The Eighth First Climate Refugees

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I’ve written before about the crazy claims of “climate refugees”, there’s a list of posts in the notes below. When I set out to write about bogus climate claims, I find myself in what I call a “target-rich environment”. Crazy ideas on the subject are not hard to find. One of the better sources is National Geographic magazine, which can be depended on to mess up just about any climate story.

Their latest is is about Lennox Island in Canada, and is headlined:

This Canadian Island Is Losing Ground But Not Losing Hope

A tiny island off the Atlantic coast is shrinking as the climate warms and the seas rise. But its indigenous people aren’t waiting for global help: They’re taking action now.

Well, guess what? Just like the situation with the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh “Climate Refugees”, once again we’re not dealing with islands made of rock. Nope. Once again, these poor folks live on nothing more than a shifting pile of mud, silt, and sand, located near the mouth of a river.

GE Lennox IslandFigure 1. Lennox Island, Canada. The large body of land surrounding it is Prince Edward Island

Now, the National Geografique folks say the following:

A generation ago, the island was 1,300 acres; today, it is 1,100. Once, all of its 79 homes–clustered at the southernmost tip, the island’s high point–were comfortably set back from the beach. Today 10 of them are perilously close to the shoreline as the sea reclaims land.

Well, duh … the high point on the ocean is only about 6-7 metres above sea level. The island is made of mud, silt, and sand. It sits in a rivermouth. Anyone who thinks that such an island will NOT erode and change shape over time is a fool … and the Early Asian Immigrants to that area were far from fools.

lennox island aerialFigure 1a. Lennox Island from the air, looking southeast. You can see the low-lying, silt-and-sand nature of the island. The town and the dock are at the south tip of the island, top right.

Now, the earliest immigrants to the area of Prince Edward Island are unknown. It might have been the Mi’kmaq people, they moved to that area a long, long time ago … but you can be sure that they didn’t make their main home on some tiny offshore mud-flat island. With some digging I found a fascinating study calledIndians and Islanders: The Story of the Micmacs of Prince Edward Island. It discusses in detail how Lennox Island became a reservation. Back in the day, the Mi’kmaq lived around the Prince Edward Island area, and they were being forced off of their traditional lands by the encroachment of the newcomers. So the Canadian Provincial Government decided that they should be allocated some land for a reservation. Negotiations began in the late 1700’s. From the cited study, they decided:

A small offshore island would be ideal for such a reservation. Its isolation would prevent the Indians from annoying white farmers, protect them from the evils of liquor and enable them to live in something approximating their accustomed way. The most remote, and hence the most attractive spot was Lennox Island off the northwest coast, 1400 acres in extent. This island had been overlooked in the original partition, for only in 1772 was it attached to Lot 12 and granted to Sir James Montgomery. Fanning wrote Montgomery, who gave his permission for the Indians to reside there, and offered to sell his island for £300.

However, the deal fell through. The slow and sad saga continues:

By the year 1800 several Micmac families were established on Lennox Island. They received regular visits from a missionary, the Abbé de Calonne, who began the lengthy task of persuading them to clear land and plant crops. He had them build a chapel to St. Anne, and Lennox Island became the meeting place for the whole tribe every July 26 on the Saint’s day. In 1806 the Abbé petitioned the British government to buy the island for the Indians, “as being the aboriginal owners they had a right at least to have some portion” of their ancestral homeland. Manual labour was now their only hope, Calonne argued, and it would take at least a generation to convert them to farming; the process was hard enough without the knowledge that the improvements they were making were on someone else’s private property. Nothing came of this initiative.

A few Indians maintained permanent residence on Lennox Island, and by 1841 there were twenty five acres cleared, mostly for potatoes. It was not the most attractive place for potential farmers. The trees were mainly fir and spruce, and the soil light, sandy and of inferior quality. Between five and six hundred acres were barrens and swamp; the most attractive feature was the adjoining marsh, which yielded hay for those who had livestock. The Indians had none. The hay and timber proved to be an irresistible attraction to nearby whites who took what they wanted for fodder and fuel despite the protests of the Indians.

Lennox Island, apart from its chapel, was of little importance to the majority of Indians who continued their accustomed way of life as best they could. Only two or three families, principally the Francis family, lived there, while the rest continued to move around, hunting and fishing with diminishing success.

Finally in the 1870s the island was purchased from the owners and deeded as an indian reservation. Curiously, the money was raised privately, it didn’t come from the Province. The study continues with a description of a report of the survey of the property:

His first report arrived somewhat tardily in January 1875. The survey showed that the property contained 1320 acres, of which 1100 were optimistically described as excellent for agriculture;

Now, of course the NatGeo gets this history all wrong. They say:

The Mi’kmaq, among the original inhabitants of Canada’s Atlantic provinces, have lived on Lennox Island, slightly north of Prince Edward Island, for thousands of years.

As you can see from the above, this is balderdash. The Mi’kmaq likely had seasonal hunting camps on Lennox Island, but they have only inhabited it year-round since the end of the 19th century … and then only because they had little other choice.

Now like I said above, the local folks in any given area are rarely fools, which is why the Mi’kmaq didn’t have their main village on some god-forsaken flat pile of shifting sand and silt in the middle of a river. This is the third northern village I’ve written about which is 1) eroding, and 2) has people living on it only because the Later Melanin-Deficient Immigrants forced the Early Asian Immigrants to move there, and 3) is claimed to be a victim of “climate change”. See the posts below for the other unlucky northern contestants, which were Shishmarev, Newtok, and Kivalina. You’d think that at some point the media would wise up … but noooo.

However, I was not satisfied with just the history. Obviously something was happening to the island, some parts were eroding. But as hard as I looked, I couldn’t find any modern measurements of the area of the islands. I was suspicious of the claim that the area of the island had gone from 1320 acres, a precise figure, to “1,000 acres”. Sounded too vague to be true. So I decided to start by looking at the modern dimensions of the island as determined from Google Earth, so I could get an exact value for the claimed “1,000 acres”. I got the image of the island, and I digitized the boundary and the roads. Figure 2 shows that result:

Lennox island 2014Figure 2. Closeup of Figure 1, showing just Lennox Island itself. The dark blue line shows the outline of the island, and the light blue line shows the principal roads. The south end of the island is the highest end at 7 metres (23 ft) up behind the town. 

With that came my first surprise. I worked to the scale that can be seen at the lower left of Figure 2. What I found was that the area enclosed by the blue polygon is not 1,100 acres as the NatGeo folks claim, nowhere near that.

