Whatever happened to rising Sea Levels? Islands are still growing

Intro by Steve Cook

Here’s an interesting observation, nicely put in the featured article below.

In a nutshell, we’ve been led to believe that sea levels are rising due  to “climate change” threatening to submerge or partially submerge many islands across the planet.

This is an horrific scenario designed to terrify the citizenry and indeed it would be terrifying if it were happening, whether due to natural  climate changes or man-made ones.

So is it happening?

Has, for example, the planet gotten any warmer?

The answer is, yes, it has, a bit.: the global average surface temperature has increased by just 1.1 degrees Celsius since 1880 as we have emerged from the Little Ice Age into a somewhat warmer and more benign inter-glacial period.

Are sea levels rising?

The answer is that, despite the scare stories, at present there is no discernible rise in sea level although the IPCC (if it can be trusted) predicts sea levels will rise by 60cm by the end of the century. This very gradual rise amounts to less than a centimetre per year.

As an aside, a few years ago I walked much of the British coast as a charity fundraiser My walk took me along coasts I remember from my boyhood holidays and outings half a century earlier. I saw NO EVIDENCE ANYWHERE of any rising sea levels (and believe me I was looking for it): the coasts and coastal resorts were all as they were fifty years previously.

So have any islands or parts thereof  been lost to the allegedly rising seas?

The answer is no, as the following article explains.

Islands Still Growing in the Midst of Climate Change

New research confirms what previous research has shown, that, on average, island land mass has been expanding during the recent period of sea level rise, rather than islands sinking beneath the waves as climate scolds, and island governments (would-be recipients of reparations and climate mitigation funds), have been claiming.

The new paper, published in the International Journal of Digital Earth,  begins with the observation that “the field of island studies is often hampered by a lack of data and inconsistent methodologies, leading to an inadequate understanding of the processes driving shoreline changes on islands within the context of climate change.”

To remedy this gap in observational knowledge, the team of researchers, from various universities and research institutes in China, used remote-sensing data covering more than 13,000 islands in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea, from 1990 to 2020.

About 12 percent of the islands experienced significant or measurable shoreline shifts during the period, both erosion and expansion. Although the study found that land was lost during the 1990s, overall, during the 30-year period, the islands studied experienced a net increase of 157.21 km2.

Importantly, the research found that natural factors had “comparatively minor impact[s]” on the expansion or contraction of island shores and land mass as a whole. The dominant driver of the changes were human development activities, particularly reclamation and land filling.

Even ongoing sea level rise (whether natural or anthropogenic) proved to be at most “an exacerbating factor for coastal erosion rather than the primary cause.”

The study’s authors suggest that to maintain islands’ integrity and their inhabitants’ well-being, islands focus efforts on various types of adaptation measures to the myriad factors that contribute to shore erosion. Well-designed, constructed, and maintained sea walls are already proving valuable in this regard. Other adaptive options the authors suggest include, for example, maintaining existing wetlands, mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs, and restoring those same features when they’ve been degraded or destroyed. In addition, developing sustainable freshwater infrastructure to avoid draining aquifers which can lead to subsidence, sink holes, and salt-water incursion.

Sources: Climate-Science PressInternational Journal of Digital Earth

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