Tuvalu and many other South Pacific Islands are not sinking, claims they are due to global warming driven sea level rise are opportunistic

Nils Axel Morner and Don Easterbrook told them so. So did Willis, who had some very similar ideas.

We’ve mentioned several times here on WUWT that the claims about sea level rise and sinking islands are overblown. For example, this idiotic publicity stunt by the Maldivian government, signing a legal declaration underwater, demonstrates just how far some people are willing to prostitute their victimhood for financial gain. The MO:  You other countries warmed the earth, raising sea level which threatens our island.  Pay up sucka!

Yeah, well, that scam is now going the way of Nigerian email.

From TV New Zealand:

An Auckland University researcher has offered new hope to the myriad small island nations in the Pacific which have loudly complained their low-lying atolls will drown as global warming boosts sea levels.

Geographer Associate Professor Paul Kench has measured 27 islands where local sea levels have risen 120mm – an average of 2mm a year – over the past 60 years, and found that just four had diminished in size.

Working with Arthur Webb at the Fiji-based South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, Kench used historical aerial photographs and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land area of the islands.

They found that the remaining 23 had either stayed the same or grown bigger, according to the research published in a scientific journal, Global and Planetary Change.

“It has been thought that as the sea level goes up, islands will sit there and drown,” Prof Kench told the New Scientist. “But they won’t.

“The sea level will go up and the island will start responding.

One of the highest profile islands – in a political sense – was Tuvalu, where politicians and climate change campaigners have repeatedly predicted it will be drowned by rising seas, as its highest point is 4.5 metres above sea level. But the researchers found seven islands  had spread by more than 3 percent on average since the 1950s.

One island, Funamanu, gained 0.44 hectares or nearly 30 percent of its previous area.

And the research showed similar trends in the Republic of Kiribati, where the three main urbanised islands also “grew”  – Betio by 30 percent (36ha), Bairiki by 16.3 percent (5.8ha) and Nanikai by 12.5 percent (0.8ha).

Webb, an expert on coastal processes, told the New Scientist the trend was explained by the fact the islands mostly comprised coral debris eroded from encircling reefs and pushed up onto the islands by winds and waves.

The process was continuous, because the corals were alive, he said.

In effect the islands respond to changes in weather patterns and climate – Cyclone  Bebe deposited 140ha of sediment on the eastern reef of Tuvalu in 1972, increasing the main island’s area by 10 percent.

But the two men warned that while the islands were coping for now, any acceleration in the rate of sea level rise could re-instate the earlier gloomy predictions.

No one knows how fast the islands can grow, and calculating sea level rise is an inexact science.

Climate experts have generally raised estimates for sea level rise – the United Nations spoke in late 2009 of a maximum 2 metre rise by 2100, up from 18-59cm estimated in 2007.

Full story here. Even their source, the New Scientist was forced to admit the “good news” but says “sea level rise warnings stand”. Yeah, sure, whatever.

=================================

Here’s the abstract and the link to the paper. (corrected, the New Scientist provided link was originally bad)

The dynamic response of reef islands to sea level rise: evidence from multi-decadal analysis of island change in the central pacific

Arthur P. Webba, and Paul S. Kenchb, ,

a South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, SOPAC. Fiji

b School of Environment, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

Received 22 February 2010;  accepted 13 May 2010.  Available online 21 May 2010.
Abstract

Low-lying atoll islands are widely perceived to erode in response to measured and future sea level rise. Using historical aerial photography and satellite images this study presents the first quantitative analysis of physical changes in 27 atoll islands in the central Pacific over a 19 to 61 year period. This period of analysis corresponds with instrumental records that show a rate of sea level rise of 2.0 mm.y-1 in the Pacific. Results show that 86% of islands remained stable (43%) or increased in area (43%) over the timeframe of analysis. Largest decadal rates of increase in island area range between 0.1 to 5.6 hectares. Only 14% of study islands exhibited a net reduction in island area. Despite small net changes in area, islands exhibited larger gross changes. This was expressed as changes in the planform configuration and position of islands on reef platforms. Modes of island change included: ocean shoreline displacement toward the lagoon; lagoon shoreline progradation; and, extension of the ends of elongate islands. Collectively these adjustments represent net lagoonward migration of islands in 65% of cases. Results contradict existing paradigms of island response and have significant implications for the consideration of island stability under ongoing sea level rise in the central Pacific. First, islands are geomorphologically persistent features on atoll reef platforms and can increase in island area despite sea level change. Second; islands are dynamic landforms that undergo a range of physical adjustments in responses to changing boundary conditions, of which sea level is just one factor. Third, erosion of island shorelines must be reconsidered in the context of physical adjustments of the entire island shoreline as erosion may be balanced by progradation on other sectors of shorelines. Results indicate that the style and magnitude of geomorphic change will vary between islands. Therefore, Island nations must place a high priority on resolving the precise styles and rates of change that will occur over the next century and reconsider the implications for adaption.

(Corrected) Link to paper (paywall) is here

h/t to Purakanui


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116 thoughts on “Tuvalu and many other South Pacific Islands are not sinking, claims they are due to global warming driven sea level rise are opportunistic

  1. So as long as the oceans don’t become acidified and kill the coral reefs, these island states will be fine.

    Oops! I forgot.

  2. See – heat makes things bigger too. Thermal expansion and all that.

    I’d be more worried about the capsize hazard. Bigger islands are more unstable – or so I’ve heard.

  3. 2 metre rise my ass. There isn’t enough ice under threat of melting to cause anything like that and thermal expansion of the sea can’t come close either.

  4. The Maldives is an Islamic theocracy which recently threatened a man with a jail term for publicly stating his unbelief. Why are we sending aid to these nutjobs?

  5. @toby says: June 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Acidification? Yeah. Right!
    Perhaps you mean an insignificant reduction in the sea’s alkalinity?
    Acidification is another bogus piece of shroudwaving nonsense.
    More chance of the islands being wiped out by an asteroid.

  6. I’m wondering…….if the land mass is growing …….what on earth are we comparing to get “sea level”. It’s stuff like this that amazes me. It couldn’t possibly be that the sea level isn’t changing, it must be that land is growing!!!! Yea, that’s the ticket!!!………see the next crisis……we’ll grow out of the atmosphere and we’ll all suffocate!! The sky isn’t falling we’re growing into it!!!!

  7. Poor, poor earth…..with the rising of sea levels and mass of ground growing, (all due to CAGW of course) it will inevitably burst from its seams and explode! :-(

  8. Ummm…isn’t it obvious that coral reefs and islands associated with them grow as sea level rises? Sea level increased hundreds of feet since the depths of the last ice glaciation, and I don’t expect that the coral reefs stuck up a few hundred feet and waited for the ocean to rise and cover them.

  9. Recently a Czech power company CEZ decided to change machinery in one of its power plants for new one – more effective one. Then a diplomatic protest note came from Tuvalu to the Czech Foreign Department.

  10. The article says that “the United Nations spoke in late 2009 of a maximum 2 metre rise by 2100, up from 18-59cm estimated in 2007″.
    As far as I know, the revised estimate was made in a document prepared by a group of scientists, not by the UN or the IPCC. Anybody has more specific reference for this update of “UN” estimates of sea level rise by 2100?

  11. Much as I thought. Coral atolls will keep building up as sea level rises. even sand islands will keep up as long as there is sufficient material brought in by wave action.
    Some 15,000 to 18,000 years ago there was rapid sea level rise as the continental glaciers melted. I expect someone has done an investigation into the size of coral islands at that time and compared them to today. I think there have been measurements of the Great Barrier Reef, as it has existed through several floods and ebbings of sea level in the last ice age.
    I know there are guyots, especially north of Hawaii, but don’t know how far below sea level the tops are, or when they were submerged, they sank as the extinct volcanoes were eroded and as they moved off the doming of the sea floor under the Hawaiian hot-spot. The water might have been too cold for corals to keep building up.

