Remember the threat of flooded atolls and climate refugees due to sea level rise? Never mind.

From the AAAS Science Magazine and the department of “we told you so” again, and again, and again, comes this “revelation”.

Warming may not swamp islands

by Christopher Pala  Science 1 August 2014:  Vol. 345 no. 6196 pp. 496-497 DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6196.496

In an interview with CNN last month, Anote Tong, the president of Kiribati, insisted that rising sea levels due to global warming will mean “total annihilation” for this nation of 33 coral islands in the Central Pacific and for other atoll island nations like Tuvalu and the Maldives.

In May, Kiribati bought 22 square kilometers of land in Fiji as a haven for displaced citizens, cementing Kiribati’s reputation as an early victim of climate change. No doubt, the sea is coming: Global sea levels are expected to rise up to 1 meter by 2100. But recent geologic studies suggest that the coral reefs supporting sandy atoll islands will grow and rise in tandem with the sea. The only Pacific atoll islanders who will have to move must do so for the same reason as millions of people on the continents: because they live too close to shore.

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

h/t Paul Ostergaard

Unfortunately, the article is paywalled, if anyone has access drop me a note please. See update below.

Besides the posts from Willis and Andy above on how atolls like Kiribati float and move (unless you kill all the coral, Alling et al. 2007 shows Kirbati is ground zero for El Nino warming, plus there’s contributing environmental mis-management), the biggest fly in the ointment for the claim made by the current president of Kiribati is the fact that the Maldives (which is also mostly atolls and also claims to be threatened by sea level rise, but it isn’t true) are building new airports for tourism.

One, Kooddoo, is already open for business.

The main airport is adding a new modern passenger terminal, seen in this concept video:

And then there’s this from Wikipedia about the Male airport:

The agreement signed between the Maldives government and GMR Group included the upgrading and renovation of the airport up to the standard of a global airport by the year 2014. GMIAL announced that the development plans included reclaiming more land at the eastern end of the runway; where a new terminal is to be built. This terminal will consist of 3 separate bridged buildings. Plans for a separate cargo terminal was also announced.[15]

The Maldives, for all its troubles and supposed climate worries, doesn’t seem to get the fact that the last thing you do is spend money on new airports, passenger terminals, and cargo terminals on the islands you are supposedly going to have to eventually abandon.

Having your hand out for “climate change trust money” while building new airports to handle increased tourism doesn’t wash. “Scam” is too nice of a word to use here.

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

UPDATE: The article has been made available to me, thanks Joel O’Bryan. Excerpts below.

Studies suggest that atoll islands will rise in step with a rising sea
By Christopher Pala, on South Tarawa

As the minibus wobbles over the dusty, pothole-filled road that runs the length of South Tarawa island, a song blasting over Kiribati’s state radio envisions an apocalypse for this fishhook-shaped atoll halfway between Honolulu and Fiji: “The angry sea will kill us all.” The song, which won a competition organized by Kiribati’s government, reflects the views of President Anote Tong, who has been warning for years of a knockout punch from climate change.

No doubt, the sea is coming: In a 2013 report, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that global sea levels will rise up to 1 meter by 2100. But recent geologic studies suggest that the coral reefs supporting sandy atoll islands will grow and rise in tandem with the sea. The only islanders who will have to move must do so for the same reason as millions of people on the continents: because they live too close to shore.

Paul Kench, a geomorphologist who now heads the University of Auckland’s School of Environment in New Zealand, was the first to question the dire forecasts for Kiribati and similar island nations. In 1999, the World Bank asked him to evaluate the economic costs of sea-level rise and climate change to Pacific island nations. Kench, who had been studying how atoll islands evolve over time, says he had assumed that a rising ocean would engulf the islands, which consist of sand perched on reefs. “That’s what everyone thought, and nobody questioned it,” he says. But when he scoured the literature, he could not find a single study to support that scenario.

So Kench teamed up with Peter Cowell, a geomorphologist at the University of Sydney in Australia, to model what might happen. They found that during episodes of high seas—at high tide during El Niño events, which raise sea level in the Central Pacific, for example—storm waves would wash over higher and higher sections of atoll islands. But instead of eroding land, the waves would raise island elevation by depositing sand produced from broken coral, coralline algae, mollusks, and foraminifera.

Kench notes that reefs can grow 10 to 15 mill imeters a year—faster than the sea-level rise expected to occur later this century. “As long as the reef is healthy and generates an abundant supply of sand, there’s no reason a reef island can’t grow and keep up,” he argues. This equilibrium may not mean that all areas of atolls will remain habitable, says Scott Smithers, a geomorphologist at James Cook University, Townsville, in Australia. “The changes might happen at a rate that exceeds the recovery,” he says. But the geologic record is reassuring, Kench and others found when they drilled deep cores into reef islands to probe how they responded to past sea-level changes. In a February report in Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers found that the island of Jabat in the Marshall Islands emerged on a reef 4800 to 4000 years ago, when sea levels were rising as fast as they are expected to rise over the next century. Other support for the model has come from monitoring how shorelines respond to seasonal

Vanua Levu in Fiji is a less appealing refuge. The purchase was “a publicity stunt,” scoffs Teburoro Tito, a former president of Kiribati and member of the opposition party Protect the Maneaba. Already home to 270 farmers from the Solomon Islands, the steep, hilly tract may accommodate only a few hundred more people. If the optimists are right, no one from Kiribati will have to leave their country anyway.

■ Christopher Pala is a writer in Washington, D.C

83 thoughts on “Remember the threat of flooded atolls and climate refugees due to sea level rise? Never mind.

  1. From the article: “…the last thing you do is spend money on new airports, passenger terminals, and cargo terminals on the islands you are supposedly going to have to eventually abandon.”

    There are probably counting on a lot of eco-tourists coming to see the island sinking.

  2. I once had a lengthy email exchange with Mark Lynas (guardian environmental reporter / eco-activist / Maldives special advisor on sea level rises etc). Despite us both agreeing on the brilliance of Charles Darwin who did the seminary work on atoll formation, he remained utterly unshaken in his belief that the Maldives would drown despite being unable to put forward any good argument in contradiction to Darwin. I’m sure he still believes and espouses the same garbage.

