View of Male the capital city of Maldives

Science Yields Surprises! Island Nations Growing… “Atoll, Island Stability Is Global Trend”!

From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin

Despite what we hear from the media and climate activists, hard scientific findings show that Pacific and Indian Ocean island nations are doing just fine…not at all sinking away. 

Sea level rise alarmists are hip deep in exaggeration. Image: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. 

IPCC high-end sea level predictions for 2100 are “highly erroneous”. 

Global warming alarmists like to claim that Pacific island nations are on the verge of disappearing – due to rising sea levels caused by polar ice melting due to global warming, which in turn supposedly is caused by rising concentrations of “heat-trapping” trace gas CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels.

These coral reef island nations risk going under real soon, unless we wean ourselves from fossil fuels soon, they say.

Coral reef island nations are emerging, not disappearing

But yesterday Kenneth here presented a new paper appearing in Nature, (Kench et al., 2023), which looks at whether the coral reef islands are in fact seeing unprecedented and undergoing accelerating physical changes that risk outrunning human adaptation measures. The authors analyzed the dynamics of a Maldivian reef island at millennial to decadal timescales.

Recent changes not unprecedented

The researchers found that “island change over the past half-century (±40 m movement) is not unprecedented compared with paleo-dynamic evidence”.

Nothing unusual is happening. The global data suggest that almost all islands are in fact growing, and not  disappearing under water like climate alarmists mistakenly believe.

“Recent shoreline changes (±40 m/50 years) are ‘dwarfed’ by the shoreline changes (±200 m/100 years) that occurred throughout previous centuries,” the study’s authors write.

 89% of all the globe’s islands are stable, or growing!

Moreover, just 4 years ago, another peer-reviewed publication appearing in a renowned journal found similar results: 89% of the globe’s islands and 100% of large islands have stable or growing coasts! According to Duvat, 2019:

“88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted. It is noteworthy that no island larger than 10 ha decreased in size. These results show that atoll and island areal stability is a global trend, whatever the rate of sea-level rise.”

Moreover, Khan et al (2018) found: “Prediction of 4–6.6 ft sea level rise in the next 91 years between 2009 and 2100 is highly erroneous.”

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March 7, 2023 2:06 pm

Another alarmist claim not realized.

Tom Halla
March 7, 2023 2:26 pm

As long as the coral can grow faster than sea level rise, atolls should be stable or growing.

spangled drongo
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 7, 2023 9:07 pm

One eighth of as millimetre a year? They should do that:

March 7, 2023 2:40 pm

Well Singapore could sink if the wealthy keep piling onboard to escape all the global policy fails and tax raids.

Steve Case
Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 7, 2023 3:01 pm

I’ll be there tomorrow morning, I’ll give you a first hand report if it’s still there

Reply to  Steve Case
March 8, 2023 6:04 am

Lucky beggar. Have you been to Jurong bird park?

Last edited 19 days ago by Disputin
Reply to  Disputin
March 8, 2023 7:36 am

I went to the zoo there one time, and the animals can be sponsored and supported by individuals or families. The one that I liked was a Hippopotamus “sponsored by Dr. H Chan, in memory of his wife” I would like to have seen pictures to compare the two.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  steveastrouk2017
March 9, 2023 12:21 pm

Maybe the Hippo ate his wife, thereby leading to the “connection” making it part of his “memory” of his dearly departed.

Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
March 8, 2023 2:42 pm

The ship just tied up, Singapore is still here (-:

March 7, 2023 2:41 pm

Surprises? I first wrote about this in a peer-reviewed journal article in 2004.

This was followed by my 2010 posts “Floating Islands” and “The Irony, It Burns“.

In 2013 I wrote “Why The Parrotfish Should Be The National Bird

Then in 2016 I wrote again in a post entitled “The Unsinkable ‘Sinking Atolls’ Meme“.

In 2017 I wrote “Parrotfish Vindicated“, when science caught up with my 2013 post.

At this point, anyone who is surprised that coral atolls are not disappearing underwater hasn’t been paying attention.


Last edited 19 days ago by Willis Eschenbach
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 7, 2023 7:48 pm

Yes Willis, thanks to you & a few others broadcasting the truth on atoll growth anyone who wanted to know has been well informed on the fact that coral islands are in no danger

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 8, 2023 1:09 am

We all knew it ever since Darwin made it clear. As settled a piece of science as one could imagine with or without peer review.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 9, 2023 12:23 pm

Or willfully disregard information that does not conform to their neo-religious beliefs.