  12. With all these presumed sea level changes I’m getting dizzy.

    There’s a story at the bottom of the link above that quotes an EU commission:

    The extra economic effort required to reach the tougher reductions goal is “while still substantial, has fallen,” the commission argues. It estimates now that the total cost of such a move would be some 81 billion euros, just 11 billion more than had originally been costed in for the agreed 20 percent emissions cut.

    So the cost has “fallen” from 70 billion to 81 billion?

    Reminds me of George Orwell’s 1984:

    “Choco rations have been increased to 25 grams per week, up from 30 grams per week.”

  13. sheesh, does anyone really believe that any of these fools know squat?

    The Pacific plate can hiccup and affect sea levels more than that and most of these islands are on it’s edge.

  14. The whole region is tectonically active. Islands have risen several meters in a few minutes. Is it surprising that due to magma displacement other islands would sink?

  15. Crikey! The massive, ( stay with me I’m being generous here, again ), 2mm per year sea rise is going to inundate the Maldives when? Surely the Maldives are rising faster then the 2mm per year? Or is it all to do with rent seeking, surely they are, “entitled”, being poor and stuff.

    Didn’t that nice Dr. Nils-Axel Mörne send them the good news?

    Oh yes, he bloody well did, they chose to sensor it. Sigh.

  16. There was an paper published fairly recently in Quaternary Research describing how coral growth is used to monitor sea level changes. Ahh, here it is: “Microatoll record for large century-scale sea-level fluctuations in the mid-Holocene” Yu, Zhao, Done, Chen (pp. 354-360 Vol. 71, No. 3, May 2009)

    So these are flat-topped atolls that just barely break the surface of the ocean. So lets imagine they begin perfectly conical in shape and the water level is some 10 meters from the top. Coral will grow to almost the water line creating “shoulders” on the cone. Now imagine water rises again. The coral growth moves up the cone. Now say it drops. Coral growth moves down the cone. After tens of thousands of years, you can take a “core sample” and see where the sea levels have changed over time. These particular micro-atolls are also located where there is no discernible change in the underlying crust causing any changes in altitude of the atolls themselves. It is a very stable location, at least on the scale of this interglacial.

    So it turns out that sea levels peaked somewhere between 7050 and 6600 years ago
    and were about 2 meters higher than today. There have been periods of abrupt sea level drop. One recorded about 3300 years ago was a drop of around 1.5 meters (Holocene evolution of a drowned melt-water valley in the Danish Wadden Sea – Pedersen, Svinth, Bartholdy).

    So basically sea level changes all the time. Sometimes by rather large amounts over relatively short periods of time (century scale). The expectation that sea levels (or temperatures, for that matter) should remain “stable” over century scale time periods seems unreasonable as they have never been particularly stable in the past.

  17. Island politician: “Rising seas are shrinking our islands, drowning our homes, and destroying our livelihoods! We demand compensation from the responsible industrial nations!”

    Scientist: “Good news! Your islands are actually growing! There is no danger!”

    Politician: “Who the @#$% asked you?”

  18. If they replace their fresh water pumping stations with desalinization plants the incursion of sea water into the existing fresh water wells will stop, too.

  19. So now we know – the reason why the sea level is rising is because the land area is increasing. Simple physics:

    More land area = less sea surface = higher sea level to hold the same water volume.

    If the current trend continues it means that we’ll eventually run out of ocean surface area . No ocean surface, means no fishing, and billions will be straving. Even worst – without oceans the poor polar bears will not be finding any baby seals to eat and die. Now – that’s a strong image!

    We must act now to stop the increase of the land mass area, or our grandchildren and the polar bears will die!

  20. That publicity stunt by the Maldivian government is in keeping with a proud tradition of extortion as practiced in the U.S., where well to do beachfront property owners repair or rebuild their dream vacation homes on the taxpayer dime via subsidized flood insurance.

  21. The 4 islands that have lost territory need to sue the 23 islands that have gained territory because those growing islands must be displacing too much water and sinking the 4 islands, which have lost territory.

    Leave us out of it.

  22. toby says:
    June 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    So as long as the oceans don’t become acidified and kill the coral reefs, these island states will be fine.

    Oops! I forgot.

    One CAGW/CC myth at a time, please. Thanks.

  23. Spot on Crosspatch, Flask and Roger Sowell!

    At the ‘peak’ of the last ice age some 18,000 years ago, global sea levels were nearly 100m lower than today. As climate changed to this interglacial period, sea levels rose and peaked about 2m higher than present around 5000BC. Sea levels have been relatively stable for the last 7000 years.

    Coral reefs are dynamic – they move up and down with sea level changes, although the time scale of response is not well known.

  24. That formerly ethical and informative magazine has for some time now been known (in some circles, anyway) as the Nude Socialist (Luboš Motl) ☺☺☺

    /dr.bill

  25. “So as long as the oceans don’t become acidified and kill the coral reefs”

    Practically every coral reef currently in existence was dead as a doornail 15,000 years ago and a couple of hundred feet above sea level.

  26. I would think that the French could provide a very comprehensive long term coral growth sequence from Mururoa Atoll, a thousand or so kilometres ENE of New Zealand’s North Island.
    Mururoa Atoll was the site for a number of French nuclear tests.
    The atomic devices for those “underground” tests were lowered down large holes bored deep into the island’s coral substructure and on the flanks of the volcanic origin rise that makes up the Mururoa Atoll.
    [ One of those nuclear devices reputedly got jammed part way down one of those bore holes and the French had a real problem then.
    They solved the problem by detonating it in any case, regardless! ]
    No doubt there is a very considerable body of very comphrehensive coral stratographic data from Mururoa Atoll somewhere in the French war and defence departments that would be of great interest to sea level researchers everywhere.
    And it’s accuracy would be very good as a very careful analysis would be needed to assess the effects of the nuclear blast on the surrounding Atoll’s strata.

    A bit off topic but a very interesting trend is underway.
    The lower level alarmists and warmista advocates are continuing to vituperatively attack the skeptics and luke warmers in their usual and mainly ad hom manner.
    The skeptics and the unsure and doubtful are no longer very defensive but are now seemingly starting to enjoy themselves by employing a lot of sarcasm in their attacks and comments on a number of the most holy global warming / climate change shibboleths of the warmista movement as those beliefs are increasingly seen as just plain false and / or gross exaggerations and are starting to come undone in often a quite spectacular fashion.

  27. jonjermy sez: ‘The Maldives is an Islamic theocracy which recently threatened a man with a jail term for publicly stating his unbelief.’

    Not jail. Death.

    dp sez: ‘If they replace their fresh water pumping stations with desalinization plants the incursion of sea water into the existing fresh water wells will stop, too.’

    Not true. Most of these low atolls don’t have wells, as they have no Herzberg-Gryben lens of fresh water to tap. They catch rainwater.

    On some of the really desert atolls, the main source of fresh water is runoff from runways the Seabees laid down during World War II.

    In any case, none of them have money to run desalination plants. Most don’t have enough money to run a generator to have light bulbs.

    Nitpick: desalinization is an ugly and inaccurate word. You don’t first salinize the water. That’s been done for you. ‘desalination’ is sufficient

  28. Common sense will always eventually prevail. As an environmental engineer faimiliar with coastal morphology I can confidently say is common sense and didint really require research, but at least the scientists have re-invented the wheel and successfully came to the obvious correct conclusion, which is great! We have guys here though that specialise in coastal geomorthology that could have told them that years ago, and could even model the future changes – its not really a new concept and the tools are out there!

