Want to know why leaders of Pacific island countries love talking up that nonsense about global warming threatening their little paradises with doom? Check out Malcolm Turnbull.
THERE is “no more pressing need” in the region than climate change, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told Pacific leaders in Micronesia. Mr Turnbull announced $300 million to help the Pacific “manage climate change and improve disaster resilience”.
Professor Paul Kench, an Auckland University coastal geomorphologist, along with colleagues in Australia and Fiji, has now studied more than 600 coral reef islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. His findings: about 40 per cent have grown in size. Another 40 per cent have stayed stable. Just 20 per cent have shrunk…
…the most populous atoll of Kiribati – the tiny islet of Betio, Kiribati’s commercial heart – had increased in size by more than 36 hectares over the past 60-odd years. That’s an increase in land area of 30 per cent… (It) is also true, as the scientific paper concluded, the land masses of the low-lying islands and atolls the researchers studied have remained largely stable or even increased over the decades.
Take Kiribati… Its main South Tarawa island has grown 19 per cent over 30 years, as its Government created new land by pouring lagoon sand behind seawalls… Or consider Tuvalu. Its main atoll, Funafuti, has grown 32 hectares since 1900.
Paul Kench of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and colleagues found no evidence of heightened erosion [at Funafuti atoll, which includes the capital of Tuvalu]. After poring over more than a century’s worth of data, including old maps and aerial and satellite imagery, they conclude that 18 out of 29 islands have actually grown.
As a whole, the group grew by more than 18 hectares…
“There is still considerable speculation that islands will disappear as sea level rises,” says Kench. “Our data indicates that the future of islands is significantly different.”…
“There is presently no evidence that these islands are going to sink,” says Virginie Duvat of the University of La Rochelle in France… However, Kench’s findings do not apply to other types of island, like the volcanic main islands of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.