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Eco journalists just can't help themselves

Made up of 33 low-lying coral atolls, Kiribati is shrinking as sea levels rise.

Claim made by Paul Gregoire, without citation, in Vice magazine

4.84, 4.66, 3.57, 0.48

Percentage increase in area per decade of islands in Tarawa, the main atoll in Kiribati, as reported by Kench et al.

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Reader Comments (30)

Well, OK. The area of Kiribati is increasing

But the significance of Kiribati in the Climate debate is decreasing.

And frankly, which is more important to a Green?

Nov 20, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Did they actually read the paper?

Results show that 86% of islands remained stable (43%) or increased in area (43%) over the timeframe of analysis. Largest decadal rates of increase in island area range between 0.1 to 5.6 hectares. Only 14% of study islands exhibited a net reduction in island area.

The islands are growing !

Nov 20, 2015 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

Is the magazine's Vice, that it can't speak without lying?

Nov 20, 2015 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

The rate of increase is declining!!!! OMG!!! Won't someone just think of the children!!!


Nov 20, 2015 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

And the Maldives are still not disappearing beneath the waves either. That's why the Maldives government is building a new runway at the airport, and the Chinese government is lending them USD400 million to do so.

Once again, deeds speak louder than any alarmist global-warming words.

Nov 20, 2015 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

The link in this post to the original study by Kench doesn't work for me, here is one that works:

In 2011, even Skeptical Science !!! admitted that atolls adapt to sea level variations. Never mind that they come to the conclusion that sea level rise will eventually outrun atoll growth:

Nov 20, 2015 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen

The Eco-Loons see a glass half full, and presume someone will top it up, for free, so they get what they want.

They expect to get paid for producing rubbish, especially, if it is recycled.

Their behaviour is at least consistent with zero credibility.

Nov 20, 2015 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Ben, trolls from Skeptical Skience fail to adapt to zero science.

Nov 20, 2015 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It must be getting a little bit worrying for your average Parisite.
1. No change in the rate of sea level rise from the little ice age.
2. Pacific atolls increasing in size.
3. No significant rise in global mean temperature for 18+ years. (If there ever was a rise)
4. Polar bear numbers at a high since we stopped shooting the things.
5. A virtually non-existent Atlantic hurricane season...again.
5. Greening of the world from the satellite view.
6. Antarctic sea ice at a high and land ice increasing except for a small corner.
7, Arctic sea ice low but currently stable and not going anywhere soon. (Look at this seasons recovery)
8. Even with a big El Nino they can only manage to cobble up a hundredth of a degree to pretend we are warming.
9. All time high grain and rice harvests continue.
10. Meanwhile CO2 is rising with no noticeable effect.

You have to worry about them. It is hard to run a religion without the occasional miracle, the odd passing comet, or a cloud in the shape of Al Gore hovering over cop21.

Without the signs and portents coming through I fear for the average catastrophists sanity.

Nov 20, 2015 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

Actually Kiribati , far from disappearing beneath the waves, exhibits one of the largest growths in surface area of all Pacific Ocean island groups.

"Regional sea level patterns in the central and southwest Pacific over the past 50 to 100 years indicates sea level is subject to large interannual variations of ±0.45 m driven by ENSO cycles."
(Church et al., 2006).

"Superimposed on these short-term oscillations is a long-term tend of sea level rise on the order of 1.6 mm.y-1, which is consistent with global projections.

The total change in area of reef islands (aggregated for all islands in the study) is an increase in land area of 63 hectares representing 7% of the total land area of all islands studied. The majority of islands appear to have either remained stable or increased in planform area (86%). Forty three percent of islands have remained relatively stable (< ±3% change) over the period of analysis. A further 43% of islands (12 in total) have increased in area by more than 3%.
Importantly, the results suggest that reef islands are geomorphically resilient landforms that thus far have predominantly remained static or grown in area over the last 20 – 60 years.