In fact, the blue line encloses an area of 1,307 acres. So somebody didn’t do their homework. The island hasn’t gone from 1,320 acres to 1,100 acres. Instead, the area of the island has hardly changed at all.

But that still left the question of what was going on. Because we know something is going on, the islanders report that the south end of the island around the town is being eaten away, and I believe them.

So I got some old maps of the island to compare with the modern situation. The earliest map is from 1880. It is only available for $19.95, but I used a free blurred version. Figure 3 shows that map with the modern outline overlaid on it.

lennox island 1880Figure 3. 1880 map of Lennox Island overlaid with the modern roads, listing the area as 1320 acres. SOURCE

This map was republished in the Atlas of the Province of Prince Island in 1925, using the identical outline but showing the further subdivision of the land into more parcels. It gives a clearer view of the changes in the outline of the island.

lennox island 1925Figure 4. 1925 map, which is a faithful copy of the island shoreline of the 1880 map with updated details and lot changes. Blue lines as in Figures 2 and 3.

There are several clear differences in the shape of the island between 1880 and today. The eastern (right-hand) side has lost a lot of what is described as “Peat Bog” in the 1880 map. The easternmost projecting point has been eroded away entirely, as has the southernmost. On the other hand, the northernmost (top) part of the island has grown by accretion of more mud, silt and sand on the north side, and has moved northwards while losing land on the south side.

Since 1880, the shape of the island has been changing. It is eroding away in some areas and it is accreting in others. It is not disappearing, the total area is little changed.

So let’s be clear about this. What is happening to Lennox Island is happening to thousands of such low-lying offshore river-mouth islands around the world. This change in the outline of the island is totally expected. It is totally predictable. It is the norm. It would only be surprising if such changes did not happen to such an uncompacted pile of sand, silt, and mud.

And the alterations in shape are unending. Just like a meandering river which never maintains the same shape over time, but continually changes its path forever, these islands are similarly constrained to endlessly change in order to persist. They are mere hesitations in the ceaseless flow of silt and soil to the sea, transient islands which are always and perpetually gaining a bit here and losing a bit there.

So I feel compassion for the Mi’kmaq people, shuffled off like so many northern peoples to live on a wholly unsuitable and unstable chunk of dirt. You’d have to be tough and resourceful to live there at all, and seeing the ocean eating away at the island must be both frustrating and frightening.

But that’s the nature of such islands, and it has nothing to do with “climate change”, whatever that might mean. There has been no increase in storms. There has been no acceleration in the rate of sea level rise. What we’re seeing is not a climate drama. It is just another sad tale of the Later Melanin-Deficient Immigrants conquering the Early Asian Immigrants, with the often tragic concomitant upheavals lasting up to the present time.

However, all is not lost. We know a whole lot more these days about coastal engineering than we used to. If I lived there I’d get in touch with someone like Holmberg Technologies or Moffatt & Nicholl. Both of them have worked all over the world, and both of them deal with this kind of problem all the time. I’d get quotes from both companies and see what they thought could be done, and for how much money.

Then I’d dun the Canadian Government to foot the bill, not because of any nonsense about CO2, but because the Mi’kmaq got such a bunk piece of land for their reservation in the first place.

But hey, what do I know, I was born yesterday. All I can do is wish the good Mi’kmaq folks all the best of luck with their northern lives and their lovely island.

My warmest regards to all,

w.

My Usual Request: If you disagree with me or anyone, please quote the exact words you disagree with. I can defend my own words. I cannot defend someone’s interpretation of my words.

My Other Request: If you think that e.g. I’m using the wrong method on the wrong dataset, please educate me and others by demonstrating the proper use of the right method on the right dataset. Simply claiming I’m wrong doesn’t advance the discussion.

The Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Climate Refugees:

The Sixth First Climate Refugees 2013-07-02

For years now, folks have searched desperately for the “fingerprints” of human climate change. These are things that are supposed to reveal how and where humans are affecting the climate. One of these fingerprints, which is alleged to be a sure and certain harbinger of the thermal end times, is…

Breaking News! Seventh First Climate Refugees Discovered! 2013-08-09

Well, my heart fell when I saw the recent BBC article which proudly proclaimed that the people of Kivalina were slated to become “America’s first climate change refugees” … Figure 1. The Alaskan native village of Kivalina. SOURCE: BBC My heart fell for three reasons. First, because once again we…

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134 thoughts on “The Eighth First Climate Refugees

  1. On December 22nd, Leonard Doyle of the “International Organisation for Migration”, claimed, in a general discussion of migrants:
    “Many people are moving now because of climate change”
    I asked him for evidence and he sent me the following link:
    http://www.iom.int/news/iom-welcomes-inclusion-climate-migrants-climate-migration-draft-paris-cop-agreement
    I replied saying that it was mainly predicted migration and that merely talking about “climate change” (Micronesia) didn’t constitute evidence.
    Pretty soon, all migration will be attributed to “Climate Change”.

      • QV
        BBC
        Yeah – Right.
        Here is the only double positive adding up to a negative in – I have read – all the world’s languages . . . . . . .

    • Thanks for the link, QV. I shouldn’t be surprised but I always am that even in 2015 people are still flogging the idea discredited by Charles Darwin that rising seas will threaten coral atolls. He showed that rising seas create coral atolls a hundred and fifty years ago. Gotta say, once a bogus claim becomes widely believed, it persists way, way beyond its use-by date …
      I was also amused by this section from your link:

      Swing spoke as Chair of the ONE UN High Level Roundtable “Human Mobility and Climate Change” on the margins of the Paris negotiations. Roundtable participants included representatives from States, international organizations, civil society and politicians. Speakers included Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the French President for the Protection of the Planet, together with representatives of Bangladesh, UNOCHA, UNHCR, UNCCD, IPCC, ILO, the European Parliament and others.

      Talk about an echo chamber.
      w.

