marine environment. The salinity, temperature and turbidity in the Suva lagoon are some important parameters for water quality which are continuously changing with the seasons and need to be studied because they are efficient indicators of variations in the lagoon and can transform the marine ecosystem. Several field trips were undertaken in the Suva lagoon to collect hydrographical data to study the water properties in the lagoon. Results obtained showed that the salinity near the head of Laucala Bay during the wet-warm period was below 24.8 psu and was 33.7 psu during the dry-cool period (May - October). The temperature range during the wet-warm period was between 28.0-30.5°C and between 24.5-25.5°C during the dry-cool period. The turbidity was always above 3.0 FTU near the river mouths. The field results show that the variations of CTD measurements are dependent predominantly on the river discharge, while the dominant wind regime is the southeast trade winds.
  Naveendra Reddy , Than Aung and Awnesh Singh
  Problem statement: Variation of temperature, salinity and geostrophic current in the Bay of Bengal due to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami was investigated in this project using ARGO float and absolute dynamic height topography data. This was done to determine the effect of the tsunami on the water properties in the bay. Approach: The study area was between latitudes 5° N and 25° N and longitudes 75° E and 100° E. Data from November 2004 and January 2005 were analyzed. The drift velocity of the ARGO float (within the study area) at its parking depth was calculated and compared with the geostrophic current at this depth in order to determine the appropriate reference level (level of no motion) for the study area. Results: The geostrophic current, using the Helland-Hansen equation, requires a reference level, which was then used to calculate the surface geostrophic current using the absolute dynamic height obtained from satellite altimetry. The appropriate level of no motion in the Bay of Bengal region was found to be 1500 m. As a result of the tsunami, the variation in sea surface temperature was around 2- 3°C and the variation in salinity was around 2-3 psu in the region. Accordingly, the dynamic height increased to about 20-30 dym cm just after the tsunami and abruptly changed the geostrophic surface currents pattern in Bay of Bengal. A few days after the tsunami, the geostrophic surface currents returned to normal. Conclusions: The variation of temperature and salinity in the Bay are the major causes of changes in the dynamic height, which results in the variation of geostrophic currents.
  Shivneel Prasad , Than Aung and Awnesh Singh
  Problem statement: Water properties influence ocean primary production and drive theocean food chain. This study depicts changes in temperature and salinity and its effects on geostrophiccurrents near Fiji before and after Tropical Cyclone (TC) Gene.
Approach: Available Argo float datafrom 6 January-4 February 2008 were used for analysis since TC Gene passed the area on 28 January2008. The dynamic height and geostrophic current data were obtained from the Aviso website.
Results: The thermocline depth increased by 20 m after the cyclone. A temperature drop ofapproximately 3°C was also noticed in the study area. Using this drop in temperature, the heat energyremoved by the cyclone was calculated to be 0.095 MWh m -2. Salinity profiles showed an increase of0.42 psu to a depth of 35 m after the cyclone. Changes in salinity and temperature of water may alsocause changes in the dynamic height and in turn the geostrophic current patterns. After plotting thegeostrophic current vectors, it was observed that the current patterns changed significantly after TC gene.Seasonal changes were also evident before the cyclone.
Although thelifespan of TC gene was short, its effect on the water properties near Fiji was significant as itcompletely changed the geostrophic current patterns and this can have a huge implication on marinelife.
  Madihah Jafar-Sidik , Than Aung and Awnesh Singh
  Problem statement: A widely held belief that climate change has impacts on sustainable fish catch leads us to find out how these effects influence fish landings in Sabah, Malaysia, especially for the west and east coasts, based upon monsoonal periods. Correlation of fish landings with rainfall suggests that local fish landing is believed to be sensitive to the effects of climate change. Approach: Rainfall, temperature, wind, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and fish landings time series for 3 specific regions (Kota Kinabalu (KK), Tawau and Sandakan) have been studied using available local data for the last 9 years. Results: Results indicated significant fish landing variations due to the fluctuation of these meteorological parameters, for example, ~20% reduction is found during Northeast (NE) monsoon at KK. Heavy rainfall correlates well with high fish landings when fish landings lead rainfall by 1 month. Fish landings and temperature were also highly correlated. Fish landings leads wind stress by 1-2 months with 99% certainty and it is high when the wind direction is between 150-200° from north (approximately for South Easterlies and South Westerlies). Conclusion: The results confirmed that fish landing is low during NE monsoon period. In regard to the effect of El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), low or negative SOI indicates high fish landings.
  Ejria Saleh , Jessie Beliku , Than Aung and Awnesh Singh
  Problem statement: This study was conducted to identify and compare the wave characteristics in Sabah waters at five different key locations so as to determine the effects of the Northeast Monsoon (NEM) and the Southwest Monsoon (SWM) along the east and west coasts of Sabah. Approach: Monthly wave height and wave period data for 8 years covering offshore areas of Labuan, Kota Kinabalu (KK), Kudat, Sandakan and Tawau were collected from the Meteorological Department, Sabah Branch. The data was analyzed at different areas through the Probability Density Function (PDF) to estimate the most likely wave height and wave period in the study area. Wave power was also calculated using the wave power formula to identify the strength of waves in Sabah waters. The significance of wave characteristics during the NEM and the SWM for the east coast (Sandakan and Tawau) and west coast (Labuan and KK) of Sabah are presented in this study. Results: The range of wave heights in coastal waters surrounding Sabah was found to be 0.5-2 m. Wave height is usually higher than 1 m in the west coast during NEM while the east coast has a wave height of ~0.5 m for both monsoons. The wave power per unit width in the west coast is significantly higher (~5 kW m-1) especially during NEM than during SWM. The wave power in the east coast is less than 1 kW m-1 for both monsoons. Conclusion: The findings of this study can be useful for local fishermen in navigation purpose and coastal zone management activities.
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