  3. Bugger Colorado Interactive Sea Level widget is still broken. That’s something I like to look at for these claims. Kiribati seems pretty cyclic, from when I last looked.

  4. The first sentence links to the same article twice:

    From the AAAS Science Magazine and the department of “we told you so”
    <a href=”http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/02/tuvalu-and-many-other-south-pacific-islands-are-not-sinking-claims-they-are-due-to-global-warming-driven-sea-level-rise-are-opportunistic/” target=”_blank”>again</a>,
    and <a href=”http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/09/kiribati-on-the-move-not-sinking/” target=”_blank”>again</a>,
    and <a href=”http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/09/kiribati-on-the-move-not-sinking/” target=”_blank”>again</a>, comes this “revelation”.

    Maybe the third reference should be //wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/01/kiribati-a-global-warming-refuge/ ?

  5. Sent the Science article without reading it. I see now it was not a research article, just a feature. Apparently the main scientist behind the theory is Paul Kench, author of the 1999 World Bank report and also the Feb 2014 Geophysical Research Letters article referenced in the Pala feature. Here is the article.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/75831381/Kench%20geophysical%20research%20letters%202014%20atoll%20formation%20Marshall%20Island%20Jabat.pdf

    Here is the abstract:

    The timing and evolution of Jabat Island, Marshall Islands, was investigated using
    morphostratigraphic analysis and radiometric dating. Results show the first evidence of island building in the Pacific during latter stages of Holocene sea level rise. A three-phase model of development of Jabat is presented. Initially, rapid accumulation of coarse sediments on Jabat occurred 4800–4000 years B.P. across a reef flat higher than present level, as sea level continued to rise. During the highstand, island margins and particularly the western margin accreted vertically to 2.5–3.0m above contemporary ridge elevations. This accumulation phase was dominated by sand-size sediments. Phase three involved deposition of gravel ridges on the northern reef, as sea level fell to present position. Jabat has remained geomorphically stable for the past 2000 years. Findings suggest reef platforms may accommodate the oldest reef islands in atoll systems,which may have profound implications for questions of prehistoric migration through Pacific archipelagos.

  6. In a previous thread on this topic, one WUWTer pointed out that once modern buildings and roadways have been built, they make it impossible for the surface of the atoll to rise from sand deposition. And the buildings would suffer from any overwashing.

  7. Check to see if the new airport design includes a prominent light switch on a podium. With this, they will be fully prepared for the ceremonial switching-off the lights (and don’t forget the press conference), as the last person leaves.

  8. I’m sure Camp Thundercove at Diego Garcia wouldn’t have built massive runways and structures without any form of protection if they thought sea level rise was a genuine threat. Anyway they have tsunami warnings there (which they don’t share)

  9. [...] Besides the posts from Willis and Andy above on how atolls like Kiribati float [...]

    Even though they behave as if they floated, they don’t, and I think this expression should be changed to avoid damaging skeptical views.

  10. I’m far from the science of it, but I don’t think these revelations should surprise anybody who has thought about it.
    Atolls such as discussed are actually SEA LEVEL FEATURES, and in fact should be considered as the PRODUCT of a rising sea level, rather than under its threat. Why else all those Maldivian Islands dotted about a vast area of Indian Ocean, none of them more than a few meters above the waves? Co-incidence? I recall pointing this out in New Scientist years ago, following the nonsense of the Maldives ‘underwater cabinet meeting’, and I don’t remember being seriously challenged.
    Incidentally, all this seems to have been clear to Charles Darwin, who wrote a short but perceptive account, on the evidence of his eyes alone, and one trip. You can see his account in the “VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE”. What a piece of literature! What a guy!
    -
    Mothcatcher

  11. ImranCan says: July 31, 2014 at 10:21 pm
    “I once had a lengthy email exchange with Mark Lynas (guardian environmental reporter / eco-activist / Maldives special advisor on sea level rises etc). Despite us both agreeing on the brilliance of Charles Darwin who did the seminary work on atoll formation, he remained utterly unshaken in his belief that the Maldives would drown despite being unable to put forward any good argument in contradiction to Darwin. I’m sure he still believes and espouses the same garbage.

    It is almost impossible to get people to understand any argument, concept or fact which they are paid a lot of money to never accept.

  12. Of course the president in the Maldives has to be a “denier”; who wants to invest in a sinking country?

    “He added that foreign investors were concerned with the talks of a submerged Maldives.”
    “He further vowed to work to retain investor confidence in the Maldives.”

    (Thanks to David for the link http://www.haveeru.com.mv/news/44118)

    The Maldives must be a world champion in double standards; arranging a government conference under water to show the world what a desperate sinking state they are in, and at the same time encouraging airborne tourism, the very agent of their country’s destruction, according to the alarmists.

    It is certainly a place where I will never spend any holiday time or money.

  13. rogerknights says:

    In a previous thread on this topic, one WUWTer pointed out that once modern buildings and roadways have been built, they make it impossible for the surface of the atoll to rise from sand deposition. And the buildings would suffer from any overwashing.

    ===

    Thats exactly what struck me about the Male Int. airport promo video.

    It looks like the runways are 30cm above sea level on an obviously perfectly calm day.

    This kind of massive hard built structure is exactly what will _prevent_ the atolls from naturally adapting to sea level changes.

    Also you don’t in what must be probably billions of dollars in a structure like that unless you are aiming to attract MASSIVE tourist throughput.

    The last thing the coral and local reef ecology can stand is even more fishing and human garbage.

    While trying to blame the rest of world it is clearly thier own actions and greed that is the main threat to the future of these atolls.

    Total hypocracy.

  14. Can you really blame them from trying pocket a ton of ‘guilt cash ‘ from the gullible alarmists ?
    While of course such scare stories fit nicely into the ‘evil west’ narrative so much pushed by those looking to use ‘the cause ‘ for their political outlooks.

  15. And then there’s this from Wikipedia about the Male airport:

    The agreement signed between the Maldives government and GMR Group included the upgrading and renovation of the airport up to the standard of a global airport by the year 2014. GMIAL announced that the development plans included reclaiming more land at the eastern end of the runway; where a new terminal is to be built. This terminal will consist of 3 separate bridged buildings. Plans for a separate cargo terminal was also announced.[15]

    ====

    Clearly GMR and the Maldivian govt. know full well that islands will not be disappearing. Though any future sea defences walls and modifications required to the infrastructure will surely be billed to the UN green slush fund and we in the West will be expected to foot the bill for this folley.