      • Willis, thanks for this post and also the reminder that well-accepted and believed scientific theories, or consensus, can be discredited by one truth-seeker who is as free as humanly possible from biasing influences (i.e. Darwin and the coral atolls).
        It seems that cheap, safe, relatively clean and abundant (for now) fossil fuels have created the monster of misplaced environmentalism in a rather ironic way that doesn’t get expressed much.
        In the past, and in a Dawinian manner, the cream of human scientific thought had risen to the top, leaving us with giants like Darwin, Einstein, Newton, etc. Now science appears more and more to be immune from this Darwinian ascension of giants to the tops of their fields. Instead, oil and coal have made things so easy for us all in the western world, that people who have no real aptitude for science are easily able to pursue their worldview and call it science, without risking their ability to eat and stay warm. It seems to me that most modern climate scientists would have been, sailors, farmers, laborers and tradesmen (all honorable pursuits) scraping out a modest living in the past partly because of their lack of scientific thought, mathematical knowledge and application of theory to observation and experiment. Now almost any Joe-blow can obtain government financing to pursue nonsense, unrelated to the real world, and make a very comfortable living being called a scientist as long as their output supports the CAGW narrative.
        Ironically, if oil and coal hadn’t made it so easy for us all, we’d have a lot less of this modern pseudo-science (aka cargo-cult science). Getting back to “survival of the fittest” in science will likely only happen if the funding source for science is fundamentally changed. We’ve clearly ignored one of our giants in leadership (Eisenhower) to cause our present science dilemma.

    • No it’s a real issue.
      As someone who lives in Scotland and has to cope with freezing temps snow etc. I am waiting for Mauritius to offer me climate refugee status, although to show how desperate I am I would accept an offer from the Maldives.

  2. Tide gauge records thousands of sites all over the world are available from the Catalog Viewer, at PMSML.org There are data for two sites on Prince Edward Island, one going back about 115 years. It shows a slow steady rise of about 2 mm/year with no evidence of acceleration in recent years. The other begins in the 1970’s and suggests a change of about 1 mm/year to date.

    • Erosion will go on and with a rise of 1-2 mm/year, although this is a small rise, the impact increases. The energy of a wave is exponential (second power) with the height.

      • JJM Gommers wrote that an increase in sea level will result in an increase in wave energy. Not so …
        Wikipedia says that wave power is proportional to the wave energy period and to the square of the significant wave height.
        In physical oceanography, the significant wave height (SWH or Hs) is defined traditionally as the mean wave height (trough to crest) of the highest third of the waves (H1/3). Nowadays it is usually defined as four times the standard deviation of the surface elevation
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Significant_wave_height

      • JJM:
        Meaning, that you either did not read Willis’s article above or that you did not comprehend it.
        Just like marshes, bayous, coastal islands, coral outcrops, sandspits, and many other current and wind driven soil accumulations worldwide; estuary islands accrete as well as erode.
        All of all the climate false propaganda regarding sea level rise implies great doom, instead you should be very grateful that the perfectly normal 1-2mm/year sea level increase is still rising. The truly scary part of sea level rise is that sea levels are definitively plateaued. Sea level plateaus eventually decline.
        You will not like it when sea level begins dropping.
        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Post-Glacial_Sea_Level.png

      • JJM Gommers December 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        Erosion will go on and with a rise of 1-2 mm/year, although this is a small rise, the impact increases. The energy of a wave is exponential (second power) with the height.

        Thanks, JJM. Although the sea level is rising a few mm per year, in general the wave height is staying roughly the same. By that I mean that there is no evidence that the storms are getting stronger.
        ATheoK, thanks for the sea level chart. In the South Pacific, when anchoring offshore of an island you’ll often find what’s called the “20 fathom shelf”. This is a roughly level section of ocean floor in the otherwise steep dropoff in depth away from the island.
        A fathom is a curious measure, six feet. The 20-fathom shelf in the underwater profile of the island is a result of the wave action of thousands of years of ocean levels down 120 feet below their current level. The waves cut a notch in the face of the islands, still visible in some places.
        w.

    • ‘A generation ago, the island was 1,300 acres; today, it is 1,100’
      Ok, let’s see. 25 years, 2mm/year. That sounds like 5cm to me. Basically, National Geographic is saying that 15% of the island’s surface was lying less than 5cm above water, and has now disappeared. *shakes head*

      • Willis, above, identified the island as currently being about 1307 acres.
        It was the “National Geografique folks say the following:” that claim 1,100 acres remain. No verification by the allegedly geographical society, just blind acceptance of rumors.

    • It was probably linked from this site somewhere, but I recall NASA self claiming refugee status at the cape (Canaveral) due to sea level rise. Interestingly the cape itself is a barrier island and the lighthouse was moved back over a mile in 1894 due to shifting sand of the point it was originally constructed on.
      So far as I know 60 odd years and no launch pads have been harmed by rising tides.

  3. Pro tip for future real estate investors, if your candidate property isn’t any higher elevation than a neighboring area identified as “Low Point”, that might be a red flag.

  4. References to “climate change” and sea level rise causing impacts on people and wildlife are becoming increasingly common.
    I have noted that such references are now tossed into discussions almost as an aside…not discussed, or qualified, or explained in any way…just stated is if such assertions are factual.
    To the average uninformed and scientifically uneducated person, such constant lies must now be indistinguishable from reality.
    “A lie repeated often enough will become the truth” is not literally true but, in the minds of the gullible and credulous, it might as well be.
    Thank you for the post Willis. Very educational as always.

  5. I’d like to migrate somewhere where the seas are full of Bass, Cod and Sole, the shore completely covered in mussels and other shellfish, Just a few feet inland I’d like hundreds of rabbits and deer in the woods and in the sky flocks of plump pigeon and partridge.

      • currently the east coast of the uk would fit that bill. my last trip cod fishing from the shore a few weeks ago i had 26 .plenty cod in the north sea. if you move to the yorkshire coast there are also plenty bass and i think sole can be caught in the humber estuary and a few beach marks south of the humber.

      • Interesting.
        Rabbits and deer prefer or thrive in different environments. An abundance of one implies a lack of the other.
        Right now, in America deer are more abundant than at any previous known time. The description used is deer are overabundant. My current hunting license allows taking of six deer total during the current license year.
        Striped bass and sea bass are abundant right now. Codfish are abundant in some locales, deficit in others. Sole, well, flounder in the Americas is also quite abundant.
        Most of the problem with people believing there is a serious deficiency is they are hunting or fishing in the wrong places or at the wrong times.
        In America all wild game is managed or conserved for the public. Market gunners depleted many species during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Ordinary hunters lobbied their representatives and managed to get several laws passed that directly fund conservation through taxes on hunting equipment. Forget wwf, sierra fools, and many others; the vast bulk of money actually spent on wildlife conservation comes from hunters.
        Fishermen noticed the wildlife improvements and sought similar laws for fishing, which were passed for freshwater fish. Saltwater and most anadromous fish were not included in the protection though they often benefit from some of the conservation monies collected.
        Saltwater and anadromous fish are still liable to the market fishing concept where virtually every last fish is worth at least a few cents, even if only for cat food or vitamin E oil. Serious market controls are necessary to protect sufficient spawning biomass and prevent population declines; only some nations have introduced the necessary controls within their borders. Internationally? Absolutely not.

