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‘Sinking’ Pacific Island Touted as Prime Climate Change Victim is Actually Rising Out of the Sea: Study

February 9, 2018

By Paul Homewood


From Breitbart:


AFP — The Pacific nation of Tuvalu — long seen as a prime candidate to disappear as climate change forces up sea levels — is actually growing in size, new research shows.

A University of Auckland study examined changes in the geography of Tuvalu’s nine atolls and 101 reef islands between 1971 and 2014, using aerial photographs and satellite imagery.

It found eight of the atolls and almost three-quarters of the islands grew during the study period, lifting Tuvalu’s total land area by 2.9 percent, even though sea levels in the country rose at twice the global average.

Co-author Paul Kench said the research, published Friday in the journal Nature Communications, challenged the assumption that low-lying island nations would be swamped as the sea rose.

“We tend to think of Pacific atolls as static landforms that will simply be inundated as sea levels rise, but there is growing evidence these islands are geologically dynamic and are constantly changing,” he said.

“The study findings may seem counter-intuitive, given that (the) sea level has been rising in the region over the past half century, but the dominant mode of change over that time on Tuvalu has been expansion, not erosion.”

It found factors such as wave patterns and sediment dumped by storms could offset the erosion caused by rising water levels.

The Auckland team says climate change remains one of the major threats to low-lying island nations.

But it argues the study should prompt a rethink on how such countries respond to the problem.

Rather than accepting their homes are doomed and looking to migrate to countries such as Australia and New Zealand, the researchers say they should start planning for a long-term future.

“On the basis of this research we project a markedly different trajectory for Tuvalu’s islands over the next century than is commonly envisaged,” Kench said.

“While we recognise that habitability rests on a number of factors, loss of land is unlikely to be a factor in forcing depopulation of Tuvalu.”

The study’s authors said island nations needed to find creative solutions to adapt to climate change that take into account their homeland’s evolving geography.

Suggestions included moving populations onto larger islands and atolls, which have proved the most stable and likely to grow as seas rise.

“Embracing such new adaptation pathways will present considerable national scale challenges to planning, development goals and land tenure systems,” they said.

“However, as the data on island change shows there is time (decades) to confront these challenges.”

  1. February 9, 2018 1:49 pm

    And here is a word from Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (D GA-4), from March 25, 2010 while hearing testimony before the House of Representatives from Navy Admiral Robert F. Willard about additional U.S. troops being deployed to a military base on Guam.

    Representative Johnson, Democrat–Georgia, said to the Admiral: “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,”

    Admiral Willard replied with a deadpan expression: “We don’t anticipate that. The Guam population is currently about 175,000 and, again, with 8,000 Marines and their families, that is an addition of about 25,000 more into the population,”

    Johnson has been re-elected.

  2. February 9, 2018 1:56 pm

    I had to laugh when I read the article.

    For one thing I have lived by the sea on two continents now. In neither place has the sea level gone up any more than at the same minimal rate it has for hundreds of years. In one place, I was told it was a scientific certainty the entire downtown would be under three feet of water in a hundred years. When I left thirty years later, it had risen a couple of inches at most. This is an area with sixteen foot tides. Thirty years into the certain destruction of downtown and it hasn’t started yet.

    It is always someplace no one has ever been to and couldn’t place on a map within a thousand miles that is experiencing measurable, significant sea level rise. Where large numbers of people actually live and can see what is happening, it is….well there are terrain and land configuration issues that caused the delay but after reexamining our data we can say with certainty that a hundred years from _now_ downtown will be underwater.

  3. Greg permalink
    February 9, 2018 2:00 pm

    This was covered years ago. The people worrying about the atolls disappearing have no idea of how atolls form, or they would not be worried.

  4. Crustacean permalink
    February 9, 2018 2:41 pm

    So… No more Tuvalunacy?

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      February 10, 2018 12:54 pm

      I believe the worst of the “Tuvalunacy” ended when they discovered that “.tv” was a nice little earner. Or is this just another climate myth?

  5. Bitter&twisted permalink
    February 9, 2018 2:41 pm

    Coral reefs (1842) was Charles Darwin’s first monograph.
    Basically it showed what this latest study shows.
    This latest “research” is not a “novel” finding, rather the rediscovery of truth that has been buried under an avalanche of warmist disinformation.

    • Curious George permalink
      February 9, 2018 3:38 pm

      You confirm that alarmists are mostly creationists.

      • Hivemind permalink
        February 11, 2018 8:35 am

        That would be a bit inaccurate. These people believe in evolution, but only in the past. That is, evolution caused all the creatures & plants to form as they are now. But it must cease immediately and no more species must be allowed to die off.