  16. “In a 2013 report, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that global sea levels will rise up to 1 meter by 2100.”
    An unproven certainty?

  17. Santa Baby says:
    “I mean how on Earth did they survive the approx 130 meter sea rise when the ice age ended in the first place?”

    Well, not by ”floating” upwards. Coral reefs will track a rising sea-level upwards, but not downwards. When the sea-level goes down the become “raised atolls”, flat limestone plateaus with some slightly raised parts and a ring of living corals on the flanks.This limestone of course erodes, but very slowly, so it will largely bet the same level when the next interglacial comes around.
    There are a few such raised atolls around even today, in places where tectonic forces have raised an atoll so high that it is well above even the interglacial sea level. Lifu, Mangareva, Niue and Henderson Island for example.
    So most atolls only had to track the sea-level the last few meters upwards during the Holocene.

    Incidentally the fact that most atolls/reefs are very close to the present sea-level is a strong argument against sea-levels having been much higher during earlier interglacials, at least in the Pacific. In that case there would be lots and lots of raised atolls about, while in fact they are rather rare.

  18. There are two things that may endanger the coral atolls of the world and there are no due to climate! Unless the local government takes some action to clean up the fresh water lens underneath their island, that dirty water will track out over the reef, on top of the salt water base and kill the coral. However to convert live coral into sand it needs to be eaten by the various parrot beaked fish on the reef who digest the live parts and excrete nice clean coral sand. Unfortunately those reef fishes like to sleep at night and lazy spear fishermen have largely decimated their numbers. So, instal a municipal sanitation system and quit the easy fishing with spearguns and every storm will continue to push up enough coral sand to dodo just fine!

  19. Greg Goodman says:
    August 1, 2014 at 1:57 am

    rogerknights says:
    Just an observation.
    When you see a big sea wash up a beach and inundate a roadway it dumps tons of sand on it.
    Clearly a breakwater would prevent that.
    However if there were no breakwater the sand could be collected for further island building elsewhere and the road periodically resurfaced a bit higher each time to keep up with a measured sea rise.

  20. ?

    The coral reef that the island is “tarmacked upon” will grow taller?

    Tell me of this subterranian coral that grows in darkness and dirt!

  21. Coral sand is dependent on the Parrot fish that eat the coral polyps by chewing coral pieces and then produce sand at the rear. The sea and wind does the rest. Coral itself grows as the sea rises because it requires a certain amount of sunlight to live so coral normally grows to a few inches below low water.

    Another requirement is a healthy reef system which unfortunately for the Maldives becomes less of a possibility with increased tourism.

  22. ImranCan says:
    July 31, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I once had a lengthy email exchange with Mark Lynas (guardian environmental reporter / eco-activist / Maldives special advisor on sea level rises etc). Despite us both agreeing on the brilliance of Charles Darwin who did the seminary work on atoll formation, he remained utterly unshaken in his belief that the Maldives would drown despite being unable to put forward any good argument in contradiction to Darwin. I’m sure he still believes and espouses the same garbage.
    =================================
    While you’re almost certainly correct about 99% of the coral islands, Lynas may have a valid point wrt the capital of the Maldives — Male — where they have 100,000 people living on a rather small island that they have paved over and seawalled. I would imagine that it’s going to be difficult for sand to accumulate there and that any that does find its way onto the streets will be swept up and dumped back in the ocean. Fortunately, very few urban areas are built on coral islands. The only other one I can think of is `Key West. And. of course, that meter rise in sea level by century end is a possible value, not a probable value. We actually have little idea what the sea level rise in the 21st century will be. Sea level rise is remarkably difficult to measure. But it’s clearly not all that rapid at present. All in all, it’s quite likely that sea level rise won’t threaten even Male for several centuries.

    Here’s a link to a photo of.Male http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Male-total.jpg that hopefully clarifies why natural processes are likely to have a problem with that particular rock.

  23. CLIMATE PROPERTY SHARKS.

    Scare the locals off with talk of rising sea levels and buy the place up cheap and put up Tourist Condos and Hotels and cash in bonanza.

  24. A British Government survey of Kiribati (then the Gilbert Islands) which was carried out in the 1940s concluded that the islands could never support a population of more than about 25000, because of the dependence of the islands on rainwater for fresh water. Rain was unreliable, and a period of drought would exhaust the fresh water “lens”, and eventually the heavier sea water would rise to nearer the surface. However, the population of Kiribati is now about 100,000. This is why Kiribati’s situation is becoming desperate.

    Virtually all the problems of low-lying islands in the South Pacific and Indian oceans arise from over-population. Climate change/rising sea levels have little effect (except, as stated above, where islands can’t grow because tarmac and concrete are frustrating the natural processes.)

  25. This is just one of so very many stories about catastrophic man-made global warming that changes all the time. The islands are sinking — no they are not — yes they are — no — yes — no — and so on.

    How can anyone say “The Science is Settled”???

  26. Coral reefs grow; atolls are the result of rising sea levels? Gosh who knew? Well Darwin figured it out in the 19th. century

  27. ImranCan

    Mark Lynas was a Climate Change adviser to the Maldives Government until they kicked him out out.
    He claimed he left for ethical political reasons.Thats bollocks.
    Personally all his panic talk of evacuation.Leaving their entire islands then their tourist industry to be swallowed up by the Big Corporations.Steve Wynn ,Trump The Chinese, Russian Oligarchs The Mafia Big Arab Oil Money grab their Real Estate.

    At present only Maldivian citizens can own land in the Maldives So Marroit, Holiday Inn etc etc all have to lease their hotel sites from Local Maldivians so the Local Maldivian Tourist industry stays in the hands of the local Maldivians.

    Scare the locals Off with talk of Climate Change and rising sea levels they have to move on and sell up to the Corporates.