  6. Then I’d dun the Canadian Government to foot the bill, not because of any nonsense about CO2, but because the Mi’kmaq got such a bunk piece of land for their reservation in the first place.

    The Canadian government has a fiduciary obligation to the people covered by the Indian Act (who, unlike their American cousins, don’t want to be called indians). That means that there is a strong case that the government might have to fix the situation. On the face of it the situation looks better now than it did with the Harper Government. That said, Trudeau Jr. is a politician …

    • Harper would have fixed the situation but he would have done in a way that would not have pleased the Indian Industry, in other words no commissions, no inquiries, no millions spent on supporting activists to discover the root causes. Remember the pre built homes he sent to the northern reserve with the hungrer striking overpaid chief!

      • That situation was an emergency( about the pre fab homes) brought on by a few very corrupt Native “leaders”. A situation that is all to common on a number of reservations in Canada, Frankly it is a dirty not so little “secret” that every Government in Canada be it at the Provincial, Municipal or Federal level has been hiding for a century. To blame in just Harper is hogwash! There are great examples of where the Natives have succeeded though and THEY should be an example for ALL of us, given the right leaders the native community has as much if not more potential than the (as Willis so aptly puts it) the “melanin deficient” population of today. [Check out the story of the Osoyoos Indian (sorry) Band, BC Canada as an example].

  7. Good post. Thanks.
    These stories in the Nat. Geog. and elsewhere cause me to wonder if these writers have ever visited a coastal island or the floodplain of a big river. Have they ever gotten out of the office and gotten their feet wet?
    Note the current flooding in SA, specifically near Asuncion, Paraguay. Below link says 200,000 evacuated but that number is surely plucked from the big round number bin.
    they’re sleeping on improvised tents

  8. Willis,
    Have you sent this information to the responsible editors at National Geographic? I would be interested in their responses.

    • Thanks, David. Nope, I haven’t sent it to the NatGeo editors, but I figure if it might make a difference, it will get there. Everyone who cares reads WUWT. If nothing else, their friends will tell them that someone is dissing their work. And if they don’t care, they won’t be interested in an email from me.
      However, you might want to try an experiment. Write to the editors, tell them you read my post (with a link to the post), and ask them to defend their position. Might be interesting.
      Regards,
      w.

  9. Minor note, but where you write, “Well, duh…the high point on the ocean….”, I think you mean, high point on the island.
    You are so right about coastal islands, coral atolls, etc. This was 7th grade science when I went through school, how can this ignorance of actual science persist so in these news reports? It’s astounding.

  10. I am the only real ” Climate Refugee “…. I live in Canada, and it’s too dang cold for my liking !! So when do I get my money ????

    • Marcus
      Please remember to turn the lights off when you leave, (and join the rest of us in the sunny warm U.S. south)
      Michael in northern AZ.

    • But, Marcus, I too am a real “Climate Refugee”. I moved around 1,100km north from Melbourne, Australia to escape the impending little ice age.

    • Most of us are around because of a die off during the last ice age. Only the hardy survived, and many of those hardy individuals lived on the inhospitable margins of the ice sheets, indeed a cold and dangerous place. Those of us who have inherited that hardiness will survive the next ice age as well.

    • @ Marcus, did you leave any heating oil around ? (leave an address). I’ll gladly pump it out and wait to prune my peaches apricots and cherries and grapes in the spring!

  11. Thanks for the in-depth study of this latest boondogle from National Geographique. It is wonderful to see how these fairy tales fall apart so rapidly when exposed to the harsh light of day.

    • +1 , another excellent demolition job by willis. national geographic is basically a comic these days. content is so poor on occasion one issue can be skim read in the dentists waiting room.

  12. Back in the early nineties I helped carry out shallow underwater surveys on submerged Indian villages on the Floridian West Coast. Clearly water levels must have been lower than today. More importantly the archaic west coast extended perhaps as much as 100 miles from it’s present coast line.
    Living in Florida sees every major storm taking a decent chunk of the beach away only for it to reappear somewhere else. There are good ideas and stupid ones to try to prevent these loses but as Matthew 7 24-27 tells use …. don’t build on sand.

  13. Willis,
    Great sleuthing as usual. However, I do have one concern about the use of google imagery to define surface area. It is always possible that the image was not taken from directly overhead and, if taken from am angle, the island’s perspective might be somewhat shortened or lengthened, depending on the angle of the satellite, which could make a calculation of surface area a bit suspect. This is easy to see if you take a look at big cities in google earth. Most often tall buildings will be seen from one side or the other and appear angled. However, I suspect this is something you have already considered.
    Bruce

    • Great sleuthing as usual.

      Willis embodies nullius in verba. Just because folks say stuff, it doesn’t mean we should believe them. Somebody should hold them to account. Willis does that.

      I do have one concern about the use of google imagery to define surface area.

      I bet he’s within 10%. In any event, someone will have to answer the point he has raised.

    • Bruce December 26, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Willis,
      Great sleuthing as usual. However, I do have one concern about the use of google imagery to define surface area. It is always possible that the image was not taken from directly overhead and, if taken from am angle, the island’s perspective might be somewhat shortened or lengthened, depending on the angle of the satellite, which could make a calculation of surface area a bit suspect.

      Thanks for the heads-up, Bruce, I hadn’t considered that. The cursor tool in Google Earth tells where the cursor is, taking into account the surface curvature of the earth. After you wrote the above, I used the cursor tool to calculate the N/S length and the E/W width of the island, in degrees. Then I converted the degrees to metres. I then compared the results to my maps shown in the head post. I was within a two percent in both directions, so the error appears to not be significant.
      Best regards,
      w.

      • Your comparison to the topographic map from Don’s link (below) certainly validates your conclusion derived using the google earth map. Nicely done!
        The reason I thought of perspectives and projections was partly due to having seen this recently.
        http://thetruesize.com/

      • I took a survey of a neighborhood of multi-acre lots of which I own one, and volunteered to update it with the present location of wells for water rights appropriation. Taking Google Earth imagery, and overlaying on the survey was a joke. GE was off 20-30%, ie. 2-300 feet in a thousand. This is mountain property, but after seeing that, I’m not impressed with their spacial placements.

