The Unsinkable “Sinking Atolls” Meme

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I’ve written before about the study of Arthur Webb and Paul Kench regarding the fact that coral atolls are not being swallowed by rising seas. Their conclusion in that study was that the claims of sinking atolls were contradicted by the actual measurements of the islands in question. The measurements showed the islands were mostly either growing in size or staying the same (emphasis mine):

The results show that island area has remained largely stable or increased over the timeframe of analysis. Forty-three percent of islands increased in area by more than 3% with the largest increases of 30% on Betio (Tarawa atoll) and 28.3% on Funamanu (Funafuti atoll [the main atoll in Tuvalu – w.] ). There is no evidence of large scale reduction in island area despite the upward trend in sea level. Consequently, islands have predominantly been persistent or expanded in area on…

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