Five Pacific islands vanish from sight as sea levels rise

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Five of the Solomon Islands have been swallowed whole by rising sea levels, offering a glimpse into the future of other low-lying nations.

Sea levels in the Solomon Islands have been climbing by 7 millimetres per year over the last two decades…

Read Full Article, New Scientist

Images: Five Solomon islands swallowed by the sea; CNN
Five of the Solomon Islands have completely disappeared under water over the past seven decades, one drawing its last breath as recently as 2011, according to a new study. Another six islands have lost more than 20% of their surface area, forcing communities to relocate as the shoreline closes in on their homes…

Original Study: “Interactions between sea-level rise and wave exposure on reef island dynamics in the Solomon Islands,” Environmental Research Letters (05-06-2016
Low-lying reef islands in the Solomon Islands provide a valuable window into the future impacts of global sea-level rise. Sea-level rise has been predicted to cause widespread erosion and inundation of low-lying atolls in the central Pacific. However, the limited research on reef islands in the western Pacific indicates the majority of shoreline changes and inundation to date result from extreme events, seawalls and inappropriate development rather than sea-level rise alone. Here, we present the first analysis of coastal dynamics from a sea-level rise hotspot in the Solomon Islands…

Sea levels rose faster in 20th century than in previous 2,700 years, says study; CNN (02-23-2016)
Scientists have modeled a history of the planet’s sea levels spanning back 3,000 years, and concluded that the rate of increase last century “was extremely likely faster than during any of the 27 previous centuries.”

Sea-level rise ‘could last twice as long as human history’; Guardian UK (02-13-2016)
Huge sea-level rises caused by climate change will last far longer than the entire history of human civilisation to date, according to new research, unless the brief window of opportunity of the next few decades is used to cut carbon emissions drastically…

A Video: Kiribati Conference: Voices From the South Pacific – Part II (11-19-2010)

Will Pacific Island Nations Disappear as Seas Rise? National Geographic (02-15-2015)

Escaping the Waves: a Fijian Village Relocates, a Video (10-03-2015)
“When many understand climate change in concept but not through personal experience, this exhibit carries great weight…”

Should International Refugee Law Accommodate Climate Change? United Nations (07-15-2014)
Can the United Nations help to protect people seeking safety abroad if their homes and jobs are destroyed by prolonged drought, rising sea levels or other climate change-related phenomena in the same way as if they were displaced by war or human rights abuses? The short answer, today anyway, is no. (!)…

If an island state vanishes, is it still a nation?

Many Atolls May be Uninhabitable Within Decades Due to Climate Change, USGS (10-02-2015)