  14. Another nice article Willis. One possible problem. It’s not clear how good older maps were. Here in Vermont, the state made an effort to draw geologic maps of the state’s rather complex bedrock geology in the late 19th century. At least one of the resulting reports commented sourly on the poor quality of the government’s (USGS?) topographic maps which apparently sometimes mislocated features like peaks and ridges by a goodly portion of a mile. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to find that Canadian maps of the time weren’t all that good by modern standards. It’s not that they lacked the tools back then to do highly accurate maps. But they may have lacked the funding and/or desire to do so.

    • Thanks, Don. Me, I generally trust the early British mapmakers. One of the reasons that Britannia ruled the waves is that they knew how to draw very, very accurate charts and maps, some of which are still in use today.
      w.

    • Addendum: If it’s of any use, there is a topo map of Lennox Island on-line at http://www.mytopo.com/maps/. Click the Canada button above the map, type “Lennox I” and select the Lennox Island, Prince County, Nova Scotia line. I don’t think it’ll tell you anything you don’t already know except to confirm that much of the “shoreline” looks to be salt marsh. Not a lot of relief there apparently. No clue I can see as to the age of the mapping except that it does show roads, so it’s presumably 20th or 21st Century.

    • Thanks for that link, Don. I compared their topo map to my previous outline, and they are only very slightly different.
      https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/lennox-island-plus-outline.jpg?w=640
      You say:

      I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to find that Canadian maps of the time weren’t all that good by modern standards. It’s not that they lacked the tools back then to do highly accurate maps. But they may have lacked the funding and/or desire to do so.

      As a man who has done surveying and made more than one map, I’d be surprised if they were much in error. Consider that they were the basis of the legal description of the plots of land shown on the maps. Just like today, people wanted to know exactly where their land started and ended, not some erroneous description. The art of the surveyor and the mapmaker had been perfected since Egyptian times, and the British (and their colonies) were generally good at it even way back in the day. We still use charts made by Captain Bligh of the mutiny fame …
      In my experience, surveyors and mapmakers tend to be detail oriented, even obsessively so.
      w.

      • Willis:
        You are correct.
        Surveying as practiced back in colonial days used a chain for length measurements. When surveyors and mapmakers got involved, the resulting maps were quite accurate and could be relied upon for business and navigating.

      • onsider that they were the basis of the legal description of the plots of land shown on the maps.

        You’re correct for much of North America Willis, but the first settled areas — the 13 colonies, Louisiana, Vermont, and very likely Quebec and the maritimes didn’t originally use property lines surveyed in the modern fashion. They used “metes and bounds” distances and directions relative to local landmarks like big trees, big rocks, etc. That seems to have worked about as badly as you’d imagine and I think most were probably resurveyed in the past century. But there’s a good chance that your older maps date from an earlier, less universally precise, era. I don’t see any benchmarks indicated on the topo map, but I’m not sure that Canadian maps flag them. On US maps they are indicated by a small x. There’s also the issue of where one maps the “shore” in a marsh. AFAICS small differences in mapping practices rather than erosion and depositation could account for much of the rather limited differences in the maps you are working with. … or not.

      • Don K December 27, 2015 at 12:02 am

        Consider that they were the basis of the legal description of the plots of land shown on the maps.

        You’re correct for much of North America Willis, but the first settled areas — the 13 colonies, Louisiana, Vermont, and very likely Quebec and the maritimes didn’t originally use property lines surveyed in the modern fashion. They used “metes and bounds” distances and directions relative to local landmarks like big trees, big rocks, etc.

        Thanks, Don. In fact, the modern method is the same, “metes and bounds” in relationship to some established datum. For modern practice the datum is either a spike set in the ground or a brass plate set in concrete.
        I just realized that the section I quoted above said:

        His first report arrived somewhat tardily in January 1875. The survey showed that the property contained 1320 acres, of which 1100 were optimistically described as excellent for agriculture;

        Since the date of the map is 1880, it may have been the result of this survey.
        While some imprecision may have been true for the lot boundaries of the 1880 map, by the 1925 date of the later map I’m sure they used more precise methods for land surveys. I say that because the 1925 boundaries of the lots fit exactly within the 1880 boundaries.
        I would expect the map of the perimeter to be accurate, more so than the early lot boundaries. Here’s why.
        As I mentioned, I’m a bit of a mapmaker. So I can tell you how they did it back in the day. They used the horizontal sextant. What you do is flip your sextant over on its side. Then you can measure the angle between two landmarks with extreme accuracy, in degrees, minutes, and seconds.
        This can easily be done from a small boat. So they’d take a rowboat, and row around the island, and periodically stop and measure the horizontal angles between a series of visible landmarks. You use a minimum of three landmarks, preferably four. Then when you get back on shore you reduce all of your sights and create your map.
        By doing this you can establish the outlines of an island with great accuracy. As I mentioned, the work of Captain Bligh using this exact method is still used today. This method was widely used and understood at the time, and is most probably the method used to map the shoreline of the island.
        As for me, I used this method to create a map of the water depths of the inner harbor in Honiara, on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomons. I set up three 55-gallon (200 litre) oil drums that I’d painted white on the shore as landmarks. I measured the distances and the angles between the oil drums. Then we motored around the harbor, taking the sightings of the drums and recording the sonar depth measurements. If you are accurate with the measurement of the drum locations, and careful with the taking of the sextant angles, you can draw very tight location triangles.
        So yes, I do trust the old charts of the outlines of islands and shorelines. Those measurements were taken by seamen whose lives literally depended on their accuracy, which tends to sharpen a man’s mind most admirably …
        All the best,
        w.

    • -No, the Dept of Interior is not spending 1.2 mill to save these people – they are spending 1.2 mill to get them dependent on the government, to convince them that all of their problems are caused by the prevailing cultural hegemony in order to provoke marxist anger toward the prevailing culture, and to divert some money to the re-election campaign coffers of the incumbents who put all of this in place.

  15. Let us spare the Mi’Kmaq any more pity and condescension. These thoroughly modern people should be manumitted by the Canadian government; the Indian Act, like AGW, is too profitable for some and too cosseting for others to give up.

  16. Thanks Willis. It’s a pleasure to see analytical work done well, drawing on all the relevant information instead of on convenient fabrications.

  17. I’ve often had to come in out of the cold.
    Am I a “Climate Refuge”?
    If so, I’ve been one all my life. I’ve even had to come in out the rain!
    (Those times I knew enough to do so.)

