TVNZ/NZPA: NZ research shows Pacific islands not shrinking

Low-lying Pacific islands may not have as much to fear from sea level rise as previously though, according to Auckland University’s Associate Professor Paul Kench.

He measured 27 islands which had experienced sea level rise, and found that only four had actually got smaller: the others had either remained the same size or become larger.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Webb, an expert on coastal processes, told the New Scientist the trend was explained by the fact the islands mostly comprised coral debris eroded from encircling reefs and pushed up onto the islands by winds and waves.

“The process was continuous, because the corals were alive, he said.

“But the two men warned that while the islands were coping for now, any acceleration in the rate of sea level rise could re-instate the earlier gloomy predictions.”