Sea levels in the southwest Pacific started rising drastically in the 1880s, with a notable peak in the 1990s thought to be linked to human-induced climate change, according to a new study.
The research, which examined sediment core samples taken from salt marshes in southern Australia’s Tasmania island, used geochemistry to establish a chronology of sea level changes over the past 200 years.
Oceanic islands are born, they grow, they are eroded and they disappear beneath the sea. Throughout this process, which takes millions of years, the islands change form and therefore change their ‘tenants’.
The species adapt to the new environmental conditions, occupy empty niches, specialise and become exclusive. In the case of the youngest islands with high mountainous ecosystems, the endemic ecosystems increase…
Chile’s Supreme Court Wednesday removed the last legal obstacle to building a giant $2.9 billion hydroelectric complex in the Patagonian wilderness, rejecting a bid by environmentalists to block it.
The highly controversial project, which environmentalists say will wreck a unique and pristine habitat in the southern tip of South America, sparked violent protests last year.
The highest legal authority in Chile rejected seven appeals filed against Project HidroAysén, which plans to build five dams, flooding 6,000 hectares. The government had approved the project last year but the case was taken to the supreme court after objections were raised over the environmental impact study…
Sand Mining: Do We Want a Repeat of Buchanan Throughout Coastal Liberia?
“The city of Buchanan, Liberia, is gradually being swept away by sea erosion; and if nothing is done about it, Buchanan will one day be nothing but a memory. The government, through its Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LM&E), should do a comprehensive study of that situation and make recommendations as to how the city can be saved before it is too late.
But there is an even more serious matter that should claim the urgent attention of the LM&E. It is the issue of sand mining in Monrovia and its environs.
In an article entitled “The Effects of Sand Mining on the Liberian Coast,” Liberian Observer environmental columnist, warned that the government might be “compelled to spend millions of dollars to combat sea erosion if care is not taken.” As much as sand is needed to meet human needs, it requires “efficient and effective resource management to ensure sustainable development.”
The article called for the collective effort of policy makers, sand contractors, engineers, traditional rulers and local residents to find a preventive solution to what the author called “the impending environmental danger.”
All stakeholders, said the author, have to ensure that sand mining “is conducted in a responsible manner.” The reason: depletion of sand in the streambed and along coastal areas causes the deepening of rivers and estuaries (wide tidal mouths of rivers).
Uncontrollable sand mining could also lead to salt water intrusion inland. More over, and perhaps even more dangerous, uncontrolled sand mining could affect the sea level rise…”
Geologists take the long view, which can lead to some striking thoughts, and here is one: Britain is shrinking. As the waves crash onto the shores of this island, the rock is worn away or falls off in chunks, and, as the adage goes, they are not making land any more in Britain…
Sinking England. a National Geographic Video All may seem calm on the beautiful stretches of british coastline, but there is a battle being fought on the beaches of Britain. It’s a fight for survival against the mighty forces of the North Sea…
The sixth World Water Forum (held this year in Marseille, France from March 12-17) the world’s largest meeting devoted to water – is to create solutions to the water, energy, and food challenges presented by climate change and economic growth.
But critics say new scorecard to evaluate social and environmental impacts of hydropower projects serves dam builders not local communities and denounced the protocol as an attempt to “greenwash” the industry.
“The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP), proposes to replace the “best practice” recommendations of the World Commission on Dams with a voluntary, non-binding scorecard that allows dam builders to assess the social and environmental performance of each other’s projects. HSAP is more about protecting the right to build large dams than protecting the rights of the millions of people who depend on rivers for their daily needs. It is conceivable that HSAP could be used to greenwash some of the world’s most destructive dams…”
To expand the possibilities for beachfront development, Dubai undertook a massive engineering project to create hundreds of artificial islands along its Persian Gulf coastline.
Built from sand dredged from the sea floor, and protected from erosion by rock breakwaters, the islands are shaped in recognizable forms such as palm trees. As the islands grew, so did the city.
The above video includes satellite images showing the growth of Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates, between 2000 and 2011.
Taken by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite, the false-color images were made from visible and infrared light. Bare desert is tan, plant-covered land is red, water is black, and urban areas are silver.
In 2000, the area was nearly entirely undeveloped. By 2011, whole city blocks had sprung up. Offshore, the first palm-shaped island, Palm Jumeirah, reached completion.
Environmental Impacts of The Palm Islands Construction The construction of the Palm Islands and The World, for all Nakheel’s attempts to do otherwise, have had a clear and significant impact on the surrounding environment. It would be impossible to introduce a change of such magnitude to an established ecosystem and not anticipate any negative changes or reactions in the area’s wildlife and natural processes. The construction of the various islands off the coast of Dubai has resulted in changes in area wildlife, coastal erosion and alongshore sediment transport, and wave patterns. Sediment stirred up by construction has suffocated and injured local marine fauna and reduced the amount of sunlight filtered down to seashore vegetation. Variations in alongshore sediment transport have resulted in changes in erosion patterns along the UAE coast, which has also been exacerbated by altered wave patterns as the waters of the Gulf attempt to move around the new obstruction of the islands.
Palm Islands, Satellite Images, NASA Along the coast of Dubai—one of several emirates comprising the United Arab Emirates—are human-made islands. From south to north, the artificial island sites in this image are Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Jumeirah, The World, and Palm Deira. Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Jumeirah appear largely complete in this image, looking like giant palm trees enclosed in huge arcs.
Slipping Sands Of Time Hit Dubai’s World, Time Magazine The World islands off the coast of Dubai are sinking. The development, consisting of 300 islands, was designed to look like the countries of the globe when seen from above (or from the top of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building onshore in the city). The islands were intended to become luxury hotel complexes and private properties, each tailor-made to suit its owners…
Coastal Erosion Threatens Evolutionary Hotspots, Green Prophet A shoreline expert is concerned about the toll construction and shoreline projects are having on the world’s marine ecosystems. Looking at the intensive construction projects ongoing in the Gulf region, such as Dubai’s The World, and over-pumping of aquifers by the Palestinian and Israeli authorities, Berne sees the current management of shorelines as a disaster. In an interview with Green Prophet, Berne points out the problems in the Middle East and gives alternative solutions, such as offshore ports powered by solar energy, to stop soil erosion and habitat loss…