        That doesn’t mean that new species can’t still be created by scientists. Just find one specimen of frog with a mottle that a bit different from the rest and we have a new species. Best of all, it is obviously endangered & so nobody can build that road/mine/factory (delete any not applicable).

    • Dr K.A. Rodgers permalink
      February 9, 2018 4:25 pm

      I am glad someone else has read Darwin on this subject. The Tuvaluan island of Funafuti is where the Royal Society drilled over three successive years in the late 1890s in an attempt to confirm Darwin’s ideas on the formation of atolls.
      And I’d like to know where in Tuvalu the photo at the head of this article was taken.

      • dave permalink
        February 9, 2018 5:51 pm

        Probably a stock “white sands picture!”

        “The Age of the Earth and Other Geological Studies,”
        by W J Solas, Professor of Geology in the University of Oxford,
        published in 1908, but available on-line through “Forgotten Books,”

        has two chapters on Funafuti. Professor Solas addressed the British Association on the subject.

      • dave permalink
        February 9, 2018 6:08 pm

        I find, on re-reading, that the expedition, to take a deep-boring such as a cheese-maker does his of his maturing product, was suggested by Professor Solas himself – although, as he points out, Darwin already had thought of it.

        It was the British Association for the Advancement of Science (now the British Science Association), not the Royal Society, which was involved.

  6. February 9, 2018 3:12 pm

    That’s more scientists who could find themselves silenced or out of a job in academia. Don’t they know that they must stick to the consensus or else.

  7. Curious George permalink
    February 9, 2018 3:37 pm

    This passes for science today. Still better than an alarmism.

  8. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 9, 2018 4:52 pm

    They just need to build a few Golf courses on the white sands then demand climate cash from the UN when they still all washed away.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      February 9, 2018 4:53 pm

      I make no sense, no edit, bah……………

  9. February 9, 2018 6:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  10. February 9, 2018 7:45 pm

    All this we hear about rising atolls/reefs and formation of river deltas was standard ‘o’ level geography over 50 years ago. Talk about re-inventing the wheel (no doubt at great cost to the taxpayer).

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      February 9, 2018 11:22 pm

      Yes, in the USA the entry level geography (or earth science) classes usually were tagged with a 100-level code.
      About 20 years ago the text books started to get a lot of garbage stuff. I haven’t seen a new one, so they could be all junk-science by now.

      During the 50 years some of the atolls have had their surfaces disrupted, dredged, paved, and polluted.
      That can’t be good for the long term health.

    • ME Emberson permalink
      February 10, 2018 2:45 am

      I was just going to write that we learned that in Geography lessons at High School in the 1950s

  11. Bruce of Newcastle permalink
    February 9, 2018 10:14 pm

    The Chinese have been furiously building lots of artificial islands in the South China Sea. Maybe they could help out the Tuvaluans?

    • February 13, 2018 12:31 am

      Re: “Maybe [The Chinese] could help out the Tuvaluans?” They probably will.

      They have been quietly ‘aiding’ a lot of small Pacific nations. I guess they are gambling that, by filling a strategic ‘aid’ vacuum left by western interests, they might benefit strategically themselves.

      The Chinese aid model is also quite different and (debatably) effective. Their aid modus operandi is to deliver hard assets. They don’t provide the money (or a ‘soft’ loan) to build those assets (which tends to go into corrupt pockets); they provide the asset itself – designed and built by Chinese workers. (“You want a school? You get a school! . . . . What? You really wanted money? You asked for a school and you got one!)

  12. February 9, 2018 10:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    More climate alarm propaganda goes up in smoke.

  13. M E Emberson permalink
    February 10, 2018 3:51 am

    I think the interest in atolls and other formations in the 1950s school text books was caused by the amount of information made available Aerial Photography of the Pacific Ocean when looking for Japanese submarines during the 1940s. Aerial photography was also of use in Archaeology. My own professor in the 1940s studied aerial photographs as his War Work and discovered indications of the civilisation of N W India while trying to view the infiltration of Japanese troops across from Burma.. One of our University text books in 1963 was ‘Archaeology From the Air’. when photographs of Britain were used..
    So our researchers had plenty of footage available for use in studying the geomorphology of atolls.

    • dave permalink
      February 10, 2018 9:12 am

      ‘Archaeology From the Air’

      written by this rich nut, and lover of Stalin:

      Interesting, totally unknown, features only really show up in exceptional seasons, such as the 1976 summer in England.

  14. Athelstan permalink
    February 10, 2018 6:41 am

    “We tend to think of Pacific atolls as static landforms that will simply be inundated as sea levels rise, but there is growing evidence these islands are geologically dynamic and are constantly changing,” he said. (end quote)

    er no, I’ve never regarded ‘intermediate’ landforms as in any way “static”.

