Alarmism Dies In The Maldives: 97% Of 186 Island Coasts Have Grown (59%) Or Not Changed (38%) Since 2005

Reposted from NoTricksZone

By Kenneth Richard on 21. December 2020

Despite sea level rise, a 2019 global analysis (Duvat, 2019) found 89% of 709 island coasts have been either stable or growing in size in recent decades. A new Maldives-only study (Duvat, 2020) finds rapid (>3 to >50%) coastal growth in 110 of 186 Maldives islands from 2005 to 2016. Just 5 islands – 2.7% – actually contracted in size during this period.

Last year Dr. Virginie Duvat published a global assessment of how the Earth’s islands and atolls are faring against the ongoing challenge of sea level rise since satellite monitoring began in the 1980s.

Fortunately she found “no widespread sign of physical destabilization in the face of sea-level rise.” In fact, a) none of the 30 atolls analyzed lost land area, b) 88.6% of the 709 islands studied were either stable or increased in area, c) no island larger than 10 hectare (ha) decreased in size, and d) only 4 of 334 islands (1.2%) larger than 5 ha had decreased in size.

Image Source: Duvat, 2019

This year Dr. Duvat has focused on the Maldives islands, a region characterized as one of the most vulnerable to sea level rise perturbation. About 80% of the islands are less than 1 meter (m) above sea level.

Considering the Maldives population (>400,000) has been doubling every 25 years since the 1960s and nearly 1.3 million tourists visit many of the 188 inhabited islands every year, the Maldives islands are critical to ongoing assessment of the effects of modern sea level change.

And, fortunately, like it has for the rest of the globe, the Maldives are faring quite well.

Due significantly to human ingenuity – engineering feats such as island raising, artificially expanding island areas, and “armoring” shorelines – most of the Maldives have actually expanded in size in recent decades.

Since 2005, 110 (59.1%) of the 186 islands studied grew by ≥3%. Of those 110 expanding islands, 57 grew by  ≥10% and 19 grew by ≥50% (Duvat, 2020). Again, that’s just in the last decade.

Of the islands that didn’t expand in size, 38.2% (71 islands) were classified as stable (defined as neither growing or contracting by more than 3%). This leaves only 5 islands out of 186 (2.7%) that decreased in size since the 1980s.

Put another way, 97.3% of Maldives islands have been either stable or growing in size since 2005.

Image Source: Duvat, 2020

Another new study (Kench et al., 2020) helpfully presents the long-term context of Holocene sea level for the Maldives. We find that islands that are above sea level today were submerged beneath seawater as recently as 3,000 years ago.

From about 4,000 to 2,000 years ago, Maldives sea levels were about 0.5 m above where they are today. Natural oscillations of ~0.8 m in a few centuries have occurred in the last few thousand years, including dips during the Late Antique Little Ice Age (~1600 years ago) and Little Ice Age (~400 years ago).

Modern sea level changes do not appear to fall outside the range of natural variability.

Image Source: Kench et al., 2020
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December 22, 2020 2:05 pm

I see that this research confirms the mid-Holocene high stand, proof for higher than present temperatures.

John Tillman
December 22, 2020 2:08 pm

Which should come as no surprise to those familiar with Charles Darwin’s hypothetical explanation for coral atolls, since shown correct.

Danny Davis
Reply to  John Tillman
December 22, 2020 11:03 pm

From “Science Digest”: Darwin’s theory about coral reef atolls is fatally flawedScientists compile new evidence that atolls are formed by cyclic changes in sea level
October 13, 2020
Rice University
Charles Darwin’s 1842 theory about the formation of ring-shaped reefs, called atolls, is incorrect, but ‘it’s so beautiful, so simple and pleasing’ that it still appears in textbooks and university courses, said a marine geologist. The accurate description is more complicated, and biologists are hoping to set the record straight.

The story is found here:

It seems that climate change is responsible!! Climate changes due to cyclical Ice Ages and the huge changes in sea level because of glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere.