    The Maldives becomes the new Vegas with not a single local resident or politician to object.
    With the Tropical Sunshine Tourist Luxury comes with the Drinking Gambling Prostitution Drugs Crime the usual
    The Maldivians are all displaced to Climate Change refugee asylum camps in Australia .unemployed surviving on benefits.The Australians wont even except normal humanitarian refugees from Iraq Syria and Afghanistan let alone Maldivian Climate Change Refugees.

    All this with not a flood in sight.Thanks Mark.
    .

  28. Further to Don K’s comments..

    When holidaying in the Maldives plus 30 years ago I noticed vey thick tarmac [approx 30cm] in front of UN [? I think ] Aid office. Apparently the plan was to seal all the roads in Male until someone perceptive pointed out that local freshwater was obtained from rain that fell on/soaked into the island. Seal the roads, the rain runs off, no freshwater. They used all the tarmac to seal the road in front of the aid office

  29. Jim South London says:
    August 1, 2014 at 4:31 am

    ImranCan

    ‘The Australians wont even except normal humanitarian refugees from Iraq Syria and Afghanistan…’
    Not true.
    Australia has recently brought in nine hundred refugees from Afghanistan.
    After our disasterous refugee failure under Labor we are ‘stopping the boats’.
    Once the backlog is cleared and we save up a bit from the five billion spent last year, OZ will probably take in about seventeen thousand refugees, as long as they don’t come by boat.
    ‘Climate refugees’ are considered economic refugees so need skill sets valued by other countries to emigrate.

  30. “The Maldives, for all its troubles and supposed climate worries, doesn’t seem to get the fact that the last thing you do is spend money on new airports, passenger terminals, and cargo terminals on the islands you are supposedly going to have to eventually abandon.”

    I firmly believe the difference here is the Maldives can only whine to India for money, so it doesn’t bother. But Kiribati feels Australia’s Labor/green socialists and like minded taxpayers are more than stupid enough to fall for a multi-decade multi billion dollar uber swindle.

    And why wouldn’t they when said cohort, plus the ABC even create and pay for all their propaganda?

    You’d be mad to not milk that for all it’s worth.

  31. “But recent geologic studies suggest that the coral reefs supporting sandy atoll islands will grow and rise in tandem with the sea”.

    “Recent” as in geological times?

  32. Lewis P Buckingham says:
    August 1, 2014 at 4:53 am

    Jim South London says:
    August 1, 2014 at 4:31 am

    Normal migration to Oz is also higher than ever, and remaining elevated, and on a long-term steep rising trend, so there are lawful and ways to migrate.

    So I see no reason to ever admit economic ‘refuges’ coming in as they feel like it via boats. Frankly such people have a damn hide calling themselves ‘refugees’. We should not be calling them that. They are tendentious opportunists for the most part.

    And allowing various UN agencies and malicious greenies to get away with calling them refugees just belittles and damages that word, and its implications, for actual refugees. It simply undermines and works against the entire process being tolerated on this warped path into the future.

  33. tty says: August 1, 2014 at 2:28 am

    There are a few such raised atolls around even today, in places where tectonic forces have raised an atoll so high that it is well above even the interglacial sea level.

    The island of Barbados is another example for your list, the spectacular Harrison’s Cave is well worth a visit.

  34. Dr. Jerry Flora, a marine biologist, studied the corals of Kiribati for several decades and also concluded that the coral grows faster than any sea level rise.

    Also, bear in mind that during the last Ice Age, sea level was about 120 meters (~400 ft) lower than today. When post-glacial sea level rose, the coral reefs grew upward as fast as sea level rose (about 1 meter/century). Drilling on Bikini Island prior to atomic testing there, showed that the coral was many hundreds of feet thick and could only have gotten that thick by upward reef growth as fast as island subsidence and sea level rise.

  35. Now aside from sea level rise what are they doing about it? The very things that pollute and destroy their islands. But first this great impossibility.

    Abstract
    “…..Half a world away in the tropical Pacific Ocean a similar saga unfolded. During the Greco-Roman climatic optimum, the Polynesians migrated across the Pacific from island to island, with the last outpost of Easter Island being settled around A.D. 400 (35)….”

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/23/12433.full

    Now the destructive practices that encourages sea water inundation, intrusion, degradation et. al.

    Abstract – 16 November 2007
    Ian White et. al.
    Challenges in freshwater management in low coral atolls
    …..Storm surges and over-extractions cause seawater intrusion, while human settlements and agriculture can pollute shallow groundwaters. Limited land areas restrict freshwater quantities, particularly in frequent ENSO-related droughts. Demand for freshwater is increasing and availability is extremely limited……
    ————–

    Abstract – 2006
    Three-Dimensional Imaging of Lagoon Aggregate Extraction and Resources: Case Study from Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
    Carbonate sediments are the sole indigenous source of aggregate for infrastructure development on many Pacific islands, and their importance has increased markedly since the middle of the last century. Biogenic gravel and sand are extracted in many places by dredging of shallow lagoons and by the mining of beach deposits….
    ————–

    Abstract – 2010
    Impacts of Recreational Divers on Palauan Coral Reefs and Options for Management
    …Guides identified natural impacts (63% of respondents) and divers (34% of respondents) as the primary causes of damage to coral….
    ————–

    Abstract – 7 Jun 2010
    Donovan Storeya et. al.
    Kiribati: an environmental ‘perfect storm’
    ….Pollution of the groundwater, lagoon and near-shore reef areas as well as over-extraction of freshwater from groundwater sources have been consistent problems in water management. Most pollution is …
    [Google search snippet - quote in PDF]
    ————–

    FAO
    Paper 5: Status of Coral Mining in the Maldives: Impacts and Management Options

    …There are many problems associated with the current mining practices. Biological surveys of mined sites indicate mat the coral diversity and abundance have been decreased dramatically. In addition to this, little recovery was seen at sites intensively mined over 16 years ago…

    Coral mining is a questionable activity with respect to maintaining the reefs in equilibrium.

    I’m not buying.

  36. Concerning the Maldives, there was a change of regime several years ago and the “underwater” cabinet were ousted. The new
    regime reversed the policy and now the Maldives are declared safe from rising sea level. In fact, they were never threatened as sea levels are essentially stable but also, due to some tectonic oddity, the Maldives are actually rising as Nils-Axil Mornier has shownin his studies (Mornier is a sea level and coastal evolution sspecialist).