    I was involved in a similar project in the UK once were environmentliast claimed a sand bar would disapear along with the beach and main access road under the sea, the problem is though, that the sand bar just moves with the sea. Unfortunetly the coastal defences they built to protect it interupted the sand flow onto the land and caused the road to undermine and wash away into the sea! Then defences sunk with the beach as the supply of sand was interupted with the defence wall.

  29. Just a little more in regard to the Pacific islands “sinking”

    As an example, Tuvalu! Tuvalu rides on a tectonic plate that is itself sinking-now you would think that would be a cause for concern. But Tuvalu, like the pacific islands is a coral atoll and has been built up over the millenia by dead coral. Coral grows in water to a depth of about 40 feet. Deeper than this, there is unsufficient light.

    As the corals are constantly growing, and dying, there is a continuous supply of material to build the island which is built up by storm and wave action.

    The only time Tuvalu will run into problems is when the rate of tectonic sinking exceeds the rate of deposition of the dead corals.

    How long has this process been going on in Tuvalu. We don’t know! Drill cores on a neaby island went down to over 1,000 feet deep and was still in coralline structures. Obviously, Tuvalu has been growing upwards since time immemorial.

  30. But the two men warned that while the islands were coping for now, any acceleration in the rate of sea level rise could re-instate the earlier gloomy predictions.

    No evidence for concern is no cause for complacency. It is just as Girolamo Savonarola did shout over the bonfire of renaissance vanities …for the sword of the lord will strike swift and soon.

    Codas like these are no doubt essential to ensure continuing funding. And the more fear, the more funding, so, with CSIRO continuing to pay good grant money hawking to Ozzie WUWT readers its Australia Coastal Survey on Property & Rising Sea Levels, it’s about time we all told CSIRO how scared we really are.

  31. Darwin’s ‘Voyage of the Beagle’ contains a fascinating account on the formation of corral atolls. Corals grow on a sea-mount which constantly subsides whereupon increasing amounts of coral build up of the layer below.

    Increased oceanic pH (or decreased alkalinity if you prefer), bleaching from fertilizers, and other anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic factors may disturb the balance – let’s not go into snip here. However, sea level rise per se if it occurs will not.

    BTW, I’ve changed my name from CC to Chris1958 – no sinister motive other than commenting occasionally on other blogs under that name:-).

  32. stumpy says:
    June 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    “Common sense will always eventually prevail…….”

    Yeh, eventually. We had a similar situation here in Kansas. I live by a small river called the Neosho. It produces a very nicely smoothed brown gravel. We all(anyone who spent any time on it) knew this was occurring and the fact that they moved as the river dictated. We had a small industry that harvested the gravel. The river also has a small catfish indigenous to it called the Neosho river mad tomcat. (For years I mistook it for an infant channel cat, but I digress. One pinhead environmentalist decided the amount of gravel was static and it was the habitat of the small catfish. So, no more harvesting the gravel. Finally, after several years, it was determined the said catfish really didn’t care. It thrived with or without the gravel. Now, we’ve started to harvest the gravel again. The livelihoods and their children and the hardships, not to mention the retardation of economic growth, sad all that.

    Common sense isn’t prevailing, pin-headed, malicious stupidity is just moving around to different places.

  33. Love how your POTUS struts his stuff! Deep water exploration is tricky, not my problem screams, quitely, his knobs. You’re a bunch of crooks, he screeches. The devil sucks on fossil fuels, America is gonna choke on pollution. Our national security depends on Green renewable energy. Jeesh, you’re either an ignorant dupe or a usefull dupe. One thing is certain, you’re way over your pay-grade!

  34. jonjermey says:
    June 2, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    The Maldives is an Islamic theocracy which recently threatened a man with a jail term for publicly stating his unbelief. Why are we sending aid to these nutjobs?

    Why isn’t Allah taking care of these folks?

    They are adhering to Islamic principles. Where’s the reward?

  35. toby says:
    June 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    So as long as the oceans don’t become acidified and kill the coral reefs, these island states will be fine.

    Oops! I forgot.

    ==========================================================

    Trolling again today, eh? I’ll feed ya.

    Would you please provide the amount of carbon dioxide necessary to reduce the alkalinity of the oceans from the current value of approximately 8.3 to below neutrality (7.0)?

    And once you’ve calculated that, or provided a credible source from someone who has, would you please tell us where the additional requisite carbon dioxide will come from? Because it certainly doesn’t exist within the boundaries of the Earth/atmosphere system at present.

  36. The Economist, formerly a reputable and reliable news journal, uncriticallypublished/publicized this Maldivean malarkey several times.

  37. There’s always tricking those on each extreme to an atoll and testing the really loud bit of Smokies’ hydrogen bomb VS mm sea level increase. It’s a start.

  38. Only a half-brained unthinking moron would have ever believed this nonsense in the first place. It has never been about anything other than money and power.

  39. This sea level meme is particularly irksome to me. Everybody simply seems to accept the numbers people throw out. When one stops and considers, it is exactly like measuring our temps……except less accurate. The above study illustrates this. The properties of mercury are much more finite than the land on which we measure the sea levels. The accuracy of a thermometer(mercury enclosed in a standardized tube) is much more than trying to measure the ever moving sea compared to the ever moving (yet, oh so slightly)land mass. It can’t be done to the accuracy of mm.

  40. Michael in Sydney says:

    Michael,
    I almost fell of my chair!! The ABC allowing a climate report to be aired that isn’t alarmingly, over hyped; Have the lefty journalists lost control?, or is it just that we have an Federal Election on the Horizon!

    Next thing they will graciously “allow” a dozen sceptical scientists a few hours each to counter the warmist political tripe and drivel served up by the likes of Clive Hamilton, rest my soul while I wait to see that!!!

  41. What a crock! If they expand their islands enough they will be underwater! Duh! (But there will always be some fools they can sell that new “real estate” to. Money, money, money …)

  42. Has anyone thought to mention this study to the Congresscritter who thought Guam would capsize? He’ll be reassured that with a wider base, it will be much more difficult to tip the island over.

  43. Don’t forget the parrot fish that chomp up the coral to make the sand for the beaches !!

    I had great fun explaining that to my kids as it really captured their attention and helped them think beyond the drivel thrown up, even by our esteemed CSIRO.

    Any typos blame the non-grammatically correct lizard.

    As usual many thanks to WUWT posters, moderators and readers with scientific comments. Cheers JJ

  44. Link is to the wrong paper, it has only recently been published “in print”, here’s the correct title, the abstract and DOI.

    The dynamic response of reef islands to sea level rise: evidence from multi-decadal analysis of island change in the central pacific.
    Arthur P. Webb, and Paul S. Kench
    Global Planetary Change articles in Print. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2010.05.003
    Abstract
    Low-lying atoll islands are widely perceived to erode in response to measured and future sea level rise. Using historical aerial photography and satellite images this study presents the first quantitative analysis of physical changes in 27 atoll islands in the central Pacific over a 19 to 61 year period. This period of analysis corresponds with instrumental records that show a rate of sea level rise of 2.0 mm.y-1 in the Pacific. Results show that 86% of islands remained stable (43%) or increased in area (43%) over the timeframe of analysis. Largest decadal rates of increase in island area range between 0.1 to 5.6 hectares. Only 14% of study islands exhibited a net reduction in island area. Despite small net changes in area, islands exhibited larger gross changes. This was expressed as changes in the planform configuration and position of islands on reef platforms. Modes of island change included: ocean shoreline displacement toward the lagoon; lagoon shoreline progradation; and, extension of the ends of elongate islands. Collectively these adjustments represent net lagoonward migration of islands in 65% of cases. Results contradict existing paradigms of island response and have significant implications for the consideration of island stability under ongoing sea level rise in the central Pacific. First, islands are geomorphologically persistent features on atoll reef platforms and can increase in island area despite sea level change. Second; islands are dynamic landforms that undergo a range of physical adjustments in responses to changing boundary conditions, of which sea level is just one factor. Third, erosion of island shorelines must be reconsidered in the context of physical adjustments of the entire island shoreline as erosion may be balanced by progradation on other sectors of shorelines. Results indicate that the style and magnitude of geomorphic change will vary between islands. Therefore, Island nations must place a high priority on resolving the precise styles and rates of change that will occur over the next century and reconsider the implications for adaption.