Reply to  Danny Davis
December 23, 2020 1:07 am

Here is the abstract

In 1842, Darwin identified three types of reefs: fringing reefs, which are directly attached to volcanic islands; barrier reefs, which are separated from volcanic islands by lagoons; and ring reefs, which enclose only a lagoon and are defined as atolls. Moreover, he linked these reef types through an evolutionary model in which an atoll is the logical end point of a subsiding volcanic edifice, as he was unaware of Quaternary glaciations. As an alternative, starting in the 1930s, several authors proposed the antecedent karst model; in this model, atolls formed as a direct interaction between subsidence and karst dissolution that occurred preferentially in the bank interiors rather than on their margins through exposure during glacial lowstands of sea level. Atolls then developed during deglacial reflooding of the glacial karstic morphologies by preferential stacked coral-reef growth along their margins. Here, a comprehensive new model is proposed, based on the antecedent karst model and well-established sea-level fluctuations during the last 5 million years, by demonstrating that most modern atolls from the Maldives Archipelago and from the tropical Pacific and southwest Indian Oceans are rooted on top of late Pliocene flat-topped banks. The volcanic basement, therefore, has had no influence on the late Quaternary development of these flat-topped banks into modern atolls. During the multiple glacial sea-level lowstands that intensified throughout the Quaternary, the tops of these banks were karstified; then, during each of the five mid-to-late Brunhes deglaciations, coral reoccupied their raised margins and grew vertically, keeping up with sea-level rise and creating the modern atolls.

Reply to  Hans Erren
December 23, 2020 11:15 pm

As usual the research isn’t as alarmistic as the editorial surrounding it. This is a fine tuning of the Darwin atoll model.

Andy Espersen
Reply to  Danny Davis
December 23, 2020 1:52 am

What nonsense. Darwin’s explanation was spot on – only he thought the islands were subsiding. Geologists in those days thought all earth movements were only up or down.

Reply to  Andy Espersen
December 23, 2020 5:07 pm

They <i>are</i> subsiding, like all oceanic volcanic piles. Ultimately the corals can’t keep up, or plate movement move the islands out of the zone where corals grow and the island turns into a guyot.

However it is probably true that the currently very large coral reefs are due to glaciations, more paticularly that the last 7 interglacials have all topped out at more or less the same sea level. Drillings through major reefs seem to indicate that they are all about 800,000 years old.
Oddly enough it does not seem to have to have occurred to climate scientists that if sea levels were really 10 meters higher during the last integlacial, then there wouldn’t <i>be</i> any low atolls.

Andy Espersen
December 22, 2020 2:13 pm

What’s new??

Darwin knew 175 years ago – even wrote a little book about the phenomenon of coral islands. And he knew – even before knowing about regular ice-ages causing huge sea-level changes.

Reply to  Andy Espersen
December 22, 2020 2:29 pm

Too bad his origin of the species turned out to be wrong. But congrats to Chuck on the coral atoll work!

John V. Wright
December 22, 2020 2:30 pm

Thank heavens that the Maldives – long threatened, apparently, by the rise of manmade CO2 emissions – managed to use global warming funds allocated by ‘guilty’ western nations to build another four airports! Otherwise, they may have grown even larger and lost their bijou attraction to tourists – well played Maldives Government!

sarc tag (obviously)

Andy Espersen
Reply to  John V. Wright
December 22, 2020 9:57 pm

Well, those 4 airports will not play along with nature’s way of doing it – if sea levels really do rise to any marked extent in the near future. Like all tar-sealed roads and concrete buildings they will all be covered with sand – won’t they??

Gary Pearse
December 22, 2020 2:45 pm

When I studied geology in the 1950s it was already very old knowledge that coral islands and river deltas grew to keep pace with sea level rise and were eroded down when sea level fell for very good and understandable reasons. I’ve gone on about this a number of times.

The growing ignorance and erasure of knowledge is stupifying. We could have been spared the thousands of brainless notions and ideas ‘figured out’ by climate “scientists” had they walked across the quadrangle and asked geologists, chemists, engineers … for their take before making fools of themselves. How can you make a model of things with even a soupçon of reality if you don’t have an understanding of fundamental things.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 23, 2020 5:28 pm

It’s so hard to walk across the quad; much easier to code in a model that gives the results you want.

December 22, 2020 2:58 pm

Okay, now how many runways were added and resort square footage? And how many climate shaman booked rooms there to celebrate their fleecing gains during the year? As Mike Mann would say, those resorts with the tropical drinks served with the little umbrellas.

Cliff Hiilton
December 22, 2020 3:16 pm

Our great former president, Obama, should be happy. That’s a relief.

Bryan A
Reply to  Cliff Hiilton
December 22, 2020 8:36 pm

It’s also a ReReef

December 22, 2020 3:47 pm

Some people laughed in 2009 when the Maldives government held an underwater conference about the islands shrinking & being swamped by the rising seas & a new study proves them right…because since then, 5 islands have contracted in size.