    The whole story has to do with pro-development and anti-development forces in the island. The old regime was scaring off investors with their scare talk while hoping for subsidies from the good folks at the UN. This hope was not realized and so they had to go. The new government is trying to attract investors and so the scare talk was stopped and development plans were rolled out.

    The Maldives are another over populated island nation struggling with the problems to come. The others are talking up sea level rise in the hope of attracting charity but fat chance of that now. The truth is that the CAGW is a busted cause.

  37. By encouraging all these tourists the Maldives is creating MORE co2 and garbage. This is a money making scam.

    BBC – 19 May 2012
    ‘Apocalyptic’ island of waste in the Maldives

    The Maldives are known as an unspoilt, paradise island destination for upmarket tourists but the BBC’s Simon Reeve has paid a visit to a part of the Maldives that tourists do not see – a huge island waste dump……

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-18073917

    So what does the pristine Maldives do about this calamity on their doorstep? Yep, encourage more air miles tourists to pollute their islands, while they build more hotels and airports with building aggregates from somewhere.

    2012-07-25
    Maldives registers 6.1% tourist arrival growth

    http://www.visitmaldives.com/en/news_posts/276

    ============
    20 July 2014
    Arrivals to Maldives continue robust growth in 2014

    http://tourism.gov.mv/news/article-2247/

    Then blame global warming and bring out the begging bowl. If I did this in the USA I would be arrested for fraud.

  38. ImranCan says:
    July 31, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I once had a lengthy email exchange with Mark Lynas (guardian environmental reporter / eco-activist / Maldives special advisor on sea level rises etc). Despite us both agreeing on the brilliance of Charles Darwin who did the seminary work on atoll formation, he remained utterly unshaken in his belief that the Maldives would drown….

    They may actually drown if they don’t stop sand mining, fishing of beaked fish and other destructive practices. If people didn’t exist on the Maldives, sea level rise would be irrelevant – there is no acceleration in the rate of sea level rise, and the island have kept pace for thousands of years.

    Abstract2010
    Arthur P. Webba et. al.
    The dynamic response of reef islands to sea-level rise: Evidence from multi-decadal analysis of island change in the Central Pacific

    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 yr period. This period of analysis corresponds with instrumental records that show a rate of sea-level rise of 2.0 mm yr- 1 in the Pacific. Results show that 86% of islands remained stable (43%) or increased in area (43%) over the timeframe of analysis……..

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2010.05.003

    ____________________________________

    Abstract – 10 FEB 2014
    Evidence for coral island formation during rising sea level in the central Pacific Ocean

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013GL059000/full

  39. Here is what catastrophic sea level rise looks like. The atolls are no more.

    IPCC – TAR – 2001
    The warming phase, that took place about 11,500 years ago, at the end of the Younger Dryas was also very abrupt and central Greenland temperatures increased by 7°C or more in a few decades (Johnsen et al., 1992; Grootes et al., 1993; Severinghaus et al., 1998).

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/074.htm

    —————–

    Abstract
    Richard B. Alley
    Ice-core evidence of abrupt climate changes

    …..As the world slid into and out of the last ice age, the general cooling and warming trends were punctuated by abrupt changes. Climate shifts up to half as large as the entire difference between ice age and modern conditions occurred over hemispheric or broader regions in mere years to decades…….

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/4/1331.full

    —————–

    Abstract
    Pierre Deschamps et al
    …Controversy about the amplitude and timing of this meltwater pulse (MWP-1A) has, however, led to uncertainty about the source of the melt water and its temporal and causal relationships with the abrupt climate changes of the deglaciation. Here we show that MWP-1A started no earlier than 14,650 years ago and ended before 14,310 years ago, making it coeval with the Bølling warming. Our results, based on corals drilled offshore from Tahiti during Integrated Ocean Drilling Project Expedition 310, reveal that the increase in sea level at Tahiti was between 12 and 22 metres, with a most probable value between 14 and 18 metres, establishing a significant meltwater contribution from the Southern Hemisphere. This implies that the rate of eustatic sea-level rise exceeded 40 millimetres per year during MWP-1A.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v483/n7391/full/nature10902.html

  40. As usual with global warming activists: watch what they do with their own money not what they say.

    Building an airport on a doomed island? Means they know it is not doomed.
    All the eastern US liberal global warming crowd keep pushing up prices for waterfront properties – why would they buy there if they believed the properties are doomed to be underwater? Because they have no such belief.

    But it is a good scam to use to make money.

  41. There is an interesting historical footnote concerning the Maldives and this concerns the beautiful cowrie shells that proliferate there. These were in ancient times used as an international currency and hordes of coins and cowrie shells have been found as far away as the Baltic. Fishing and the sale of seashells is the traditional occupations of the Maldivians and they might come to regret the new source of tourist wealth that now over looms them.

  42. A number of people have referred to Darwin, and yes Darwin made a good observation. However, don’t use only Darwin’s observations when tackling Warmists. They will say it’s “not peer reviewed”. Use the two references I gave above here. You can still mention Darwin but back it up from the peer review.

  43. Jimbo:

    At August 1, 2014 at 7:51 am you say

    However, don’t use only Darwin’s observations when tackling Warmists.

    But I want to mention Darwin and his voyage on the Beagle that went from and returned to here in Falmouth. We even have a plaque on the wall to mark the spot where Darwin got on the coach to take him home after he unloaded from the Beagle.

    Richard

  44. It’s funny how Darwin has basically become a cult hero for atheists/academics who like to feel superior to those dumb creationist conservatives. Darwin Day and all that. Yet barely any of them know about his work on carnivorous plants, earthworms, and so many other things. Ask a liberal sometime what Darwin’s other contributions to science were. Shoot, ask them the name of the ship. Better yet ask them what his career path was before he was offered the position on The Beagle :) They don’t know anything other than evolution proves those dumb Christians wrong so there.

    I totally believe in evolution, and Darwin is truly one of my heroes, I just hate these hypocrites.