  45. Maybe Florida should require that everyone who visits there will bring a stone, so they can start building reefs around Florida. Barrier reefs around most of Florida would be a good idea anyway.

  46. re:  stumpy: June 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm
    and Jame Sexton: June 2, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Interesting stories. And James has the money quote:
    Common sense isn’t prevailing, pin-headed, malicious stupidity is just moving around to different places.

    /dr.bill

  47. I have been to these islands myself, (the Carteret islands) and seen what is happen there for myself.

    This place was a paradise, one of the islands in this group has been divided in half, more importantly they used to grow crops to feed themselves but salt water has crept into the water table and such crops will no longer grow. The people are not talking about moving they are moving to Bougainville a mining community (and a slum compared to the Carteret islands) I don’t think these people would have much time for the musings of Nils Axel Morner and Don Easterbrook telling then it’s not happening, they want to stay on their islands, were they have lived for generations, but are unable to.

  48. Steven W: June 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    That’s a very touching story Steven. My own ancestors used to live on a small island off the East Coast of Canada. They also had problems with erosion, loss of waterfront land, and other difficulties. They managed to deal with it. Some of them moved a bit higher up. Some of them moved to the other side of the island, where, oddly enough, it was growing seaward. Some others couldn’t be bothered, and just moved off the island altogether. That was a bit over 100 years ago. So what do you suppose the cause was back then? They didn’t know. Still don’t. Doesn’t matter. Stuff happens, and it doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault.

    You present your heart-breaking little story as if it were the definitive word on some kind of culpability. Who is culpable? Nobody. Stuff happens, and always has. One thing for certain, is that this has nothing to do with CO2 and ‘global warming’, which I take to be your implicit accusation. Did anyone ever check the other side of the island? It might be growing.

    Get a life, man.

    /dr.bill

  49. Steven W – the sea water is penetrating the water table because they’ve drawn too much fresh water for their crops, it’s a delicate balance. They have also destroyed much of the outer reef through dynamite fishing.

  50. DirkH says:
    June 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    That must have hurt the New Scientist.

    I think getting hurt is part of the global warming religion. It happens a lot to them. Some religions like being hurt.

  51. Ric Werme,

    You’re right, that was the view from Kwajalein — I think. A guy I worked with took regular trips to Kwajalein and the photos he had looked exactly like the foreground in the pic. Maybe Willis, having lived in the Marshalls, might know.

    Thanks for your info on the Marshall Islanders. I can understand that we were in a very frightening cold war situation at the time, with Russia detonating H-bombs and making threats like Ahmadinejad ["We will bury you"], and that individuals, especially those administered by Imperial Japan for half a century, were considered expendable.

    This relocation was initiated not very long after 50 million+ people were killed in WWII, most of them simply victims of circumstance. [Uncle Joe Stalin: "One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic."]

    But that was then, and this is now. The people who were relocated from Bikini need help, not bureaucracy. With the $Trillions that Chairman Zero is handing out, maybe he could spare a little for these poor, hard-bitten folks…

    …nah. Not enough votes.

  52. “salt water has crept into the water table and such crops will no longer grow.”

    That is not caused by sea level rise. That is caused by removing the fresh water (probably for irrigating those crops) faster than it can be replenished by rainfall.

    As a previous commenter noted, the fresh water on those islands is from a “lense” of fresh water that floats on salt water in the porous coral rock. If you remove it faster than it can seep in, you will start sucking salt water.

    But the more important thing to keep in mind is that we could spend trillions of dollars and not impact sea level one iota, or at least not enough for anyone to notice for several centuries.

    Sea level is *always* falling or rising, it is *never* stable for very long. Sea level might continue to rise at the current rate for a century or it might be topping out.

    We (Earth) just experienced the coldest period of the past 10,000 years (Little Ice Age or LIA). As we recover from that event, it would be expected that sea levels would rise and glaciers would retreat. If you look at climate in general over the past 2000 years or so, each major cool period has been a little colder than the one before it. I personally believe that the current interglacial has been in the process of ending for the past 2000 years. The next “little ice age” will be a “little bit bigger ice age” and probably last longer than the more recent one did. Climate at the edges of the interglacials tends to be unstable. We are probably going to see dramatic swings between cold and warm periods over the next few thousand years but the general trend will be downward in temperature.

  53. Steven W:
    “they are moving to Bougainville a mining community (and a slum compared to the Carteret islands) ”

    I agree with the slum bit, but there’s no mining on Bougainville that I know of.

    The locals after years of looting the closed mine are making noises about restarting it. And declaring independence (which would be loony). There’s not much left but a pestilent hole in the ground, which they don’t own anyway (its still owned by BCL) and the capital cost for restarting would be about the same as starting an entirely new mine. Only there’s lots of better places than Bougainville Island for that, not least since half the ore has already been mined.

    The Tuvaluvians would do better staying home, at least they have an income from fishing rights and the .tv domain name.

  54. Smokey June 2, 2010 at 3:35 pm
    So the cost has “fallen” from 70 billion to 81 billion?

    The 81 B euro cost is the current estimated cost of reducing CO2 emissions by 30% from a fixed baseline…the 70 B is the previous estimated cost of a 20% reduction from that same baseline, which cost is now estimated to be significantly less because CO2 emissions have fallen already (at zero cost) due to economic downturn.

    What I found most remarkable about the suggestion to go for more aggressive CO2 reduction targets, is that the “savings” is illusory — unless it is the goal to remain in an economic slump. A recovery and its concomitant increased industrial activity would naturally increase CO2 emissions (among others)…but if there is a cap in place to require more expensive energy, then the recovery will be inhibited to exactly the same extent as the claimed “savings”.

    Not to mention the likelihood that the claimed cost is underestimated. In the US at least, it is de rigueur to bias estimated costs, tax revenues, etc. to favor whatever policy is being proposed. I’m dubious that a European bureaucracy behaves any differently.

  55. Two of them had 30% growth in area?

    Well, it’s worse than we thought. Run those growth rates out and we’ll be out of ocean in no time! Time to form a new international commission to address the problem! Clearly, the developed nations are to blame and must pay.

  56. “An Auckland University researcher has offered new hope to the myriad small island nations…”

    Given their obvious attempts at extortion over this, the politicians there don’t need any stinkin hope, thank you very much.

    Michael Chrichton’ s book ‘State of Fear’ featured a version of this same bogus story, and so much more about this AGW scam, way back in 2004. That novel began:

    “In late 2003, at the Susutainable Earth Summit conference… the Pacific island nation of Vanutu announced that it was preparing a lawsuit against the… [EPA] … over global warming. Vanutu stood only a few feet above sea level, and the island’s eight thousnad inhabitants were in danger of having to evacuate their country because of rising sea levels caused by global warming…”

    The plan was to sue the USA because as the largest CO2 emitter, they caused The Warming. Copenhagen revealed.