    The hills of Yorkshire where I live look fairly static, and that is anything but the reality. Though, bar the industrial and landuse alterations, probably the view of the far hills has hardly changed (not changed) since the days of the great grandfather’s six or 12 or 25 generations removed.

    When will we ever learn?

    We have schools which no longer teach stuff, thus, the nation has been refashioned it’s a post modern edifice and not fit for owt but demolition..

    So kids are….er dumber, become in the last 40 or 50, 60? years this nation’s outlook has been made frosty and dullard; such a stupid, navel gazing inward looking bunch who are ignorant of even the basics of Mathematics – let alone students bestowed with, a decent grounding (if you’ll forgive the pun) in – Earth Sciences. I welcome the findings of said article but crikey mate, don’t assume that we’re all thick – leave that to the pols, who treat us with disdain – mind you the feeling is reciprocated, in Trumps!

    The earth moves at a time scale we simply cannot appreciate, nor fathom.

    But under the surface, what with the water cycle, aeolian, gravitational, imperceptible plate movements island arcs, coral growth, uplift, down shift,subduction, orogenesis: the earth moves and is never “static” ask our Solar fireball, we move in elliptical ways and don’t get me started on the unbelieveable unbounded pulling/push power of electromagnetic forces.

  15. Athelstan permalink
    February 10, 2018 7:16 am

    Well Mike Jackson alluded, hinted at it a few days ago that the cracks are beginning to manifest themselves in the great 97% consensus lie.

    Albeit, it’s a slow leakage, but with luck that damnable ‘consensus’ dam might be about to burst – what a prospect but not a joyous immediateintermediate future one for the corporate blobsters; the investment bankers and insurers, green hedge fund management Green NGOs, lord deben et al. Surely they must dread it, hence the BC uni weasel words (paraphrasing) “the paris stitch-up still accords” – yeah right.

    Read it here – DAILY MAIL link

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      February 10, 2018 1:25 pm

      Thanks for the plug!

      Nice to see the Mail catching up but weren’t we told months ago that there weren’t enough available fossil fuel reserves to make the IPCC’s worst scenario (which was never a “business as usual” scenario anyway) anywhere close to plausible, let alone likely?

      What I have been plugging for years, when my friends on here and elsewhere get too carried away with the scientific arguments, is that we need always to keep at the forefront of our minds that climate science (so called) has nothing at all to do with science and everything to do with environmental politics and UN ambition to run the world.

      As long as we keep plugging away at the science — which we do need to do and Paul and Pierre Gosselin do exceptionally well — but without also challenging the politics then we cannot win because as global cooling morphed into global warming the next cooling (which some scientists are admitting might just be round the corner) will still be “consistent” with warming or will only “mask” the warming or possibly delay it by a decade or two. And so the bandwagon rolls on.

      Until we get through to the politicians that we *cannot* control the climate and that blaming our puny emissions of a natural and beneficial trace gas for climatic variations is a fraud on a gigantic scale then the gravy train will continue. If I knew how best to do that I would be a happy man!

  16. February 10, 2018 11:44 am

    Didn’t President BO once state ‘The science is settled…’ ? It seems that political consensus is settled, or rather, it isn’t. Proper scrutiny is revealing the truth slowly but surely behind the alarmist agenda. Reputations and money are at stake and serious doubts are, like the rising Tuvalu, slowly coming to the surface.

    • Athelstan permalink
      February 10, 2018 1:09 pm

      “slowly coming to the surface”

      Hmm what else is known the world over and also rises and then floats…………. the global warming supposition and or feaces = same difference..

  17. Athelstan permalink
    February 10, 2018 1:09 pm

    ach, faeces.

  18. February 13, 2018 12:07 am

    Sorry to be pedantic, but there is something that is not quite right about the headline to this article. While I agree that most of what alarmists say about sea-level rise in Tuvalu is wrong, and I agree it is quite plausible that Funafuti atoll has grown in *area*, it is extremely UNlikely that the atoll has actually risen upwards out of the sea! It’s not what atolls do!

    The seamount on which atolls are based is an extinct volcano which would have “suddenly” erupted out of (and onto) the seabed. (“Suddenly” in geological time.) But its weight cannot be supported by the sub-ocean Earth’s crust – which is very thin compared to the sub-continental Earth’s crust. So the sea-mount gradually sinks back down into the depths – as noted by Darwin.

    As also noted by Darwin, as the seamount sinks the coral-reef around it builds-up to keep up with the sea-level. So it evolves from a Fringing Reef, to a Barrier Reef, to an Atoll. (More-or-less – it would be interesting to find out what these atolls looked like at the height of the last ice-age glaciation.)

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