Rud Istvan
March 7, 2023 2:51 pm

Three observations.

  1. The ‘islands will disappear’ alarm was based on climate models predicting sea level rise would accelerate. The models were wrong; there is no dGPS vertical land motion adjusted long record tide gauge evidence for acceleration. NONE.
  2. Tuvalu and the rest were happy to go along with the (1) false alarm (underwater cabinet meetings) in order to demand climate reparations BEFORE they disappeared. Alas, that money has not appeared despite their wailings.
  3. The alarmists and islanders forgot what Darwin first discovered during the Beagle voyage—coral atoll islands are living things and easily adjust to slowish changes in sea level so long as they are not overfished. So most are actually accreting island surface area. Those darned observational satellites!
Gunga Din
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 8, 2023 8:46 am

Tuvalu will be submerged with the next “Super-Duper Moon”.

Steve Case
March 7, 2023 2:52 pm

“Moreover, Khan et al (2018) found: “Prediction of 4–6.6 ft sea level rise in the next 91 years between 2009 and 2100 is highly erroneous.”

Who predicts 4 – 6 feet by 2100?

Well anyway, the satellite boys at Colorado University’s Sea Level Research Group do predict 0.65 meters of sea level rise by 2100 and that is just as erroneous.

Putting up obvious straw men doesn’t win arguments.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Steve Case
March 7, 2023 2:59 pm

Who predicts? Hansen himself has done so in several papers.

Steve Case
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 7, 2023 3:26 pm

You are right about that. The graphic that accompanied his paper showed sea level rising a millimeter per day by December 2099.

I’m on an IPad bobbing around on the ocean, otherwise I’d post a link to that very silly paper.

Thanks for posting the reminder.

Reply to  Steve Case
March 7, 2023 6:29 pm

I’m on an IPad bobbing around on the ocean,

iPads can be used as floatation devices?

Steve Case
Reply to  Mr.
March 7, 2023 8:33 pm

HA Ha ha

Mark BLR
Reply to  Steve Case
March 8, 2023 4:26 am

Who predicts 4 – 6 feet by 2100?

“Prediction” is a loaded word, but many “projections” beyond the 4 to 6 feet (120 to 180 cm) level are given serious consideration in many papers, and by the IPCC, even if they are given “low confidence” likelihood levels.

The attached screenshot is of Figure 9.29 in the AR6 WG-I assessment report.(on page 1304 of the “Final / Approved” version released in May 2022).

The “SEJ (Structured Expert Judgement)” extremes come from Bamber et al (2019), and are discussed in detail in “Box 9.4 : High-end Storyline of 21st-century Sea Level Rise”, on pages 1308 and 1309.

From the abstract to the Bamber et al (2019) paper :

Here, we report the findings of a structured expert judgement study, using unique techniques for modeling correlations between inter- and intra-ice sheet processes and their tail dependences.

For a +5 °C temperature scenario more consistent with unchecked emissions growth, the corresponding values are 51 and 178 cm, respectively. Inclusion of thermal expansion and glacier contributions results in a global total SLR estimate that exceeds 2m at the 95th percentile. Our findings support the use of scenarios of 21st century global total SLR exceeding 2m for planning purposes.

While “predictions” of SLR by 2100 in the “4 to 6 feet” (120 to 180 cm) range are “outliers” in the scientific literature, they do exist … and are prominently featured in the latest IPCC assessment reports.

For example, in “Cross Chapter Box DEEP : Effective adaptation and decision-making under deep uncertainties” on page 2578 of the AR6 WG-II … Working Group Two !, or “Adaptation” … report the above “low confidence” scenario is recycled as follows :