    Anyone who missed that novel will find that it was years ahead in revealing this scam, and a great read. A Hollywood environmentalist is eaten by cannibals as a bonus.

  57. Steven W says: June 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm “. . . I don’t think these people would have much time for the musings of Nils Axel Morner and Don Easterbrook telling then it’s not happening, they want to stay on their islands, were they have lived for generations, but are unable to.”
    Classic example of people not willing to look at their own responsibility for a problem — far easier to blame someone else, even if blaming someone else does not fix the problem. Too much fresh water was drawn for crops; that is why sea water has crept into the water table. Dynamiting has damaged coral reefs. Also, mining coral for construction purposes — that enables waves to wash higher on shore.
    If you think that reducing CO2 would solve their problems, then you are perpetuating the problem.

  58. 2 June: Remarks by the President on the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University
    But the only way the transition to clean energy will ultimately succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future — if capital comes off the sidelines and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs is unleashed. And the only way to do that is by finally putting a price on carbon pollution.
    No, many businesses have already embraced this idea because it provides a level of certainty about the future. And for those that face transition costs, we can help them adjust…
    The House of Representatives has already passed a comprehensive energy and climate bill, and there is currently a plan in the Senate — a plan that was developed with ideas from Democrats and Republicans — that would achieve the same goal. And, Pittsburgh, I want you to know, the votes may not be there right now, but I intend to find them in the coming months. (Applause.) ..

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-economy-carnegie-mellon-university

  59. And where, exactly, is the elevation benchmark that the elevations of these islands are compared to?

    Land and islands continually rise or subside and will continue to do one or the other. There is no really fixed elevation point on this planet that I ever heard of.

  60. This story was all in Michael Crichton’s 2004 novel ‘State of Fear’, except he called the island nation Vanutu…

    “Vanutu stood only a few feet above sea level, and the island’s eight thousand inhabitants were in danger of having to evacuate their country because of rising sea levels caused by global warming…”

    So, they were going to sue the USA, the largest CO2 emitter, of course.

    This novel was way ahead of its time, touched on most of the bogus AGW tales, and included a sanctimonious Hollywood environmentalist eaten by cannibals as a bonus.

  61. James Sexton says:
    June 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm
    This sea level meme is particularly irksome to me. Everybody simply seems to accept the numbers people throw out. When one stops and considers, it is exactly like measuring our temps……except less accurate. The above study illustrates this. The properties of mercury are much more finite than the land on which we measure the sea levels. The accuracy of a thermometer(mercury enclosed in a standardized tube) is much more than trying to measure the ever moving sea compared to the ever moving (yet, oh so slightly)land mass. It can’t be done to the accuracy of mm.

    I definitely agree. For those still inclined to accept the plots of sea level rise that are bandied about I suggest spending some time reviewing this document

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/J2_handbook_v1-3_no_rev.pdf

    It’s the OSTM/Jason-2 Products Handbook and it contains the best info on how they measure and calculate SSH and MSL that I’ve come across. Actually they appear to be doing a lot better than I would have thought before I studied it, at least if you’re willing to accept all their claims. Even then, they’re talking about first cut accuracy of 11.2 cm with final product accuracy of 3.4 cm after long term averaging and numerous correction factors applied. These values of course exclude significant wave height, which is a chaotic factor they admit they don’t really have a good handle on and adds an uncertainty in the range of 0.9 to 0.5 meters, and these accuracies are specs which may or may not be met.

    The magnitude and multitude of the corrections and calculations necessary to produce the end product data makes what they are doing a most impressive technical and engineering achievement, but even if they can meet all their design goals, the end result will be a very good map which still may well be only a fair representation of the real territory.

    I would also note that these details are for the latest Jason-2 satellite, which is a step up from the Jason-1 unit, which was itself an even larger step up from the original Topex/Poseidon units.

    No matter what your opinion may be concerning MSL, I do recommend reviewing this pdf as I haven’t found a better exposition on the technology and methods involved in trying to measure it.

  62. James Sexton says:
    June 2, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    “I live by a small river called the Neosho… The river also has a small catfish indigenous to it called the Neosho river mad tomcat.”

    Yeah, right. A species for every river! I’m sure this river is not connected to any other rivers…

    Speaking of scams, each of these alleged “species” or “subspecies” or “distinct geographic populations” can be listed and thereby become an employment franchise for an indefinite period for Conservation Biologists.

    And they are so easy to invent. Haven’t they identified the ‘Lower Neosho river mad tomcat’ yet? Hope it doesn’t swim upstream. Or the ‘large gravel Neosho river mad tomcat’ and the ‘small gravel Neosho river mad tomcat’? Hasn’t the local environmental group raised alarms about them yet, and proposed each one for listing?

    That is why the lists keep getting longer and the ranks of these professional eco-heroes keeps growing, all paid for by your tax dollars.

    And climate change threatens them all, of course.

  63. Oops. Pardon my double post re Crichton. Thought I had accidentally sent the first one into the ether… or it had been submerged by rising sea levels.

  64. LarryOldtimer says:
    June 2, 2010 at 9:18 pm
    And where, exactly, is the elevation benchmark that the elevations of these islands are compared to?

    Land and islands continually rise or subside and will continue to do one or the other. There is no really fixed elevation point on this planet that I ever heard of.

    In the GPS era absolute elevations are usually calculated from the “reference ellipsoid” an imaginary approximation of a smooth Earth surface. See item 1.4.1.3 in the pdf I linked above.

  65. Contrary to claims in the comments, the Maldives is not an Islamic theocracy. Islamism is only one of several political currents there. Rather the Maldives is a new multiparty democracy. The previous dictator of 30 years was finally peacefully ousted by the efforts of the Maldivian Democratic Party, led in part by Mohammed Nasheed. Mr. Nasheed, the new Maldivian president, participated in this underwater publicity stunt, as other former democracy campaigners. Personally I think the stunt was rather creative, though it was based on a mistaken view.

    As a fan of Anthony’s work, and also a fan of democratic movements around the world, I want to point out that these particular politicians are neither idiots nor nutbags (as suggested by jonjermey in the comments). After following their efforts for a number of years, I am confident they are not the type to “prostitute their victimhood.” Mr. Nasheed persevered through years of imprisonment, repeated torture and other political repression before he was able to build a large enough domestic coalition to force the regime to accept multiparty elections. Since being elected president he has continued to argue for expanding liberty in his country.

    But of course most of these politicians are not science experts, and they, like many people, are frightened by the predictions of catastrophe by unscrupulous professionals. Rather than ridiculing these politicians for their ignorance, it is better to get them better educated on this subject. They could teach us all something about political strategy.

  66. Some replys to the comments on my question above

    Dr bill: “Some of them moved a bit higher up. Some of them moved to the other side of the island”
    I have to wonder how you move ‘further up’ on islands that at their highest ~1ft above sea level.

    Jamama: ” the sea water is penetrating the water table because they’ve drawn too much fresh water for their crops, it’s a delicate balance. They have also destroyed much of the outer reef through dynamite fishing.”
    Sorry the crops they were growing were grown for generations without a problem, because the islands are so small there is no room to expand these crops so the water demand has not increased and the island populations had declined as some of the younger inhabitants had moved to New Guinea, as for “dynamite fishing” sorry I spent over a week snorkeling the main reefs and saw no sign of damage or anyone doing this (they are some of the best reefs I have ever seen), I have to say these are very friendly happy people. On the main island of the group there is just 1 t.v. which they run for only 1 hour a week (they have just 1 generator) they like to watch music videos from the 70s.

