Tuvalu’s erosion claim eroded

From the COP23 talkfest as reported by RNZ on 14 November 2017

During the Global Climate Action Day on Oceans and Coastal Zones Tuvalu’s prime minister has said his nation is under attack from the effects of climate change.[…]

Inhabitat

[…]”Oceans is [sic] a source of life for Tuvalu. But now it’s being attacked by the impacts of climate change. The coral reefs are bleaching, acidification and also the ocean is causing a lot of erosion. So I think we must continue to insist that those who are causing green house gas and global warming to stop doing that.”

Tuvalu’s United Nations mission has also proposed a legal framework be created for people displaced by climate change.

Fortunately our judiciary had already decided not to buy the “Climate Change Refugee” story put up by a couple of try-ons from Tuvalu and rejected their claims.

Now a study highlighted on WUWT shows that the land area of the Tuvalu atolls is actually growing. (What a surprise, they are coral atolls – who’d a thunk it?)

Patterns of island change and persistence offer alternate adaptation pathways for atoll nations

Paul S. Kench, Murray R. Ford & Susan D. Owen
Abstract
Sea-level rise and climatic change threaten the existence of atoll nations. Inundation and erosion are expected to render islands uninhabitable over the next century, forcing human migration. Here we present analysis of shoreline change in all 101 islands in the Pacific atoll nation of Tuvalu. Using remotely sensed data, change is analysed over the past four decades, a period when local sea level has risen at twice the global average (~3.90 ± 0.4 mm.yr−1). Results highlight a net increase in land area in Tuvalu of 73.5 ha (2.9%), despite sea-level rise, and land area increase in eight of nine atolls. Island change has lacked uniformity with 74% increasing and 27% decreasing in size. Results challenge perceptions of island loss, showing islands are dynamic features that will persist as sites for habitation over the next century, presenting alternate opportunities for adaptation that embrace the heterogeneity of island types and their dynamics.
From the discussion section:
Here we present the first comprehensive national-scale analysis of the transformation in physical land resources of the Pacific atoll nation Tuvalu, situated in the central western Pacific comprising 9 atolls and 101 individual reef islands, the nation is home to 10,600 people, 50% of whom are located on the urban island of Fogafale, in Funafuti atoll. We specifically examine spatial differences in island behaviour, of all 101 islands in Tuvalu, over the past four decades (1971–2014), a period in which local sea level has risen at twice the global average. Surprisingly, we show that all islands have changed and that the dominant mode of change has been island expansion, which has increased the land area of the nation. Results are used to project future landform availability and consider opportunities for a vastly more nuanced and creative set of adaptation pathways for atoll nations.

Examples of island change and dynamics in Tuvalu from 1971 to 2014. a Nanumaga reef platform island (301 ha) increased in area 4.7 ha (1.6%) and remained stable on its reef platform. b Fangaia island (22.4 ha), Nukulaelae atoll, increased in area 3.1 ha (13.7%) and remained stable on reef rim. c Fenualango island (14.1 ha), Nukulaelae atoll rim, increased in area 2.3 ha (16%). Note smaller island on left Teafuafatu (0.29 ha), which reduced in area 0.15 ha (49%) and had significant lagoonward movement. d Two smaller reef islands on Nukulaelae reef rim. Tapuaelani island, (0.19 ha) top left, increased in area 0.21 ha (113%) and migrated lagoonward. Kalilaia island, (0.52 ha) bottom right, reduced in area 0.45 ha (85%) migrating substantially lagoonward. e Teafuone island (1.37 ha) Nukufetau atoll, increased in area 0.04 ha (3%). Note lateral migration of island along reef platform. Yellow lines represent the 1971 shoreline, blue lines represent the 1984 shoreline, green lines represent the 2006 shoreline and red lines represent the 2014 shoreline. Images ©2017 DigitalGlobe Inc

Curiously, an update to the Climate change in Tuvalu page on Wikipedia which sought to provide a little balance and share this good news …

The Pacific nation of Tuvalu — long seen as a prime candidate to disappear as climate change forces up sea levels — is actually growing in size, new research shows. A University of Auckland study examined changes in the geography of Tuvalu’s nine atolls and 101 reef islands between 1971 and 2014, using aerial photographs and satellite imagery.

… disappeared less than 2 hours after it was written.

(There is no bias on Wikipedia in favour of Climate Alarmism – you are simply imagining things!)


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Dr Seuss may have been describing WH when he wrote, “He was shortish. And oldish. And brownish. And mossy. And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy.”  WH, however, is tallish and only just fits in his MG.

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