  18. Just some clarification.
    First, a ‘river’ in PEI is a kind of tidal basin with salt water currents that change direction twice a day. The kind of ‘river’ found elsewhere, with fresh water running across land and down to the ocean, isn’t really a thing there.
    Second, the island is most likely sandstone (because PEI is a big sandstone rock sitting in the ocean) and not silt (because you need an actual river for silt, not a tidal bore) or possibly just plain sand, since the entire north shore of PEI is basically a classic barrier island geography, always changing.
    None of this changes the premise of this article, just clarifies a few things.
    The inhabitants, both indigenous and later, are all aware that the entire province is slowly eroding into the sea. Landmarks I knew as a child are long gone along with the seabirds that used to hang around the now-defunct fisheries. Things change. There’s no reason to believe this has anything at all to do with climate.

    • Thanks, Bregmata, good info. However, I doubt that Lennox Island is sandstone, in part from the photos, in part from the color of the water around the edges in Figure 1a, in part because of the low-lying topography, in part because of the changes in the island shoreline over time, and in part because so much of it is just “peat bog” and marshlands.
      And I doubt that Lennox is just sand, because it has been farmed for a couple of centuries.
      As to the rivers, Google Earth clearly reveals that there are two watercourses running from the ridge of PEI down to sea level in the area directly behind Lennox Island, with another coming in further north. These have a combined watershed area of about 200 square km, certainly plenty for the erosion of silt and mud. While the bedrock of PEI is sandstone, it is overlaid with “glacial till” which contains lots of small particles.
      That’s minor stuff, though, and your conclusion is totally correct. Things change, nothing to do with climate.
      All the best,
      w.

    • Silt is a fine layer of soil.
      It really doesn’t matter whether it is salt or fresh water. The source is the same, when water stops moving, silt settles out. The fact that the soil is not good for crops hints at more sand than soil and perhaps residual salt. Especially since it is mentioned the salt marshes grew good crops of fodder.
      Many of the bayous down along the Mississippi river and Gulf coast are much as you describe where the tide flows in and out. Near the Mississippi river, the water in the bayous may be brackish.

  19. I remember a similar issue on a bluff above Lake Erie. An entire street eroded away and the houses gradually fell into the lake. I guess if they had built in such a stupid spot on the ocean they could blame climate change.

  20. You would have thought that “National Geographic” would have done a historical survey as part an parcel of any description of a change in geographical boundaries. Sigh. Nice work Willis.

  21. Sort of like a shifting dune. Depletion of sediment on the south facing beaches, and the silt is slung around and deposited on north facing beaches.

    • Exactly. And like a shifting dune, it never reaches a final position, it never stops moving.
      w.

    • As a sedimentologist, I always enjoy the buffoonery and hopelessly conjectural machinations of those who are not sedimentologists. National Geographic….is not a sedimentologist…or geomorphologist, or any other pertinent -oligist. They hear that sea level is rising due to climate change, and go out looking for the sparse evidence to support alarm. And there you have it. As usual, history….human and geological….is ignored.
      For me, it’s a quick glance at the picture at the top: a direct perception, “Shifting sediments will happen here” and the rest of the story is moot.

      • Thanks, Mike, good to hear from you. That’s why I put that picture up at the top, because I have the same reaction, and I’m neither a sedimentologist, a geomorphologist, or any kind of ologist at all-ogist. I’m just a guy who has spent far too long contemplating the ocean in all its moods, spending time next to and on and under the ocean, visiting its islands large and small, and seeing how it works in different places and at different times. So when I see the picture I think “muddy bottom, likely not good anchoring ground, shifting sedimentary islands, flukey currents” …
        Best to you and yours,
        w.

      • Mike
        I’d certainly agree that the structure NorthEast of Lennox Island looks to be your basic barrier island. I wouldn’t be so sure about Lennox Island itself. It could easily be a low lying Permian sandstone ridge covered by a thin verneer of sandy soil with an admixture of organic material. Soils in New England and the Maritime provinces are often quite thin with bedrock (“ledge” in the local lingo in Vermont and New Hampshire) annoyingly close to the surface. I suppose the way to tell would be to ask the locals about how deep their wells are and what’s encountered when they are drilled. FWIW, here’s a link to an arial picture of the village. http://atlanticadaptation.ca/pei-communities-lennoxisland It’ll probably mean more to you than to me.

      • The barrier island is also a baymouth bar. Lennox might indeed be cored by some pesky Permian clastic sediment; or it might be an artifact of earlier Holocene sedimentation. Its red color is certainly derived from the source sediment for most of PEI’s pink beaches…Permian fluvial and deltaic sediments. Ledge or no (that term is used in the Maritimes as well), this island is doing what these islands do….produce alarm-fodder for white-knuckled hand-wringers in far away NatGeo & SciAm copy-rooms.
        …and marvelous debunk-fodder for out intrepid mariner, w. Happy New Year, Willis!

      • One final comment, then I’ll shut up as I probably should have several posts ago. It crossed my mind that sea ice is an issue with the bridge to the mainland on the other side of the island. So it possibly is on the North coast as well. I wouldn’t be surprised that big chunks of solidly frozen water being sloshed around by waves might hasten erosion a bit. But fortunately after — what is the date now? … 2020? that won’t be a problem any more. The island will be saved by global warming. At least for a century or five until the sea engulfs it. (AR5 puts the likely worst case sea level rise in this century at about a meter). https://www.ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=BBD52602-1

  22. Willis, you say “So the Canadian Provincial Government decided that they should be allocated some land for a reservation. Negotiations began in the late 1700’s.”, however, P.E.I. didn’t join the Canadian federation until 1873. What’s up with that?

    • Thanks, garymount. My bad, it was called something like the “Maritimes” back then or such. I fear I’m not at all au courant with Canadian history, mea culpa. Anyhow, you should read about it in the linked file, it’s all quite an amazing story.
      w.

    • It’d be better for a Canadian to answer your question. They’d be more likely to get it right. But the short answer is that there were more than 13 British crown colonies in Atlantic North America. And each had its own local government. The colonies North of the present US-Canadian border slowly federated to become present day Canada. Indeed, Newfoundland and Labrador didn’t join up until 1949. see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Confederation#Colonial_organization.

  23. Just for fun. “Kennessee” and the Walker Line.
    There are lots of issues with boundaries in the USA; and elsewhere.
    The Kentucky and Tennessee line is famous.
    http://tngenweb.org/campbell/hist-bogan/surveyor.html
    http://www.tnhistoryforkids.org/geography/bordernorth
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Now for land that moves:
    Washaway Beach, WA
    http://www.washawaybeach.com/gallery/tide08.html
    Washaway Beach is, well, washing away. The photo above is number 8 in a series by Erika Langley. Google Earth will locate Washaway Beach, WA for you. A couple of years ago the erosion took a few houses and so was much in the news, but this has been an on-going problem for many years.
    The name is not new.

