Island ‘drowning’ is not inevitable as sea levels rise

Posted: June 10, 2020 by oldbrew in alarmism, modelling, Natural Variation, Ocean dynamics, predictions, research, sea levels

Another bunch of climate alarmist predictions get exposed as over-the-top doom-mongering — literally, in this case.

Coral reef islands across the world could naturally adapt to survive the impact of rising sea levels, according to new research reported at

Coral reef islands across the world could naturally adapt to survive the impact of rising sea levels, according to new research.

The increased flooding caused by the changing global climate has been predicted to render such communities—where sandy or gravel islands sit on top of coral reef platforms—uninhabitable within decades.

However, an international study led by the University of Plymouth (UK) suggests that perceived fate is far from a foregone conclusion.

The research, published in Science Advances, for the first time uses numerical modeling of island morphology alongside physical model experiments to simulate how reef islands—which provide the only habitable land in atoll nations—can respond when sea levels rise.

The results show that islands composed of gravel material can evolve in the face of overtopping waves, with sediment from the beach face being transferred to the island’s surface.

This means the island’s crest is being raised as sea level rises, with scientists saying such natural adaptation may provide an alternative future that can potentially support near-term habitability, albeit with additional management challenges, possibly involving sediment nourishment, mobile infrastructure and flood-proof housing.

The research was led by Gerd Masselink, Professor of Coastal Geomorphology in Plymouth, working with colleagues at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and Simon Fraser University (Canada).

Full report here.

  1. cognog2 says:

    I gather most of the pacific islands are increasing in size.

  2. Chaswarnertoo says:

    As Darwin noted.

  3. stpaulchuck says:

    7 inches a century. 7 inches in 100 years. I think they can cope with that.
    but then, what do I know

  4. hunterson7 says:

    Funny how Darwin is selectively ignored depending on the religious faith involved.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Threat to islands
    Mon 26 Sep 1988

    MALE, Maldives: A
    gradual rise in average
    sea level is threatening
    to completely cover this
    Indian Ocean nation of
    1196 small islands with-
    in the next 30 years
    , ac-
    cording to authorities.
    The Environmental
    Affairs Director, Mr
    Hussein Shihab, said an
    estimated rise of 20 to 30
    centimetres in the next
    20 to 40 years could be
    “catastrophic” for most
    of the islands, which
    were no more than a
    metre above sea level.
    The United Nations
    Environment Project
    was planning a study of
    the problem.
    But the end of the
    Maldives and its
    200,000 people could
    come sooner if drinking
    water supplies dry up by
    1992, as predicted.
    — AFP
    [bold added]
    – – –
    The 30 years was up in 2018, when exactly 0 of the 1196 islands were underwater.

    Maldives to open five new airports in 2019
    M@LDIVES MAY 20, 2019

    With raised runways? Handy for evacuating waterlogged climate refugees 😆

  6. Bloke no longer down the pub says:

    Think I’m right in saying that islands cope better with rising sea level than with falling. They are kept stable by beach material being thrown inland by storms, but if sea level falls, this is less likely to happen and beaches disappear leading to erosion of the island.