    Bruce of Newcastle: “but there’s no mining on Bougainville that I know of”
    As you yourself go on to say they had a copper mine it was the main source of their economy, hence they are a failed mining community if you prefer, the mine being shutdown is one of the main reasons it is now a bad place to be moving to but with their Islands becoming uninhabitable the people of Carteret don’t have much choice.

    An Inquirer: You are basically repeating the same nonsense in Jamama’s comment
    I realize you guys base these comments on what you read on sites like this one but as I said, I’ve been there, they don’t use Dynamite for fishing and saying they do for construction is actually quite funny, I would be interested to know what you would dynamite off a reef on a group of islands were the only construction is native huts made of wood and there are no roads.

  67. There is a simple explanation why the islands grow. It is explained by Hank Johnson’s theory of Guam tipping over:

    The soldiers are selectively marching on the parts of the islands that are higher because they don’t want to drown. Consequently, this part of the island goes down, while the others go up – like on a seesaw.

    That means that the elevation is getting more uniform, and some parts of the island that were below the water get higher and emerge from the ocean, while the top peaks of the islands are getting lower.

    I am only partially kidding but it’s somewhat hard to define the boundary of this joke. ;-)

  68. @Steven W says: June 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    OK, Steven W, how come even even Wikipedia (that font of CAGW propaganda) admits that the Carteret islands are most likely sinking as they are on the top of a subsiding extinct seamount?

    “Paul Tobasi, the atolls’ district manager with Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville province, and many other environmental groups[6] have suggested that the flooding is the result of sea-level rise associated with global warming. He also stated that small tidal waves were becoming more frequent.[5]

    The Carteret islands likely consist of a base of coral that sits atop an extinct volcanic mount. In the usual geological course of events first proposed by Charles Darwin, such islands eventually subside due to weathering and erosion, as well as isostatic adjustments of the sea floor. It has also been speculated that dynamite fishing [5] in the Carterets such as occurred in the island during the prolonged Bougainville conflict may be contributing to the increased inundation. Coral reefs buffer against wave and tidal action, and so their degradation may increase an island’s level of exposure to those forces. Another suggestion is that tectonic movement may be causing the gradual subsidence of the atoll. [7]

    Historically other populated islands, for example Tuanaki in the Cook Islands (last seen in 1842), are known to have sunk entirely and relatively suddenly for causes unrelated to rising sea levels.[8]”

    If, as you say in an earlier comment, you have actually been to the Carteret islands, I can’t believe that you aren’t very well aware of this. So how come you are trolling on here spouting nonsense?

    Think we wouldn’t notice?

  69. If the government of the Maldives is so concerned about their islands sinking beneath the waves, why are they planning to build another 64 resorts?

    http://www.letsgomaldives.com/maldives/news/sri-lankan-companies-to-tap-the-billion-dollar-contruction-industry-in-the-maldives.html

    “Around 30 Sri Lankan companies and organizations will participate in the Maldivian Construction Fair to be held in Male, from April 20 to 23, Director, South Asia Exhibition Services, Imran Hassan said yesterday.

    He, told “The Island” that the Sri Lankan participants have a great opportunity to tap the billion dollar Maldivian construction industry,which has received a boost, with the politically stable Government of President Nasheed, providing numerous incentives to foreign investors.

    “The planned infrastructure development in the Maldives,includes the construction of 64 new resorts,with each estimated to cost around US$ 40 million,he said. “Maldives is a country that imports almost everything and with the new governments policy of large scale privatization,there are endless opportunities for the bold and enterprising.””

  70. Steven W: June 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm
    Some replys to the comments on my question above….
    blah, blah, blah, ….

    You’re not getting the point, Steven. Well, sure you are, but that’s not your purpose, is it? You asked no question in your post, Steven. You just slipped in some feel-bad propaganda that nobody is buying. That stuff is passé, Steven, overworked to death, but you’re still trying to nudge someone into a guilt trip with heart-wrenching non sequiturs.

    I don’t feel guilty. I don’t hate myself or the rest of my species. I think we’re amazing, and the existence of idiots like yourself just shows the range of human variability. As soon as we get an attack of the killer wolves, your talents will be front and center. Hang in there Steven, your time will come. The world is full of good luck and hard times. We have beautiful things and ugly ones. Come back some time with a picture of yourself hugging a naked mole rat or one of those foot-long mucous-covered slugs that grow in the British Columbia rain forest. I’ve been told that they’re “threatened”, you know.

    10,000 years ago, my family’s island was under 2 to 3 kilometers of ice. Now it’s not. It will be again. 100 years ago, there was concern for the blacksmiths. Their well-being was threatened by the evil horseless carriage. What happened to the blacksmiths? There are still some around, but mostly they morphed into garage mechanics who, for $100 an hour, will tell you that the diagnostic computer says that your tangential dingleator needs to be replaced, and “It’s gonna hurt”. They seem to be doing all right. The world isn’t static, and “cute, ugly, happy, and sad” have nothing to do with Science, nor with cause and effect.

    Go troll somewhere else, Steven.

    /dr.bill

  71. First, I can’t tell you how happy I was to read that the scientists are catching up with WUWT. I first published on the Tuvalu question in 2004, and for years I have been a lone voice crying in the wilderness. So I am overjoyed to be vindicated, take that, you forces of darkness!

    Moving along, Steven W says:
    June 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I have been to these islands myself, (the Carteret islands) and seen what is happen there for myself.

    This place was a paradise, one of the islands in this group has been divided in half, more importantly they used to grow crops to feed themselves but salt water has crept into the water table and such crops will no longer grow. The people are not talking about moving they are moving to Bougainville a mining community (and a slum compared to the Carteret islands) I don’t think these people would have much time for the musings of Nils Axel Morner and Don Easterbrook telling then it’s not happening, they want to stay on their islands, were they have lived for generations, but are unable to.

    Stephen W. you need to read my article here. You’ve been to the Carterets, but you haven’t done your homework. I lived for six years on islands within 250 miles of the Carterets, and half that time I was living on a coral atoll. The Carteret story is another part of the “help, the rising sea level is creating climate refugees” myth.

    The Carteret islands are in a part of the planet where the crust experiences “tectonic subsidence”. Subsidence means sinking. But the main problems faced by the Carteret Islanders are those caused by overpopulation. Overpopulation causes a variety of ills.

    One is overpumping of the freshwater lens. This leads to salt water intrusion into the fresh water lens (accompanied, of course, by complaints of “global warming” like you are giving us.) Global warming and sea level rise are not the problem. There is only so much water on a tiny atoll. When you have too many people drinking it … well, I’m sure you can see what happens. The ocean intrudes into the fresh water lens with salty water, and global warming adherents intrude into the discussion with bogus explanations.

    Another problem is human caused erosion. Every footstep on an atoll pushes the sand nearer the ocean. Every trail becomes a tiny creek when it rains, moving sand into the sea. The more feet, the more footsteps, the more erosion.

    An additional problem with too many humans is that it leads to too little vegetation. Plants prevent erosion, and humans are hard on plants.

    A big problem with overpopulation is overfishing of the reef. The fish are a crucial part of the reef ecology. When they are overfished, the reef suffers. When the reef suffers, the atoll starts to shrink. When the atoll shrinks, in addition to having less land you have less water. This is particularly true of the overfishing of parrotfish, which are crucial to the reef ecology and are the main source of the beach sand … yes, those same parrotfish which you may have eaten when you were on the Carterets.

    Why is overpopulation such a problem in the Carterets? Size. The largest of the half-dozen atolls is about three-quarters of a mile long and a quarter mile wide. Thats about 120 acres, or 50 hectares … and the rest are even smaller.

