Category Archives: Sea Level Rise

Nauru use UN spotlight to confront developed world over climate change

Nauru, Micronesia, South Pacific.
Nauru, world’s smallest independent nation, is among the islands most threatened by rising sea levels. It is is a small Pacific island about the size of Manhattan with a population of approximately seven thousand people. The economy of Nauru has been almost wholly dependent on phosphate, which has led to environmental catastrophe on the island, with 80% of the nation’s surface having been strip-mined. Photo source: ©© Hadi Zaher


Last month I returned to Nauru, the smallest member of the United Nations and my home.

The sea around us is getting warmer, droughts have become commonplace, and the coastal erosion is as bad as anyone can remember.

Similar trends are occurring across the Pacific and they have grave implications for the fish stocks we depend on for food, our freshwater supplies, and the very land we live on. Scientists have warned us that the situation will get much worse unless the greenhouse gas pollution responsible for global warming is dramatically reduced…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

Phosphate Mining in Nauru Led to Environmental Catastrophe, The Sydney Morning Herald

Nauru, an Island Adrift, A Documentary,Toronto 2007

Nauru, une île à la dérive, Un Documentaire Video (30 minutes), Thalassa
” Ce reportage est pour moi symbolique des dérives des sociétés de consommation, de leur impact tragique sur les peuples fragiles et isolés. Autrefois deuxième pays le plus riche au monde, après l’Arabie Saoudite, Nauru est aujourd’hui un des pays les plus pauvres du Pacifique. Ce sont les mines de phosphate, qui recouvrent la totalité de l’île, qui ont fait autrefois la grande richesse des Nauruans. En une trentaine d’années à peine, l’exploitation du phosphate a transformé la petite démocratie en un pays corrompu et clientéliste ; elle a causé la faillite de l’Etat et la ruine de ses habitants, elle a enfin détruit toute une culture traditionnelle.”

Melting Ice on Arctic Islands a Major Player in Sea Level Rise

Sandbags -Mirlo Beach Looking North – Hatteras Island – NC12. Photo source: ©© County of Dare


Melting glaciers and ice caps on Canadian Arctic islands play a much greater role in sea level rise than scientists previously thought, according to a new study led by a University of Michigan researcher.

The 550,000-square-mile Canadian Arctic Archipelago contains some 30,000 islands. Between 2004 and 2009, the region lost the equivalent of three-quarters of the water in Lake Erie, the study found. Warmer-than-usual temperatures in those years caused a rapid increase in the melting of glacier ice and snow, said Alex Gardner, a research fellow in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences who led the project…

Read Full Article, UMICH

arctic islands
A true-color satellite image of the northern Canadian Arctic Archipelago that was part of this study. Image source: NASA/GSFC

Endangered places around the world

French Polynesia. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


We all know that climate change melts glaciers and shifts sea levels. But have you ever thought about how rising temperatures can threaten beautiful places in every corner of the world? Some of these spots may be closer to home than you think.

In celebration of Earth Day, Yahoo! News interviewed Gaute Hogh, publisher of the book 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear (distributed by Abrams in the U.S.). Hogh was inspired to produce the book after witnessing the effects of global warming in his native Denmark. He wanted to show how natural beauty around the globe could be forever altered by climate change…

Read Full Article, AP

100 Places Website

Arctic’s Icy Coastlines Retreat as Planet Warms

Antartica. Photo source: ©© Benjamin Dumas


The coastline in Arctic regions reacts to climate change with increased erosion and retreats by half a metre per year on average. This means substantial changes for Arctic ecosystems near the coast and the population living there.

A consortium of more than thirty scientists from ten countries, including researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association and from the Helmholtz Centre in Geesthacht, comes to this conclusion in two studies published in Estuaries and Coasts…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Erosion Doubles Along Alaska’s Arctic Coast

State of the Arctic Coast, 2010 Report

Arctic’s Icy Coastlines Retreat as Planet Warms:LiveScience

Ozone Layer Faces Record 40 Percent Loss Over Arctic

Left: Ozone in Earth’s stratosphere at an altitude of approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) in mid-March 2011, near the peak of the 2011 Arctic ozone loss. Red colors represent high levels of ozone, while purple and grey colors (over the north polar region) represent very small ozone amounts. Right: chlorine monoxide – the primary agent of chemical ozone destruction in the cold polar lower stratosphere – for the same day and altitude. Light blue and green colors represent small amounts of chlorine monoxide, while dark blue and black colors represent very large chlorine monoxide amounts. The white line marks the area within which the chemical ozone destruction took place. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


The protective ozone layer in the Arctic that keeps out the sun’s most damaging rays, ultraviolet radiation, has thinned about 40 percent this winter, a record drop, the U.N. weather agency said Tuesday.

The Arctic’s damaged stratospheric ozone layer isn’t the best known “ozone hole,” that would be Antarctica’s, which forms when sunlight returns in spring there each year…

Read Full Article, AP

Arctic Ozone Loss, Image, NASA

Sand Drift in Norway Caused by Sea-Level Changes and Human Activity

Hoddevik, Norway. Photo source: ©© Maria Helgesen


The sand along the south-western coastal rim of Norway has drifted for more than 9000 calendar years. This was triggered by sea-level changes and human activities, new research has found.

Researchers in countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland study sand drift, but most of them are focusing only on sand dunes along the coastline, not on the plains further inland, necessary to understand the whole process.

“Sand dunes are dynamic. For all we know, they may have been formed last year…”

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Earth’s Gravity Revealed in Unprecedented Detail

European Space Agency
How the Earth would look like if its shape were distorted to make gravity the same everywhere on its surface. Areas of strongest gravity are in yellow and weakest in blue. Animation: European Space Agency

Excerpts from the European Space Agency and from Guardian UK, Ian Sample

After just two years in orbit, ESA’s GOCE satellite, A European spacecraft that skims the upper reaches of the atmosphere, has gathered enough data to map Earth’s gravity with unrivalled precision…


Read Full Article “Goce satellite maps the Earth’s gravity in unprecedented precision” Gardian UK

European Space Agency

Melting ice sheets becoming largest contributor to sea level rise

Rising sea and coastal erosion, Tahiti. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new study. The findings of the study, the longest to date of changes in polar ice sheet mass, suggest these ice sheets are overtaking ice loss from Earth’s mountain glaciers and ice caps to become the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, much sooner than model forecasts have predicted. The results of the study will be published this month in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union…

Read Full Article, American Geophysical Union