Pacific Islands sinking due to sea level rise? Not really.

A newly rediscovered study shows that many Micronesian Islands are growing, not shrinking with SLR.  From Marianas Variety, No sea level rise: Pacific islands growing not shrinking, says study

HUGE compensation claims filed by Pacific states including Tuvalu have been hit by a three-year old study, dramatically “rediscovered” by New Scientist magazine today. The study concluded that many Micronesian islands are growing, not shrinking.

“It has been thought that as the sea level goes up, islands will sit there and drown. But they won’t,” Professor Kench at the University of Auckland in New Zealand told the mag.

The remainder of the article is here.

There is big money in the opposite, so you might be able to guess why the study was “lost.”

Kench has been saying us much for a while, but most editors shunned the news.

Kench’s study was published in in the journal Global and Planetary Change in November 2007, and last year he told Associated Press that islands apparently rebuild themselves.

Five years ago Pacific islands became a tragic poster children of Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth.” The BBC called the Maldives “a paradise faced with extinction.”

But just four of the 27 islands studied by the team — chosen because sea levels had risen in the past sixty years — had diminished in size. The other 23 had expanded, one by as much as 60 percent.

The islands apparently expand their mass by accumulating sediment, and through natural processes — not surprisingly, since they’re built on live biomatter: coral.

“Perhaps [they] do not need to flee their country,” Kench concludes, once again.


4 responses to “Pacific Islands sinking due to sea level rise? Not really.

  1. Ran across a surprising piece in National Geo – from Feb. 2015

    “Will Pacific Island Nations Disappear as Seas Rise? Maybe Not; Reef islands can grow and change shape as sediments shift, studies show.”

    They found that reef islands change shape and move around in response to shifting sediments, and that many of them are growing in size, not shrinking, as sea level inches upward. The implication is that many islands—especially less developed ones with few permanent structures—may cope with rising seas well into the next century.

    But for the areas that have been transformed by human development, such as the capitals of Kiribati, Tuvalu, and Maldives, the future is considerably gloomier. That’s largely because their many structures—seawalls, roads, and water and electricity systems—are locked in place.

    We knew that.

    Not imagining that any national media outlet decided to present that to a broader audience.

    • I’ve always said that the brouhaha over the effects of global warming (in the form of flooding, storm surge, etc.) is mistakenly premised on the idea that shorelines are to remain static throughout time. They are not. The planet is dynamic; assuming or wanting it to remain the same because we’ve built expensive real estate right on the edge of the water is idiotic at best.

      • luisadownunder

        Yet the very people who cry “global warming” and ” rising sea levels” are the ones buying and building ‘expensive real estate right on the edge of the water.’ Go figure.

        • Exactly – and they are the very epitome of hypocrisy when derisively commenting about Joe Average’s impact on the environment, insisting we cut our carbon footprint, whilst they smugly jet set around the globe and live much more lavishly than 99% of Americans. They can all go f— off. Ed Begley Jr is the only one I respect because he’s the only one willing to walk the talk. de Caprio should have gone down with the Titanic for real.

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