    Finally, you say the shape of the atolls is changing … my friend, that’s what atolls do. They grow on one end, they shrink on the other end, they split in two, and then join up again. You seem to think that they should be solid, but they are just piles of sand in a wild ocean. As such, they change with the wind and the tide … so you should not be surprised when that happens.

    Yes, some people are leaving the Carterets … but not for the reasons you claim. They are leaving because the islands can’t sustain the birth rate, so some people have to leave. It’s simple math, and while the people of the Carterets may not know their arithmetic … they’re great at multiplication.

  72. Hector M. says:
    June 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    The article says that “the United Nations spoke in late 2009 of a maximum 2 metre rise by 2100, up from 18-59cm estimated in 2007″.
    As far as I know, the revised estimate was made in a document prepared by a group of scientists, not by the UN or the IPCC. Anybody has more specific reference for this update of “UN” estimates of sea level rise by 2100?

    I’m pretty sure that’s from the “Copenhagen Declaration,” whose title misleadingly suggests an association with the UN. (You can find it by googling.)

    Steven W says:
    June 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Sorry the crops they were growing were grown for generations without a problem, because the islands are so small there is no room to expand these crops so the water demand has not increased and the island populations had declined as some of the younger inhabitants had moved to New Guinea, as for “dynamite fishing” sorry I spent over a week snorkeling the main reefs and saw no sign of damage or anyone doing this …

    Willis Eschenbach wrote a thread-article posted here in January, “Floating Islands,” which treats this matter in more detail, here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/floating-islands/ . There are links in the article and the comments to further information. One poster commented thus:

    Alexander says:
    January 28, 2010 at 2:05 am

    The Tuvaluans dynamited their reef for easier access, which has wrecked the natural balance and structure of their very fragile island.

    Another thread on this topic was posted here in October: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/18/maldivians-pull-underwater-publicity-stunt/ ; it contains the following post:

    TomVonk says:
    October 19, 2009 at 3:47 am
    Maldives …
. A piece of randomly grown coral reefs unsuitable for life and lacking of everything.
 300 km² all in all on which are now compressed 400 000 people.
 The capital Male stuffs 80 000 people on 1.5 km² which leads to the world’s highest population density (about 3 times the density of Manhattan). 
During centuries the population of the Maldives was at best anecdotal – a few pirates and fishers. 
In the last 40 years the population has been multiplied by FOUR and continues unabated.

    And there are other threads on this site where this matter is dealt with; click on “Categories” in the sidebar, then “Sea Level,” or click on this: http://wattsupwiththat.com/category/sea-level/

  73. The article in question is a new one, appearing on the web first:

    http://tinyurl.com/3agsnqe

    And about that Czech power plant in Prunerov and Pacific islanders – it was a plan to retrofit the existing old coal plant with better and cleaner technology, but the Greens requested to use the newest (and much more expensive) one, which performs a bit better with regard to CO2 production, but when a high quality black coal is used, not the brown one from the local resources.
    To increase their pressure, they solicited Micronesian government to request a global EIA study.

  74. Shame no, it is a travesty that the world continues to disobey the dictates of the prophets of doom. Such a pity Shakespeare or some one of his ilk is not around to quill the follies of man and his foibles and failings. Centuries from now the names in the play would be legend. Anthony of Watt the prince of light. I am sure the readers of this blog could cast the rest of the characters. This would have been Shakespeare’s greatest play. Wayne

  75. Steven W says:
    June 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    This place was a paradise, one of the islands in this group has been divided in half, more importantly they used to grow crops to feed themselves but salt water has crept into the water table and such crops will no longer grow….
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    An explanation of the actual cause of what is happening is here: Floating Islands

  76. So much more reasonable to assume that coral has added signifigantly to the land mass recently than to assume that the plates that the islands sit on may move UP AND DOWN slightly, rather than just side to side…

    Busy coral…

  77. just how far some people are willing to prostitute their victimhood for financial gain?

    The other day, my daughter came home from school with a box of girl scout cookies that she purchased. Someone on the school bus played the “race card” to try and get a cookie… for a cookie!

  78. @Steven W says: June 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm
    (I posted earlier but it seems to have disappeared)

    [Good to see Willis Eschenbach's recent sensible comments.]
    But even the ultra-warmist Wikipedia points out that the Carterets are founded on an extinct seamount which seems to be sinking.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carteret_Islands

    As you have been there it is surprising you weren’t aware of that.

    Better luck next time.

  79. Steven W: Although you accuse others of repeating “nonsense from sites like these,” perhaps a more appropriate charge would be that you repeat nonsense from the mainstream media.
    You claim that “the island populations had declined,” but a quick research shows that Tuvalu’s “population of 11,636 in 2005 has more than doubled since 1980.”
    As for mining, perhaps there is some difference between the Maldives and Tuvalu, but here is a 1994 paper that wanted to look at the real cause of problems in the area: “large areas of reef flats have been degraded by mining of coral for the construction industry” http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/umrsmas/bullmar/1994/00000055/F0020002/art00038.
    To blame the problem on CO2 and rising oceans perpetuates the real problem.

  80. Why do some people, such as Steven W, persist in promulgating ignorance? If the majority of Mankind had that attitude now we would undo all that the Renaissance and the Enlightenment did for promoting science-based or rational, sceptical thought and drive us back to the old god-driven sdtyles of thinking. No doubt Steven W attributes any stomache-ache he suffers to an angry deity, angry because of Steven’s unknowingly offending that deity.

  81. @ Al Gored

    You’re right on the money! Back in the early 90s, I thought it odd that the poor fishy didn’t move from river to river. Lo and behold, there are other places the poor fishy lives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neosho_madtom . I’d thought we’d won the war, but the rampant malicious stupidity has once again visited us! I hadn’t heard about a recent study, but here it is on the poor fishy. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2005/5282/pdf/SIR20055282.pdf .

    Just skimming through the study, I see no reference to the other rivers. Apparently, harvesting the gravel from the Neosho is the killer of the fishy regardless of what river the poor fishy lives in. I wonder why they don’t want us to have a gravel industry here? Probably so we wouldn’t compete with the Census bureau in competition for workers. I see the latest study repeats the same meme about the gravel being the habitat of the madtom(but later states that it thrives in other places as well) and that the gravel is a finite resource. Forget the hundred year history proving the incorrect posit of the study. I can boat down the river and see for myself, we have as much river gravel today as we did when I was a child. Why is our economies in the tank? One doesn’t have to look very far to see what forces are working against our economy.

    “We have met the enemy, and they are us.”

  82. A Politician can, by training, education, and pure common sense, take a non-fact, fact, or myth, and twist it into a means of making money or taking it from fools. This inherent ability of politicians to make a living is greatly facilitated by the ignorance or intelligence, the guilt or gullibility, and every other human trait (pro and con), found within human beings who have a penny in their pocket.

    On the one hand, we want to hate these people, because they’ve made us look like fools again, and again, and again, and …

    On the other hand, there’s something admirable about people who are smarter than we are. Isn’t there?

    Politics is the Science of Making Money the Easy Way! It’s magic to behold. (Some call it theft;-)

  83. Steven W: June 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm
    Dr bill: “Some of them moved a bit higher up. Some of them moved to the other side of the island”
    I have to wonder how you move ‘further up’ on islands that at their highest ~1ft above sea level.

    I don’t think you’ll find too many permanently-populated islands with a high point of only 1 foot above sea level. Matter of fact, I don’t think you’ll find *any*…

  84. From the Sydney Morning Herald: “Fred Terry, the director of the United Nations Development Project on Bougainville, said the destruction of reefs in the Carterets with dynamite might be the cause [of sea water intrusion] there.

