In 2006 I addressed the widely held belief that Pacific islands were shrinking as a result of global warming induced sea level rise:

According to a recent study of beach erosion in Tuvalu, the uninhabited islands of Funafuti atoll actually increased in area by some 2.8% during the period 1984 – 2003.

The study I cited indicated that any reduction in the size of inhabited islands was due to human activity and not climate change. New Zealand researchers now conclude that Tuvalu is actually growing rather than sinking beneath the waves of a rising ocean:

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 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.

Doomsday attracts attention; situation normal not so much.


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