To better communicate deep uncertainty, WGI AR6 complements projections of likely global mean sea level change, driven by processes in which there is at least medium confidence, with projections that incorporate ice-sheet processes in which there is low confidence (Section 9.6.3 in Fox-Kemper et al., 2021). The latter are accompanied by storylines to highlight the physical processes that would generate extreme outcomes (Box 9.4 in Fox-Kemper et al., 2021). These low confidence projections and storylines are useful because the likelihood of high-end (>1.5 m) global mean sea level (GMSL) rise in the 21st century is difficult to determine but important to consider in coastal settings (e.g., Cross-Chapter Paper 2; Cross-Chapter Box SLR in Chapter 3). High-end GMSL rise by 2100 could be caused by earlier-than-projected disintegration of marine ice shelves, the abrupt, widespread onset of marine ice sheet instability and marine ice cliff instability around Antarctica, or faster-than-projected changes in the surface mass balance and dynamical ice loss from Greenland (Box TS.4 in Arias et al., 2021; Box 9.4 in Fox-Kemper et al., 2021). In a low-likelihood, high-impact storyline and a high CO2 emissions scenario, such processes could in combination contribute more than one additional metre of sea level rise by 2100 (Box TS.4 in Arias et al., 2021; Section 9.6.3 and Box 9.4 in Fox-Kemper et al., 2021).

What do you (plural) think that the media headlines about future SLR are going to highlight ?

Are they going to limit themselves to the “processes in which there is at least medium confidence”, or are they going to focus with laser-like intensity on the “low-likelihood, high-impact storyline” ?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Mark BLR
March 9, 2023 1:31 pm

Yes, wild predictions are “outliers” and are assigned “low confidence.” Which means they belong nowhere near anything even PRETENDING to be “science.”

Yet, they are “prominently featured” in the “latest IPCC reports.” Q’elle surprise!

What they are counting on is that the gullible and the foaming-at-the-mouth “media” will never see how much such predictions are “outliers” or the footnote indicating the prediction rates “low confidence,” but they’ll remember -and endlessly and breathlessly repeat – the “prediction.”

Reply to  Steve Case
March 8, 2023 9:16 am

Most of the tide-gauge data show sea level rise rates between 2 and 3 mm/yr with no sign of acceleration over 100 years or more. Even at the high end, 3 mm/yr over the 77 years remaining in this century comes out to 231 mm, or about 9.1 inches, nowhere near 4 feet.

As Isaac Newton pointed out centuries ago, acceleration requires a force. What “force” do these sea-level alarmists think will accelerate sea-level rise, if it hasn’t been acting over the past 100 years?

For those who love low sea levels, during the ice age, people could walk from Siberia to Alaska without getting their feet wet, but about half the United States and most of Canada was under ice more than a kilometer thick year-round. A lot of tropical islands were larger then than now, but a return to the ice age would have horrible effects on North American agriculture.

March 7, 2023 3:06 pm

The truth it’s a wonderful thing.

Right-Handed Shark
March 7, 2023 3:14 pm
Last edited 19 days ago by Right-Handed Shark
Gary Pearse
March 7, 2023 3:34 pm

“Science Yields Surprises! Island Nations Growing…”

This was known to Darwin! During A-bomb testing in the 1950s, Bikini Atoll was drilled to investigate the geology before testing. They found the island was underlain by 120m of coral limestone, below which was a volcanic mound – the island had grown upward120 m keeping pace with sealevel rise caused by melting continental glaciers of the last glacial maximum, 12,000 yrs ago.

Next science is going to discover that river deltas also follow sealevel rise, too. I learned both these things in first year geology in the late 1950s.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 8, 2023 1:40 am

The only surprise is that they believe to have found something new.

March 7, 2023 3:55 pm


Somehow, I always thot that the tropical coral would like warmer ocean water and hence prosper. Then basic currents and movement of sand would tend to grow islands and atolls versus flooding them.

No doubt that sea level was much lower and even higher thousands of years ago, and it was all before mankind learned to burn petro in engines and power plants.

Gums sends…

March 7, 2023 4:54 pm

It never ceases to amaze that so many self satisfied people claiming smugly to be “pro science” are so obviously scientific illiterates, indeed scientific morons.

Anybody at all familiar with oceanic coastlines – such as sailors, beach goers, fishermen, divers, or anyone with any responsibilities for maintenance and operations of coastal areas – automatically understands that erodible coastlines constantly change, eroding and accumulating sediments, constantly moving around, forming and destroying barrier islands and bars. Responding to storm events and longer term erosion and sedimentary deposition processes driven by coastal currents and prevailing winds.

Additionally, in tropical and subtropical climate zones, both coral reefs and mangrove forests constantly change the coastlines and landforms, both creating new lands and destroying older reefs (parrotfish eating corals and pooping out coral “sands” that in turn get deposited on the sea bottom and moved around by winds and currents).