    “During the Bougainville conflict people went to the atolls to get away from it,” Mr Terry said. “The islanders had all these extra mouths to feed and needed more fish. They have a history as reef destroyers.”

    Mr Terry said the movement of tectonic plates could also be responsible. ‘None of this means they don’t have a major problem.'”

  85. It’s simple math, and while the people of the Carterets may not know their arithmetic … they’re great at multiplication.

    How poetic, Willis!

  86. The fact that the islands have grown recently should be sufficient proof that sea-level rise (change?) is negligible. As long as the reef-building organisms (corals) are healthy, they will grow. Wave action and grazing organisms will break them down, and sand derived from this breakdown will wash into the lagoon, or seaward down the talus slope. If sea level is constant, the coral will grow outward, especially on the windward side or towards currents. If sea level falls, the islands may grow as well, and if sea level rises, they should stay the same size, providing the growth of the calcite and aragonite-producing organisms can keep up with sea level rise. In warm oceans where corals flourish, there should be no problem with this, despite possible decrease in pH.

  87. “Roger Sowell says:
    June 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm
    Ummm…isn’t it obvious that coral reefs and islands associated with them grow as sea level rises? Sea level increased hundreds of feet since the depths of the last ice glaciation, and I don’t expect that the coral reefs stuck up a few hundred feet and waited for the ocean to rise and cover them.”

    Actually they did, to a very considerable extent. Coral grows and follows the sea-level if it does not rise too fast. However the limestone core of coral reefs certainly does not evaporate the moment sea-level starts sinking. The living corals retreat down the slopes, leaving a limestone plateau where the atoll and lagoon was. There are several such “high atolls” in the Pacific today, e. g. Niue and Henderson Island. In these cases the rise is caused by tectonics, but during glaciations essentially all atolls are like that. That is the reason that there is frequently “blue holes” (submarine caves) in atolls. Karst caves are hollowed out by rainwater, and cannot form below sea level. As a matter of fact nearly the whole state of Florida and the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico are examples of the same thing on a large scale.
    The reason most atolls are so close to sea-level at present is simply that the sea hasn’t been much higher than today during the last million years or so, and there are almost no large reef complexes that are older than that.

  88. Gail Combs says (June 3, 2010 at 4:28 am): “An explanation of the actual cause of what is happening is here: Floating Islands”

    Gail, thanks for the reference back to WE’s earlier article. I just checked it and saw today’s update with the Kench paper. (And I now see Willis was also referenced at the top of this article. It’s true: as one ages the first two things to go are eyesight and…uh…uh…)

  89. Arthur Edelstein sez: ‘Since being elected president he has continued to argue for expanding liberty in his country.’

    Not religious liberty. The government is proposing to murder a citizen for apostasy from Islam.

  90. Carteret islands: rapid sea level rise. Place is doomed.
    Nearby, main island Bougainville: Much less sea level rise. Refugees escape to Bougainville. Safe for now.

    http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2007/s1865416.htm

    Stunning logic, really. It didn’t occur to the ABC that the sea around the islands is one and the same. Any paper that explains how rapid localized sea level rise works?

  91. Let’s see… polar bears are okay, storms are normal, diseases are not getting worse, glaciers are normal, drought cycles are normal, arctic ice is normal, corral reefs are fine and now this in addition to the news that Bangladesh coastal area is increasing; I think maybe species extinction is about their only predicted ‘catastrophe’ remaining to be debunked. What have I missed? (not including things like global warming made my hair fall out and ate my homework etc.)

  92. The Maldive Islands presented an apparent impossibility. There was Dr. Morner’s tree which had stood by the shore for over 50 years without being swamped by a rising sea. This, plus other direct on-site observations, provided incontrovertible evidence that the land elevation had remained fairly constant relative to local sea level. On the other hand, there was general agreement that globally, sea level had been rising, although the rate (between 2-3 mm/yr) was disputed. (Morner believed it to be somewhat less, about 1 mm/yr.)

    It’s reassuring that these facts are now reconciled. It doesn’t resolve questions about the absolute rate of global sea level rise, but at least there’s no more direct contradiction.

  93. Mike M says:
    June 3, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    “I think maybe species extinction is about their only predicted ‘catastrophe’ remaining to be debunked. What have I missed?”

    Well, Mike, Willis already did a masterful debunking of the great “extinction wave”:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/04/where-are-the-corpses/

    So… perhaps its time the gang addressed the perils of global rotation.

  94. James Sexton says:
    June 3, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Yes indeed. They have hijacked the sincere concerns about the environment to create an eco-crisis industrial complex. I watched this happen and cannot believe how far it has gone.

    Save the West Cleveland Semi-Mowed Lawn Robin! Etc.

    The pseudoscience of ‘Conservation Biology” behind all this rivals IPCC global climatology in ‘quality’ and, of course supports it. And vice versa. Together their models ‘prove’ imminent polar bear extinction and all that.

    Unfiortunately, it has real impacts on people’s lives, and they are becoming more extreme and unnecessary by the day. I’m just hoping that the collapse of the AGW ‘science’ will get more people looking at its twisted sister.

    The whole wolf issue in the West is starting to do to that but it will take a while yet.

  95. Another good name for this thread would be:
    Flying Sea-Level Monster takes a hit. :-)

  96. Adolf Balik says:

    Recently a Czech power company CEZ decided to change machinery in one of its power plants for new one – more effective one. Then a diplomatic protest note came from Tuvalu to the Czech Foreign Department.

    How does a tiny country even find out what’s happening in another country on the other side of the planet. Tuvalu must have the world’s best intelligence service, especially considering a population of under 13 thousand.

    In comparison the European “micronation” of Monaco is a fraction of the size of Tuvalu but has a population of around 33 thousand. (The Czech republic has a population of over 10 million.)

  97. latitude says:

    sheesh, does anyone really believe that any of these fools know squat?

    Apparently they and their supporters do :)

    The Pacific plate can hiccup and affect sea levels more than that and most of these islands are on it’s edge.

    Land can also subside considerably more than 2mm a year (or 20cm a century) for a whole variety of reasons both natural and human related. Not that atolls are exactly “stable” land in the first place.
    Not sure how you’d get such precise measurements in the first place. Even the next generation GPS isn’t going to be that accurate.

    No doubt even the tides, though moderate, are of greater magnitude. There are parts of the world the difference between high and low tide is rather more than 4.5m.

  98. Mark,

    There is really no comparison with Monaco. Tuvalu has an inadequate water supply, a rapidly increasing population, and a very inadequate infrastructure. Raw sewage is simply dumped into the ocean.

    Monaco has an infrastructure capable of servicing its population, and it is built in three dimensions, so the comparison isn’t apt. Residents of Monaco can leave at any time, while the I-Kiribati have nowhere to go. Also, the average apartment complex in Monaco exceeds twenty stories, so the effective density is much lower than, for example, Betio atoll in Tuvalu, which has over 8,300 people per square km, almost all of them crowded onto ground level.

  99. Not A Carbon Cow says:

    Would you please provide the amount of carbon dioxide necessary to reduce the alkalinity of the oceans from the current value of approximately 8.3 to below neutrality (7.0)?

    It would also be useful to know what pH range coral can grow in.
    IIRC when people did some actual research of marine organisms they found that some actually did better at a lower pH. (i.e. the oceans are currently “too alkaline”.)
    Of course this may have been 8.2 (or even 8.0) which might just about be credible if we were dumping nitric or sulphuric acid in the oceans as fast as we possibly could.
    (Not that all of the acid from vulcanism appears to make much difference to the pH of the oceans.)

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