  45. I’m assuming that this isn’t the “big data” Ban-Brains Moon and his cadre of climate kleptocrats are looking for.
    “There is a need for fresh evidence that strengthens the economic case for action on climate change to show where such action is feasible, affordable and effective. The 2014 Climate Summit represents a turning point from climate change awareness to action. Therefore the Big Data Climate Challenge calls upon the international academic, scientific, technology and policy communities to highlight data-driven evidence to drive climate action.

    The Big Data Climate Challenge will source projects from around the world that use Big Data and analytics to address real world impacts of climate change. This initiative will help build public understanding of how Big Data can reveal critical insights for strengthening resilience and mitigating emissions.”

    I’m sure if they search for it, though, they’ll find something – almost anything will do at this point.
    The push is on for fresh propaganda for their upcoming NY climate scarefest in September.

    http://www.unglobalpulse.org/big-data-climate

  46. Kinda reminds me of all the money being spent by the Canadians, Russians, and even the US, building new, bigger ice breakers for the Arctic. What’s the point if it is all going to melt.

  47. tty – You are incorrect in asserting that sea levels weren’t higher in the past based upon some current sea level atolls. You just need to look at southern Florida and islands like Turks and Caicos. The latter is entirely derived from coral reefs and they are as much as 100 feet higher than present sea level.
    And there are many instances of stranded raised beaches in the Arctic many tens of feet higher than present sea level. Oceans were both much lower (during ice ages) and much higher higher than present.
    The surprising thing here is that so few “climatologists” seem to have any familiarity with natural earth history.

  48. Mike Geo:

    It is no surprise. Most “climatologists” are self- styled as such and are in fact only theoretical physicists or mathematicians with very little exposure to or understanding of the other natural sciences. This lack, however, does not prevent them from delving into those fields in which they lack understanding. Thus the execrable quality of their work such as is displayed repeatedly here and at other websites. Scientists in other fields know that their work is abominable, but it is alarmism that rules the media. A paper cannot sell copy with headlines that read ” NO NEED TO WORRY”

  49. The ‘powers that be’ in Kiribati have apparently recognized that playing the role of ‘climate victim’ will get them a lot of publicity, which in turn will draw ecotourism.
    What is not important is whether the islands will eventually be inundated.
    What *is* important is that the publicity brings in money.

  50. “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that global sea levels will rise up to 1 meter by 2100″. Why would anyone think the IPCC sea level predictions are any better than their global temperature predictions.

  51. Philip Mulholland says:

    “The island of Barbados is another example for your list, the spectacular Harrison’s Cave is well worth a visit.”

    Actually Barbados is a rather special case. It was never a true atoll. It is one of a very few oceanic islands that is actually a piece of sea-bottom pushed up above sea-level. True, most of Barbados is coral limestone, but it has grown around a core of Eocene to Miocene deep-water sediments (sandstones, clay, turbidites and deepwater limestone) accreted where the Atlantic and South American plates meet, and then pushed up above sea level.These outcrop in the northeastern part of the island
    This is most unusual. The only somewhat analoguous cases I know of are St Pauls Rocks and Macquarie Island.

    Don Easterbrook says

    “When post-glacial sea level rose, the coral reefs grew upward as fast as sea level rose (about 1 meter/century). Drilling on Bikini Island prior to atomic testing there, showed that the coral was many hundreds of feet thick and could only have gotten that thick by upward reef growth as fast as island subsidence and sea level rise.”

    No, they didn’t. See my post of 2:28 AM above. The great thickness of coral limestone under most atolls hasn’t accumulated in just one glacial period. It has grown ever since the volcanic island that was to become the atoll started to subside, usually several million years ago, as Darwin already understood almost two hundred years ago.

    mikegeo says:

    “tty – You are incorrect in asserting that sea levels weren’t higher in the past based upon some current sea level atolls. You just need to look at southern Florida and islands like Turks and Caicos. The latter is entirely derived from coral reefs and they are as much as 100 feet higher than present sea level.
    And there are many instances of stranded raised beaches in the Arctic many tens of feet higher than present sea level. Oceans were both much lower (during ice ages) and much higher higher than present.
    The surprising thing here is that so few “climatologists” seem to have any familiarity with natural earth history.”

    I’m quite familiar with Florida and the Bahama bank (and Yucatan, and much of Italy to take two other large carbonate platforms). You have to remember that most parts of the Earth are always moving up or down, albeit slowly. However if MIS 5e och MIS 11 sea-levels had been much higher than at present you would expect most atolls to be raised which they are not.
    High level shorelines in the Arctic are due to isostatic rebound after the last ice-age, not high sea-levels. In e. g. northern Sweden (where the center of the European ice-cap was situated) there are raised beaches 900 feet above sea-level less than 10,000 years old and the land is still rising about 1 cm per year.
    As for the constant rise and fall of the land it is worth noting that shorelines from the last interglacia (117,000-127,000 years ago) can now be found word-wide from 350 meters below sea-level to 950 meters above it, though most are between zero and ten meters above sea-level.
    I can agree that ´climate scientists’ (which isn’t the same as climatologists) are remarkably ignorant of geology and other earth sciences, while geologists are mostly tend to be sceptical of CAGW.

  52. tty says:
    August 1, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Do you mean the Caribbean Plate? There isn’t an Atlantic Plate.

  53. TTY:
    you seem fairly well up on the subject.

    However, to give Don Easterbrook his due, he also gave subsidence as a factor which I think covers all aspects of reef (carbonate) build up of the atolls. You seem to read his meaning as referring to SL rise only, but he appears to have included tectonic considerations as well.

    Have you heard of the so-called chenier ridges of south Louisiana? These are ancient Pleistocene shorelines- thought to have been barrier islands.

  54. They do have to worry. They are all built on seamounts – underwater volcanic systems. While they are hot, they stand up like boils. Once the heat is removed, and that magma cools, it will sink back down into the asthenosphere lickety-split. The coral might make it survive a while, but like the north end of the Hawaiian chain, ultimately they succumb to gravity. Maybe we need a new class of victims: “Refugees of geology”. Should allow any and all to come to the USA and get on welfare.

  55. In my yachting news letter I noticed an article about Ocean Watch. http://www.oceanwatch.org

    These characters sail around the Pacific and “save” coral reefs, teach locals about Climate Change and teach them “Sustainable” practices and how to adapt to the coming climate holocaust. Well that’s what they say on their website.

