Scientists and activists have warned for years that Pacific Islands were sinking because man-made global warming was accelerating the rise of sea levels, but that’s not the case for the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Marshall Islands government officials have been sounding the alarm on sea level rise, even claiming the dead bodies of World War II veterans have washed ashore after being disturbed by the rising water. Indeed, the tidal gauge on Kwajalein showed a sharp acceleration in sea level rise since 2000.
Everything seemed to confirm alarmist claims that sea level rise was accelerating and overtaking low-lying Pacific islands. But the sharp acceleration seemed to be an anomaly in the data, as sea level rise has drastically slowed and returned to normal in the last few years.
“It’s obvious that the apparent acceleration in sea-level at Kwajalein was transient, and did not indicate the beginning of an accelerating trend in sea-level rise,” Anthony Watts, a veteran meteorologist, wrote on his science blog Watts Up With That.
Watts also pointed out the acceleration was inversely related to El Ni√±o, meaning the sea level is actually lowering around Kwajalein when the naturally-occurring warming event heats up the tropical Pacific. Aside from that, there’s been no acceleration in rise, despite claims human-caused warming would do so.
“To me, it looks like sea-level at Kwajalein is inversely correlated with ENSO. When the current El Ni√±o ends, so will the current dip in sea-level at Kwajalein, probably,” Watts wrote.
“Over the long term, the sea-level trend at Kwajalein will prove to be approximately linear, just like it is at every other high-quality, long term coastal tide gauge in the world,” Watts wrote. “Seven decades of heavy GHG emissions have caused no increase at all in the rate of coastal sea-level rise.”
Watts’ blog post comes after years of Marshall Island officials claiming their island was sinking due to global warming. Islanders have been calling for aid from the United Nations and been the poster children in efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.