So Sorry Al Gore New research shows the islands are growing, not receding Ocean Islands Are Not Sinking

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Once a year or so, journalists from major news outlets travel to the Marshall Islands, a remote chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean, to report in panicked tones that the island nation is vanishing because of climate change. Their dispatches are often filled with raw emotion and suggest that residents are fleeing atolls swiftly sinking into the sea. No doubt, residents are leaving the Marshall Islands, but it is not because of climate change, reports Bjorn Lomborg. 1

New research shows the islands are growing, not receding

Using historic aerial photographs and high-resolution satellite imagery, Auckland University scientists Murray Ford and Paul Kench recently analyzed shoreline changes on six atolls and two mid-ocean reef islands in the Marshall Islands. Their peer-reviewed study revealed that since the middle of the 20th century the total land area of the islands has actually grown. 2
This is due to accretion, where coral broken up by the waves washes up on these low-lying islands as sand, counteracting the reduction in land mass. Research shows that this process is overpowering the erosion from sea-level rise, leading to a net land area gain.

This is not only true for the Marshall Islands. The researchers write that within the recently emerging body of shoreline change studies on atoll islands there is little evidence of widespread reef island erosion. To the contrary, several studies have documented noteworthy shoreline progradation (growth) and positional changes of islands since the mid-20th century, resulting in a net increase in island area. The most famous of these studies showed that of 27 Pacific Islands, 14% lost area, yet 43% gained area, with the rest remaining stable.

Representatives from the Marshall Islands have been vocal about the need for strong global action on climate. President Hilda Heine has told reporters that longtime residents are leaving the Marshall Islands because climate change is threatening the nation’s existence. It’s true that approximately one-third of the population has relocated to the US, but for reasons other than climate change. 1
Some 52.7% of the Marshall Islands population lives below the poverty line. Only 39.3% of the population age 15 years and above is employed. In its 2015 human-rights report on the island nation, the US State Department said that significant problems include: chronic government corruption and chronic domestic violence, along with child abuse, sex trafficking, and lack of legal provision protecting worker’s rights. Marshallese citizens also have an easy immigration pathway to America and can live, work and study in the US without a visa.
Policymakers who want to help the residents of the Marshall Islands should tackle issues like poverty, health care, corruption and domestic violence and avoid paying so much lip-service to climate.
Another island nation in the Pacific, Tuvalu, has also claimed it was 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.’3

Tuvalu is a tropical island mess being run by slick politicians using global warming for a shakedown operation

Once again, recent research says otherwise.
Paul Kench and colleagues analyzed six time slices of shoreline position over the past 18 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 any so-called 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. Reef islands in Funafuti continually adjust their size, shape and position in response to variation in boundary conditions, including storms, sediment supply, as well as sea level 4
On the other side of the world cries similar to those voiced for the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu are heard. The Maldives in the Indian Ocean have long been used by global warming alarmists to drive home the dangers of rising sea levels.
In spite of alarmist former President Mohammed Nasheed predicting his country will be under water in seven years, the tourist industry does not believe in the downfall of the Maldives. Thirty additional luxury class hotel complexes are planned for the next 6 to 10 years, not counting many smaller homes. Tourism is currently increasing 20% annually. 5
The developers are on safe ground in spite of Nasheed’s dire warnings. There is a lot of science supporting the tourism industry’s belief that sea level rise is not a problem. Flinders University in Adelaide had the task of settling the sea level situation once and for all by installing state-of-the-art tide gauge equipment on 12 islands. There was no overall change in sea level at any of the islands after sixteen years.6
One of the foremost sea level experts in the world, Swedish scientist Nils-Axel Morner says this, “As someone with some expertise in the field, I can assure the low-lying countries that this is a false alarm. The sea is not rising precipitously. I have studied many of the low-lying regions in my 45 year career recording and interpreting sea level data. I have conducted six field trips to the Maldives. I have been to Bangladesh, whose environment minister was claiming that flooding due to climate change threatened to create 20 million ‘ecological refugees’ in her country. I have carefully examined the data of ‘drowning’ Tuvalu and I can report that, while such regions do have problems, they need not fear rising sea levels. Our research is what the climate lobby might call an ‘inconvenient truth,’ it shows that sea levels have been oscillating close to the present level for the last three centuries. This is not due to melting glaciers: sea levels are affected by a great many factors. They rose in the order of 10 to 11 cm between 1850 and 1940, stopped rising or maybe even fell a little until 1970, and have remained flat every since.” 7
Regarding Tuvalu, Brian Sussman says, “Tuvalu’s problem is not climate change. Tuvalu’s mess is that the country was never meant for modern habitation. There is no fresh water available—only what can be obtained from rain. Much of the population on the main island uses a lagoon for its bathing and toilet facilities. The tiny nation ships its garbage to landfills in Fiji and New Zealand. Tuvalu is a tropical island mess being run by slick politicians using global warming for a shakedown operation.” 8
  1. Bjorn Lomborg, “About those non-disappearing Pacific islands,” The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2016
  2. Murray R. Ford and Paul S. Kench, “Multi-decadal shoreline changes in response to sea level rise in the Marshall Islands,” Anthropocene, 11, 14, September 2015
  3. Patrick J. Michaels, Meltdown, (Washington, DC, Cato Institute, 2004), 203
  4. P. S. Kench et al., “Coral islands defy sea-level rise over the past century: records from a central Pacific atoll,” Geology, April 27, 2015, doi: 10.1130/G36555.1
  5. P. Gosselin, “Developers dismiss sea level rise claims—plan to build 30 new luxury hotels in the Maldives—Nasheed’s cash machine,”, November 3, 2013
  6. Michael Fox, “Maldives sea level fraud,” Hawaii Reporter, October 26, 2009
  7. Nils-Axel Morner, “Rising credulity,”, December 3, 2011
  8. Brain Sussman, “Cancun’s climate clock,” American Thinker, December 8, 2010