    To me this smells of the United Nations, but this is not obviously supported by their web site, until I noticed on this page http://www.oceanswatch.org/#!news-resources/cjjw under “Our Sponsors” “The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund”.

    Now who funds this even more UN sounding organisation?

    Well a huge list of “Partners” at http://www.cepf.net/partners/Pages/default.aspx Including the University of Auckland and the University of Canterbury (both in New Zealand) and then the United Nations Foundation.

    In other words the worlds taxpayers are paying for this junket/propaganda organisation. No wonder Pacific Islands are crying that they are sinking and the naughty wealthy taxpayers of the world should bail them out when their islands are more likely to be sinking.

    Interestingly enough I noticed a New Zealand Company as a recipient of the largess of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, (one of a very long list),, a company called
    “NEW ZEALAND BUTTERFLY ENTERPRISES” . I looked it up and was incorporated in 2004 but is now in the liquidation list.
    Only one share holder and one share. Well it appears that one junket deserves another. At any rate it appear to be a pretty poor investment on the part of “The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund”.

    Mm food for thought.

    Anyway I was right about the UN involvement!
    I think it is worth checking the pedigree of any organisation like these in order to realise how the United Nations is leaving no stone unturned in spreading their phont message and science.

    Cheers

    Roger http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    ps. For the record but off the top of my head, IPCC AR4 and AR5 predict ( I recall), 7 meters of sea level rise on account of the Greenland ice cap melting completely.
    The timing of this event? AR4 says “millenia” or more than 2,000 years – AR5 says “more than a millenium” . Thats about 3.5 mm per year or 175mm 350mm per century. Of course both publications admit that Antarctic ice on average is actually increasing.

  56. So once again skeptics, as well as Darwin, are proven correct: CO2 will not be drowning the world’s coral atolls.
    So please tell us again: Just who is in the flat earth society?

  57. ” gccross says:
    August 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I’m still waiting for 50 million Climate Refugees,I guess they decided to stay home.<:o)"

    Ummm…that's one excuse they haven't used, yet, for the influx through the Mexican border.

  58. Actually I was in Kiribati last summer. We stopped at Funafuti and was I amazed, they didn’t allow us to burn our garbage on the island. No they said they would give us a fine did we bring anything. So we asked what to do, the answer “throw it in the ocean when you leave the atoll” was even more stunning. However we did bring our garbage and had it burnt anyway, just made sure there was no government people around …

    When we was passing the airfield, yes there is one that is still working, and before the weekly flight arrives they have a couple of cars driving around honking the horn to make the pigs go away. There were three or four pigs running loose at the runway. Then there was all the dogs. Yes, they still eat dogs too. But the thing to talk about was that when we was at the airport we passed a building with a lot of people sitting like in school. There it was, they had information about climate change or global warming. I just had to start asking people around and sure enough. Not one single person was afraid the water was raising or aware of it. They thought the sea was just the same, no raise at all. But when I asked about the global warming and how that may affect them, suddenly they know about the water raising and a lot of other things.

    There was a couple of persons who also told me about the corruption among the government people or leading class. They god rich the last 20 years and many now have condo’s in Hawaii. There was also a court ruling last year about this. The United States had sued one of the leaders, but he got off the hook because his relative was the judge …

    So, for me, I will not send one dollar …. They live on aid and get a lot. They actually have cars on the small atoll with 2-3 km of roads. Most people has motorcycles. We walked and it took less than half an hour from one end of the island to the other.

  59. knr [August 1, 2014 at 2:04 am] says:

    Can you really blame them from trying pocket a ton of ‘guilt cash ‘ from the gullible alarmists ?

    I wish the guilt money actually came from alarmists, and only from alarmists.

    In the long term the Maldives are doomed, but it has nothing to do with the Global Warming scam. Wiki

    “The Indo-Australian plate is still moving at 67 mm per year, and over the next 10 million years it will travel about 1,500 km into Asia. About 20 mm per year of the India-Asia convergence is absorbed by thrusting along the Himalaya southern front. This leads to the Himalayas rising by about 5 mm per year, making them geologically active. The movement of the Indian plate into the Asian plate also makes this region seismically active, leading to earthquakes from time to time.”

    The Maldives are riding a slow but unstoppable freight train straight into the fires of hell underneath Asia where they will be summarily recycled as liquid hot magma and ejected at the nearest convenient volcano, their ashes scattered into the stratosphere. If they look real hard they might notice that the north ends of their islands are sinking just a tad faster then the south. They are gonna have to sue Alfred Wegener. I just wish they would sink faster. Buh Bye.

    But in the short term all that construction of hotels and airports might cause them to tip over and capsize anyway :=)

  60. If Kiribati is in such peril, we could club together and buy it. It should be going cheap. We could have a denialists retreat where we can spend all our big oil money.

  61. anote tong may want to pick up a telephone and contact the dutch government. having a significant proportion of your densely populated country below sea level does not appear to be a problem in modern times.

  62. “Paul Kench, a geomorphologist who now heads the University of Auckland’s School of Environment in New Zealand, was the first to question the dire forecasts for Kiribati and similar island nations…… says he had assumed that a rising ocean would engulf the islands…. “That’s what everyone thought, and nobody questioned it,””

    Lord give me strength. Another “discovery” of what has been known for more than a century. Didn’t Darwin even remark on this. So Kench teams up with an Aussie geomorph guy, drills a hole… Didn’t he know the US drilled holes in Bikini Atoll before testing the A-bomb there and found over a hundred metres of this very growth record, right from the end of the last glacial period? What do these guys study in geomorphology these days!!! Lots of geologists questioned “it” but who would listen?

    I AM PREDICTING THAT ANOTHER GEOMORPHOLOGIST WILL DISCOVER THAT RIVER DELTAS ALSO RISE WITH SEA LEVEL RISE AND ARE ERODED DOWN WITH SEA LEVEL DROP. The next Nobelists will be an even bigger joke than they are now.