  24. Willis,
    From the variety of the things you research and the depth that you do so, no one can ever claim that you have a one-track mind!
    Interesting post as always.

  25. “A tiny island off the Atlantic coast is shrinking as the climate warms and the seas rise. But its indigenous people aren’t waiting for global help: They’re taking action now.”
    Standards of journalism. I count at least 6 mistakes in 2 sentences.
    1. island isnt shrinking
    2. island isnt shrinking due to climate warming or sea rising, as implied.
    3. people are not truly indigenous, they are transplanted there from elsewhere.
    4. no one is expecting ‘global help’ later for a non problem, as implied.
    5. no one is taking meaningful ‘action’ for a non problem, and
    6. they are not taking action ‘now’ rather than later from ‘global help’, as implied.
    It is likely that any such land-related issues would be undertaken by local and regional government, not global government.
    It’s also arguable the island isn’t really ‘tiny’, and
    that it isnt ‘off the Atlantic coast’, being in a delta.
    So that’s perhaps 8 or 9, give or take.
    Somebody inform Nat Geo, who used to be interested in geography and not fantasy.

  26. VERY well done Willis. This is exactly why I don’t subscribe to National Geographic anymore. When they get history, geography, hydrology, and climate change all wrong in a single article, there’s no point to the magazine’s existence.

    • (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

      • (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

      • I’ve subscribed to it for decades. Obviously the vast majority of subscribers don’t agree with your subjective, unobjective opinion, since circulation is growing, swimming against the tide for newspapers in general.
        Why am I not surprised that actual data don’t interest you?

      • You didn’t notice the change?
        ..
        (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

      • You didn’t notice the change?
        ..
        (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

      • Gloateus Maximus:
        .
        (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

      • Your opinion doesn’t matter. The fact that its circulation has grown under Murdoch shows he’s right and you’re wrong. No surprise because he’s best at what he does.
        The WSJ still covers business. How is finance not relevant to business? The fact that it now has a bigger sports section apparently has helped it succeed.
        What the Bancrofts think also doesn’t count. I wouldn’t still pay for it if it didn’t provide the info I want at a price I’m willing to pay.

      • “The WSJ still covers business.”
        ….
        (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

  27. I remember visiting a coastal Georgia island years ago. This island migrates north. At the South end, tree stumps are sticking out of the beach. At the North end, a hotel that had been built on the beach was how hundreds of meters from the beach after a single storm dropped millions of tons of sand. I bet the hotel owners were not happy. This idea of stasis is just so naive.

    • We visited Jekkyll Island (late 1960s or early 1970s) and have lots of 35mm color slides (somewhere). All the processes of barrier islands are well developed. We also visited the Okefenokee Swamp, believed to have formed behind coastal dunes or an offshore barrier island. That elevated land is called Trail Ridge and the Swamp is west of that, about 40 miles from the Atlantic. The ridge of sand and gravel extends southward to near Lake Okeechobee in Florida. These are great places to study natural history.
      Like others above – we no longer subscribe to National Geographic nor to Scientific American.

  28. Lennox Island residents are hardly “northern” Indians . PEI is one of North America’s warmest and most pleasant summer resorts, with the warmest waters north of Virginia in the summer. They live in a paradise.

    • I visited P.E.I as a child and it was an awesome playground. I only problem I had was that no one warned me that the tide had gone out for almost a mile…I thought I was standing at the shore line on a little hump of sand playing with these nasty looking tube worms..Then the tide came back in…really fast ! Luckily I could run the mile a little faster on account of being “scared shitless ! ” Ah memories….LOL

  29. Much like the sincerity of fabulous wealth from a Nigerian prince’s email, the perishing island sea level rise disaster scam stories are designed for those folks either scientifically ignorant or, worse, unethically opportunistic. Mr. Eschenbach does some basic fact checking( which any honest publication should have already done) and quickly and easily disarms the alarmism with the overtly obvious explanation this phony crisis is the same old normal non-rock island activity caused by routine currents and /or subsidence. Can it be these pseudoscience modern day dime novelists be so lazy? Or, could it be they are just so greedy knowing perpetuating the myth pays far more than telling the truth? Who really knows what is in their hearts? How many times does this sea level boogeyman need to be exposed before integrity begins to seep back into general publishing?

  30. I’ve written before about the crazy claims of “climate refugees”,

    The State of Florida has, in the past few years, been subject to a vast influx of Climate Refugees.
    To wit:

    Florida passes NY as third largest state at 19.9M people
    Orlando Sentinel – December 23, 2014
    Census figures released Tuesday show Florida passed New York as the nation’s third largest state with an estimated population of 19.9 million. New York, now fourth, has 19.7 million.
    Frey says the milestone caps a decades-long trend of northern migration to the South.
    “It’s a symbol of a half-century of Snowbelt to Sunbelt growth,” Frey said.
    Among other Southern states, North Carolina passed Michigan as the ninth largest state and Georgia, ranked eighth, passed the 10 million mark.
    Excerpted from: http://touch.orlandosentinel.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-82378148/

  31. Willis. Before sending to natG… The map label is 1520 and not 1320. Go back and zoom on the source you provided. This means there is some scale issues and more missing land than you suggest. Or an error in the original survey/map marking?

    • Kirkc December 27, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Willis. Before sending to natG… The map label is 1520 and not 1320. Go back and zoom on the source you provided. This means there is some scale issues and more missing land than you suggest. Or an error in the original survey/map marking?

      Actually, Kirk, I started out with that belief, and so originally I scaled the map to that size. However, that gave me serious trouble in making it agree to any of the other maps. It was also far, far from the modern size.
      In addition, recall that the original survey of the island was reported in the cited study, and was given (in 1875, five years before the map date), as being 1320 acres. The dates make me suspect that the survey and the map are related. The 1320 acre figure also fits with what the islanders themselves are saying in the article.
      Unfortunately, the original that I’m working from is blurred ’cause I’m not wealthy enough to waste $20 on the full-res map. I’ve squinted at the map blown up as big as I can, and I can’t tell if it’s a 3 or a 5. My conclusion is that either Marcus is right and it’s an old-school Canadian 3, or it’s a misprint on the map.
      In either case, you can be sure that I’ve investigated the 1520 versus 1320 acre question most carefully, and my conclusion from several lines of evidence is that it is 1320 acres, not 1520.
      Thanks for your sharp eyes, nullius in verba,
      w.