None of our ocean coastlines are permanent features, as can be attested by anyone with even the barest knowledge of geology.

Yet the ignoramuses continue to pose as scientific literates.

Last edited 19 days ago by Duane
Reply to  Duane
March 8, 2023 8:02 am

The CAGW and EnviroWhaco Censors have removed that information from all texts used in educational facilities.

Eric Stevens
March 7, 2023 5:30 pm

Its not only the Global warming alarmists who like to claim that Pacific island nations are on the verge of disappearing. So too do the residents of many smaller islands suffering from over-population and the exhaustion of the fresh water lens at the center of their island upon which they have traditionally depended. That their island is sinking into the rising sea has now become a political necessity if they are going to obtain the aid they need for their survival.

Reply to  Eric Stevens
March 7, 2023 8:36 pm

I can attest to that. I recently googled an atoll I knew very well in the 70s. A mate had a plantation on it, & I visited regularly.

It had a plantation home island, a village island, a large island with most of the coconuts the villagers gardens & the airstrip, with a number of other islands planted to nuts for the plantation, & emergency food if a fishing canoe was stranded by weather.

There were no homes on the large island. There were about 8 canoes, a couple of fishing dories, & a 45Ft launch of ex war vintage. The village housed about 300 islanders, & there were about 20 labourers imported from the Sepic district on the plantation island

Today the village island appears basically unchanged the plantation home island is somewhat overgrown with scrub, but the large island is unrecognizable. The plantation has disappeared under scrub, which has also obliterated the airstrip, but the big change is population. There are now a couple of hundred homes telling of a huge increase in population with at least thirty large canoes drawn up on the beach. The population must have at least doubled.

It is a large fairly open lagoon of about 300 Sq miles, so probably has adequate fish resource, but this level of population must be taxing the islands water capacity.

March 7, 2023 5:40 pm

Then why are the Pacific Islands going to the Hague to make the west pay if it is not happening? “Vanuatu is leading a campaign to have the international court of justice issue an opinion on climate change” and why does anyone listen to them?

Reply to  petroalbion
March 7, 2023 10:38 pm

Isn’t it Tuvalu , who are on atolls but their main town is over populated and over developed on a thin sand strip . They have issues as they have removed sand for construction etc .
La Nina years also cause localised sea level rise over that portion of the Pacific, but that because of prevailing winds. Think of any larger lake , the water will pile up along the side of the lake where prevailing winds blow, same happens for any longer tidal inlets

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Duker
March 8, 2023 3:48 am

While asking for money they started building a new airport, coincidence ? 😀

Leo Smith
Reply to  petroalbion
March 8, 2023 2:38 am

Because the climate change narrative has nothing to do with climate change, only with money.

March 8, 2023 3:12 am

And yet the greentards will continue to spew the same lies they always spew.

March 8, 2023 3:44 am

Last week there was a story about putting more alkaline earth materials containing magnesium and calcium into the ocean to tie up more CO2. The problem is there is already and excess of these elements in the ocean and the thing you really need is heat to decompose the bicarbonate to alkaline earth carbonates in warm shallow sea water. Well guess what, these tropical atolls that are adding area and growing are doing just that. They are sequestering CO2 are carbonate as they have for eons. The growth of the islands is an indication of this cycle at work.

March 8, 2023 5:44 am

You can be sure that the alarmists will be on a coral island for a King tide in order to get the desired shots of land being inundated.

March 8, 2023 8:11 am

In optimal conditions stony corals grow from 50cm to 150cm per year; they are basically pressing up against the surface of the sea. Storms break off the upper coral and deposit the rubble on the beaches, which is how atolls maintain their surfaces. 3mm/year of sea level growth isn’t within an order of magnitude of what would be required to “drown” a coral reef. And coral also reproduces by sporulation, which allows them to create new colonies at any favorable location. Coral reefs in tropical locations are almost impossible to drown, which is why atoll skeletal coral limestone thickness often exceeds 1km, i.e. more than a quarter million years of growth at 3mm/year. Sea level decline is what kills coral reefs.

March 8, 2023 10:06 am

30 years ago we were told the Maldives would be underwater in 30 years, yet 30 years on they are still building hotels on the beach fronts.

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