( Shh, don’t mention the 181 (97.3%) Maldives islands that have been either stable or growing in size since 2005, or that 3,000yrs ago the islands were completely submerged )

So, who’s laughing nowWe ALL are !!!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  saveenergy
December 22, 2020 6:49 pm

“Some people laughed in 2009 when the Maldives government held an underwater conference about the islands shrinking & being swamped by the rising seas”

I recall seeing a picture of that meeting with half a dozen people in scuba gear sitting around a table under water, blowing bubbles, trying to make a point about sea level rise. What a farce that was! And they thought they were really being clever.

Now we see how wrong they were.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 22, 2020 8:56 pm

Now we see how wrong deceitful they were.

Wow, that was a pretty bad typo, Tom. But never fear! I fixed it for you! 🙂

December 22, 2020 4:25 pm

This would have been obvious if the alarmists had not uprooted and thrown away the tree.

We do note that the tree uprooting alarmists’ failed in their attempt to disguise their disappearing Maldives’ islands scam.

Discussion regarding the tree starts around 7:44.

Javert Chip
December 22, 2020 4:55 pm

I dunno, guys. I’m waiting for Dr Duvat to be “disappeared”. You simply cannot conduct a climate science discussion with unequivocally accurate & meaningful data.

And, no I’m not being sarcastic.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Javert Chip
December 22, 2020 6:41 pm

Yes, Dr. Duvat is definitely on shaky ground with the alarmist crowd. Her report puts the lie to the alarmist claim that all these islands will be underwater shortly because of human-caused CO2.

Dr. Duvat has made the mistake of telling the truth.

December 22, 2020 8:36 pm


Due significantly to human ingenuity – engineering feats such as island raising, artificially expanding island areas, and “armoring” shorelines – most of the Maldives have actually expanded in size in recent decades.”

So it isn’t natural growth.

The people have been able to stave off the disaster for a short while, but soon their efforts will be insufficient, and the islands will go under.

They are doomed!

Doomed, I tell you!


December 22, 2020 9:33 pm

Gee, with the population doubling every 25 years or so, Hank Johnson will be stating in congress soon that the islands will tip over.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  BruceC
December 23, 2020 4:01 am

I thought of ole Hank when I was reading this article. I wonder if he is aware of how ignorant his statement was? As far as I know, he may still think it is a possiblity that islands can tip over by piling too much weight on one side.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 23, 2020 9:37 am

There was a similar argument some years ago, that the eastern seaboard of the US was going to sink because of the buildup of old copies of National Geographics in people’s basements.

And yes, it was a spoof.

Joel O'Bryan
December 22, 2020 9:58 pm

The UN-Global Climate Scam propaganda rules dictate that the compliant media remain silent on all failed climate alarmist claims.
Rule 1: Never acknowledge failures since it was a made-up lie anyways.

So from the media re: Maldives…. (crickets).

Matthew Sykes
December 23, 2020 12:21 am

Coral keeps pace with sea level. Well who would have thought that….

December 23, 2020 3:00 am

Having been to many islands in the Maldives over the last 25 years, I have seen evidence of islands changing shape but no evidence of sea level rise. Every year sand moves around the islands depending on the prevailing winds but, over all, there seems to have been no issue with rising seas. Well worth a visit if you are a diver!

Tim Spnce
December 23, 2020 4:35 am

I thought the Maldives were 1,196 islands

Reply to  Tim Spnce
December 23, 2020 9:41 am

I don’t know the answer, but one possibility is the definition of “island.” Is a rock or sand bar that only sticks up above water at low tide an island? What if the rock or bar is connected to a larger island at low tide, but separated by water at high tide? (The tides in the Maldives are only about 0.2m, so probably not too significant there.) Also, how large does something have to be to constitute an island? Is a rock or coral head whose above surface part is five feet across an island?

Reply to  mcswell
December 24, 2020 1:36 am

“Is a rock or coral head whose above surface part is five feet across an island?”

When is an island not an island? Ask the Chinese…

Tim Spence
Reply to  Tim Spnce
December 24, 2020 4:49 am

1192 islands, I was 4 out.
But only 200 are inhabited.
Total land area 300 sq km.
Does have some industry apart from tourism but the main activity is snorkelling and diving, so why do they call them the ‘Maldives’?

December 23, 2020 6:45 am

Well this photo has always been gold.

December 24, 2020 5:04 am

Does this imply my application for a grant for Club de Maldives de la Climactic Apocalypse has slipped a place or two in the pecking order?

Kriva Adresa
December 25, 2020 10:20 am

“Watts Up With That? (WUWT) is a blog[1] promoting climate change denial[7] that was created by Anthony Watts in 2006.[2][3]”…..says Wikipedia…. and this is a point where I move on.

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