      • Willis, May I send you my results back channel? I have no idea how to add pictures to a reply. Then again, I have no idea how to contact you either. It is most certainly 1520 acres.

      • Kirk, if the pictures are available on the web, you just need to add a link to them of the form:

        https://someplace/somepage/somepicture.jpg

        or whatever the URL for the image is. If the image is not on the web, then put it up using a free service, I use Dropbox, and then do the same. Just put in the URL for the picture and WordPress does the rest.
        w.

      • Kirk, I forgot to mention two other lines of evidence. There is a separate Canadian record of the establishment of the reservation around 1880. In that document, the area of the island is also given as 1320 acres. (The reservation actually includes one other piece of land off-island, which is given as 204 acres, making the total reservation 1524 acres.)
        Next, if the map indeed does show 1520 acres, then something marvelous has taken place—the island has lost a full 200 acres while maintaining almost exactly the same shoreline shape except at the north end. This would require that it eroded almost equally everywhere … not likely.
        Taken with all the other lines of evidence I gave above, I still hold that the 1880 map shows an actual island area of 1320 acres.
        w.

      • Kirk, one further line of evidence is given by the position of the roads on the island. When I take the modern outline plus the modern roads, and I line it up with the roads shown on the two maps, both the outline and the roads line up as shown in the figures above … which they would not do if the maps actually showed 1520 acres.
        Best regards,
        w.

      • Willis, trust me, it’s a 3..I ran into the same problem with Canadian documents while doing my Canadian family’s Genealogy…

      • Willis Eschenbach
        December 27, 2015 at 11:44 am ………..
        ” Unfortunately, the original that I’m working from is blurred ’cause I’m not wealthy enough to waste $20 on the full-res map “.
        Willis, you blew all that ” Big Oil Money ” already ?? I thought all us skeptics were rich oil barons now !! LOL

  32. ‘Minds me of the stupid drive to stop flooding in Bangladesh. Which IS a river delta. No flooding, no delta!

  33. Surveyors nowadays with the help of precision instruments and GPS like to keep the errors down to about a 1/4 “.
    That is in the horizontal, vertical can be a more difficult proposition.
    (local gravity mostly).
    I imagine those old-timers could easily measure things to the nearest foot when necessary, or nearest 10 feet when it wasn’t critical.

  34. Willis,
    Thanks for the lesson in wordpress. Here goes.
    Ok, so I grabbed the picture from you source. I first blew it up to make it as clear as possible and then did a screen grab.
    I also took the time to measure the original map pixels (dimensions provided at the source) and determined that the max length of the island was about 12,470 feet (give or take)
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ox2q5bovrtla4g/1520.JPG?dl=0
    I did a transparent overlay using Google Earth Pro so I could also measure the acreage using polygons.
    I set the height to the 12,470 foot length and rotated so the magnetic north was aligned (about 18.5 degrees).
    BTW: I checked the magnetic change over the last 200 years for this local and its within about 1/2 degree so close enough.
    Not entirely sure if the map was scaling correctly for width, so I adjusted slightly to get the required 1520 acres as called out.
    Here is the old map overlayed with the red line marking a best guess at shoreline.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rd0ei9edubrk2t4/1820Area1520.JPG?dl=0
    And below you can see the 2012 version with the outline in Blue. This worked out to 1360 acres and you can see where the missing bits are and where a bit of reclaim is going on.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xy4ivyzzl5netdh/2012Area1355.JPG?dl=0
    and now the current blue placed on the old original map
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/pd1h9ybacced8zw/Compare.JPG?dl=0
    Some sanity checks for location… There are some old trails and corners in the roads that align fairly well with existing roads. Majour peat bogs are also fairly well represented. interesting that the south shore is fairly well aligned except for the Cemetery and point that has washed into the sea.
    I’m agreeing totally with your original comments about this being the shifting sands of a river delta and is in no way related to any sea-level rise. I just wanted to point out that the areas do seem to align within a small margin of error.
    Best,
    Kirk

  35. There is something that just draws me to maps.
    Maybe it is that old gene, when making plans to surround the gazelle herd.
    Or outflank the other tribe.
    Maps drawn in the dirt.
    There is something about maps that fascinates me.

  36. QV provided a link to an article speaking about Nicholas Hulot, Special Envoy to the Prime Minister for Protection of the Planet. Beyond the gaseous title, a Mr. Hulot? Really? Perhaps Jacques Tati could have invented such an absurdity, but if he had it would be funny.

  37. I’m wondering how many more cases of this are out there. A similar story of Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay was written awhile ago. The article pointed out that some of the cemeteries have had bodies coming out of them due to the rising waters.Tide gauges in the area go back little more than a hundred years and show about a 3-4 mm change in sea level in the area. Couldn’t find any maps online that might give an indication of how the island might have changed over the years but it’s basically a little more than a mud flat (one foot a century is probably going to have a negative effect but it’s been going on longer than global warming, er climate change). I wonder if freighter traffic in the Bay as well as dredging and subsidence have had any effect on the area also.

  38. Good piece of journalistic research of a kind not practised or likely taught anymore. You fill a remarkable eclectic vacuum, Willis.
    Cell phone typing. I haven’t read the other comments but I am sure someone from the area has remarked on the genocide visited upon these people by melanin deficient forbears. They were hunted down to the last person in Newfoundland and fared not a lot better in the rest of the Maritime provinces.
    I’m sure if the feckless ‘researchers’ at the terminally I’ll natgeo knew this, their story would have been a lot juicier. Note it’s an org which has the misnomer ‘geographical’ unabashedly in its name, but don’t expect them to understand the geog of coastal estuaries and their sandspits and bars.

  39. I wonder if the Zulu were the first recorded climate refugees? Thir rampage down through Africa ( so i read) was initiated by the Sahara eating up their homeland and forcing them south away from the encroaching sand, in to conflct with the tribe there! This would coincide with the LIA and the loss of CO2 killing off the plant life in marginal areas the opposite of what we see now with recovering levels! Ant thoughts??

  40. You’ve turned a throwaway bit of propaganda into a fascinating cartography, geography and history lesson, Willis . . Thank you.

  41. Equipped with this new map, the native inhabitants of the island will be able to wade out of the submerged area and move toward the accreting area. Perhaps something similar could be done for places such as New York to prevent the death by drowning of millions of innocent people by water levels rising by 2mm per year! If they see their current location to be in the map area depicted as wet and their feet feel “squishy”, they could relocate to an area perhaps 2 feet away where there is no water. Should I send this suggestion to Homeland Security or the mayor of New York?

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