Tuvalu is Rising, Not Sinking
by Jack Dini
Tuvalu is a remote island nation consisting of a fringe of atolls covering 25.9 sq km (10 sq miles), with the highest point no more than five meters (17 feet) above sea level midway between Hawaii and Australia. Government officials in Tuvalu claim it is drowning because of global warming. The prime minister has said that Tuvalu was “the world’s first victim of climate change,” and that “the greenhouse effect and sea level rise threaten the very heart of our existence.” (1) Doomsayer Al Gore predicted that residents would have to evacuate their homes because of rising seas.
Well, recent research says otherwise.
Scientists analyzed six time slices of shoreline position over the past 118 years at 29 islands of Funafuti Atoll (the capital of the island nation of Tuvalu) to determine their physical response to recent sea-level rise. Despite the magnitude of this rise, no islands have been lost, the majority have enlarged, and there has been a 7.3% increase in net island area over the past century. There is no evidence of heightened erosion over the past half-century as sea-level rise accelerated. Reef islands in Funafuti continually adjust their size, shape and position in response to variation is boundary conditions, including storms, sediment supply, as well as sea level. Results suggest a more optimistic prognosis for the habitability of atoll nations and demonstrate the importance of resolving recent rates and styles of island change to inform adaptation strategies report the researchers. (2)
Pierre Gosselin sums this up well, “What else can be said about all the doom and gloom nonsense from UN scientists surrounding the atoll and sea level? The paper by Kench and colleagues should make them red with embarrassment. This research tells us that the atolls are doing just fine and are gaining in area!” (3)
- Patrick J. Michaels, Meltdown, (Washington, DC, Cato Institute, 2004), 203
- P. S. Kench et al., “Coral islands defy sea-level rise over the past century: records form a central Pacific atoll,” Geology, April 27, 2015, doi: 10.1130/G36555.1
- Pierre Gosselin, “New paper on atolls: there has been a 7.3% increase in net island area over the past century,” notrickszone.com, May 11, 2015