  63. T Control says:
    August 1, 2014 at 8:30 am
    It’s funny how Darwin has basically become a cult hero for atheists/academics who like to feel superior to those dumb creationist conservatives. … /snipped/ … I totally BELIEVE in evolution, and Darwin is truly one of my heroes, I just hate these hypocrites. [ the all-caps are my emphasis - UM]

    The difference is you feel the need to believe in something, whereas a ‘non-believer’ just assesses evidence. Evidence for some joker pulling-off the (alleged) Lazarus trick is rather scant, non-testable and non-repeatable. So a psychosomatic belief reflex does not paper over the fact of this stark lack of observation and repeatability.

    Please get your head around this, it’s really straight forward; The people you flame are not interested in Christianity at all, or in ‘disproving’ of it. Like all things it stands of falls on its merit.

    All that has happened is the people you wish to paint as wanting to feel ‘superior’, have long ago moved on (centuries ago), and do not recognize a belief as a pertinent consideration or input for understanding.

    No one cares what you believe, whether in excess loaves and fishes, or in evolution. Why would one even state a personal belief in evolution, when it’s equivalent to putting up your hand and declaring unmitigated bias, and that your mind is made-up on a subject? Any subject.

    That’s not what natural inquiry is (now formalised and often stupidly labelled “doing science”), observation and testing teaches, whereas belief is its anti-thesis and a source of derailment and blockage to understanding a thing. We came to an understanding of fetus gestation and birth via paying attention via first ignoring the widespread belief that it was an unfathomable miracle. Well, it certainly is miraculous, but we have moved well past mere beliefs about it.

    Darwin also did not ‘believe’ in evolution, he pointed out that the conception was consistent with observation and it could be tested (i.e. different to Lazarus and his alleged reviver emerging from a tomb, after they “stinketh”).

    You also lumped atheists and academics together and insinuate they are in the same cohort, and in the same clique as those involved in natural inquiry, but these are very different things. Being an academic refers to an accredited professional vocation.

    And what you will find is that most people who you lightly label ‘atheists’, would not call themselves an atheist at all, most would not even care to call themselves anything, except maybe a human being engaged in natural inquiry.

    The fact that process may result in disregard for theism, in general, is incidental and not something anyone cares about. Theism is about as relevant as a preoccupation with barbie dolls, or stamp collecting, or the various culturally jaundiced versions of history.

    Mr. T, the world moved on, we don’t care about what you’re getting in a twist about, we care about understanding what we are, what we’re in, and mostly marvelling at it and moving beyond false conceptions and historical and cultural baggage and fear mongering that impedes the brain from weeding out fake notions and freeing itself to take a constant fresh look at everything, and also at what we believe we know, but in fact don’t know.

    Take a mental laxative, relax, be at peace, there’s no enemy hobgoblin here, set on attacking you, nor anyone else. ;-)

  64. Gary Pearse says:
    August 2, 2014 at 9:59 am
    I am predicting that another geomorphologist will discover that river deltas also rise with sea level rise and are eroded down with sea level drop.
    -

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

    I’d say almost every geo in the South Pacific who had any understanding of geodetics and structural geology would have immediately been questioning the ludicrous suggestion the occasionally, seasonally and locally higher tides of Kiribati equated to global cAGW induced sea level rising.

    Not the journal ‘Nature’ (and others) though, they did not want to know what geology had to say, as they were too busy with, “doing science” and such blithering rot.

    It is really historically staggering and one hell of a barrage of rank cheek for the media for years on end to rush to listen to the ultimate in walking talking utter morons (by now you have detected that I speak of Bob brown, Sarah Hansen-Young, Christine Milne, Penny Wong and fellow travelers) and who repeatedly accused ‘deniers’ of “ignoring the science”, when a goodly portion of the ‘deniers’ were in fact the majority of Geologists (from the Latin: “The study earth”) who are just pointing out the physical fact that geodetic scientific measurement shows conclusively that Kiribati is not sinking due to sea level rises, but due to prosaic geodynamic mechanisms that overwhelmingly dominate the Pacific ring-of-fire and associated volcanic island chains in these areas.

    And were shouted down as ‘deniers’ or cranks or some other label, for about the last 27 years!

    The inexcusable level of cognitive discombobulation within the media, (and its proprietors) and this greenish diatribe has broken historical record maximums for the amount of unadulterated b_____!t allocated to preserving and continually trying to resuscitate a most pathetic and irrational conclusion.

    Earth weeps to be one day be heard above the cacophony of green ‘saviors’.

    When you deliberately concoct false intelligence as a pretext to unfounded actions, an are caught out doing it, suddenly no one regards your intelligence estimates as worth a bag full of cAGW hot air.

  65. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11166377

    From the same School of Environment at Auckland University, Chris DeFreitas writes
    There is some inundation evident on many atolls, which can be confused with sea level rise. It is the result of erosion, sand mining and construction projects causing an inflow of sea water. Other factors are also involved.

    Excessive use of freshwater for irrigation causes destruction of natural underground freshwater reservoirs. A consequence is seawater encroachment into vegetable growing pits, but is not the result of sea level rise.

    Part of the problem is related also to the paving of the roads and land development. The effect has been to reduce infiltration of rainwater into the subsurface freshwater lens, which is the water supply source for the islanders. When this increased runoff is combined with a high tide, flooding along the coast makes it look like the sea level is rising.

  66. Rolf, on his own evidence, was not in Kiribati. Funafuti is the capital of Tuvalu, a completely separate country from Kiribati. While both countries were part of the former Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, the indigenous peoples in the colony – Polynesians in the Ellice Islands, and Micronesians in the Gilberts – decided in the 1970s to become independent as separate entities. So the Ellice islands were renamed as Tuvalu, and the Gilberts became Kiribati.

    Incidentally, a decade ago I spent three years living in Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati, and saw little or no evidence of sea-level rise – but encountered plenty of evidence of the problems deriving both from population pressure on the finite fresh water lens, and from coastal erosion as a result of unregulated construction of seawalls. Virtually all of the land and water problems in Kiribati result from local action and events, not from any global causation. In particular, problems with water supply are a simple consequence of population pressure causing water to be drawn from the fresh water lens at a rate faster than its replenishment by rainfall. Claims of rising sea levels are irrelevant.

    (I lived on the ocean reef side, and “my” beach was initially deeply eroded as a consequence of a major reclamation that had been made on the neighbouring property – the beach was restored when the reclamation was removed following a change of heart on the part of the leaseholder.)

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