The findings challenge the conventional frame of reference for considering shoreline adjustment in small reef island settings and for approaches to evaluate vulnerability.Given this positive trend, reef islands may not disappear from atoll rims and other coral reefs in the near-future as speculated.( Kench 2015)

Analysis of island change over a 35 – 61 year timeframe on Tarawa atoll ( largest land area in Kiribati) shows that all four islands exhibited an increase in island area. Notably the three urbanised islands of Betio, Bairiki and Nanikai increased in area by 30, 16.3 and 12.5 % respectively. Buariki in the north of the atoll exhibited an increase of 2%. This was the largest island examined and represents an increase in area of 10.1 hectares

Changes in the planform configuration of Betio and Bairiki show an expansion in the island footprint on both ocean and lagoon shorelines . Nanikai displays oceanside erosion, embayment infilling and eastward extension by up to 300 m (F. Buariki exhibited localised embayment infilling on the exposed ocean shoreline and minor erosion / migration on the northern and western (lagoon) points. Localised accretion was detected on the lagoon shore."
(Kench 2015).

Nov 20, 2015 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaleoclimate Buff

Yes, but the Maldives might be under water by 2200. What's more important, current reality or doomsday predictions for 2200?

Nov 20, 2015 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeW

Are the islands growing because sea level is lowering? Right.

Nov 20, 2015 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAila

Meanwhile CO2 is rising with no noticeable effect.
Correction, Ivor. No noticeable ill effect.
But plenty of beneficial ones.

Nov 20, 2015 at 4:09 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Who gives a toss why?
The point is that Tuvalu is not about to disappear anytime soon, as its government found out just about the time it discovered there was a small fortune to be made from owning the .tv domain name.
And coral reefs don't give a damn for increasing CO2 either and they cope with rising sea levels by building up the new level. If only idiot activists with an axe to grind would pay attention to certain well-established natural processes that have been around for several millennia before they were born and will be around for several millennia after they have gone they might look less like the gormless pillocks they are.

Nov 20, 2015 at 4:16 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I pulled up WWII photos and maps of Kiribati and used overlay technique to compare them with satellite imagery and in my lifetime (70 years) Kiribati is virtually unchanged. But I suppose if the images were properly homogenized the results could prove anything.

Nov 20, 2015 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterdp

And of course one of the atolls, Christmas Island, was used by the US and UK for testing hydrogen bombs. Despite these insults, the coral has been reported to now be doing just fine, thank you very much. Just like the wildlife surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

There is a clear pattern with environmental reporters for those that wish to see it.
And if they are bad enough for long enough, the BBC might also give them a job and call them "analysts".

Nov 20, 2015 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

omg all the heat is drying up the water, kiribati will dry out

its worse than we thought !! (please forwaerd funds to further confirm)

Nov 20, 2015 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusCold

Why let facts get in the way of a good story?

Just when will the MSM actually do some real investigative journalism?

Nov 20, 2015 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

It's as though they know the answer, so forget to read and cite the paper. Lets just report what we know to be true.

Nov 20, 2015 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

Are the islands growing because sea level is lowering? Right.

The islands are growing despite the sea level. The sea levels have been rising a very long time with atolls.

The coral grows surprisingly fast. I wouldn't be surprised if increased CO2 makes the growth faster, not slower. Of course there is an optimum somewhere, but you need some carbon to get CaCO3.

Nov 20, 2015 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterwert

Vice is terrible, isn't it? Like Vox and Wired Magazine, and PopSci. Universal left-wing big govt all-climate-change-alarm all the time, not reporting.

Nov 21, 2015 at 12:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterWB

and the islands not growing are due to DIRECT effects of man such as building breakwaters changing the deposition or not of sands and nutrients and damaging the ecosystems that keep the coral healthy etc.

Nothing to do with sea level rise.

Nov 21, 2015 at 2:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterkuhnkat

Green credibility is shrinking due to unchanged sea levels.

Is Kiribati growing to accommodate all the global warming scientists, carrying out beach towel testing research? Some of them are keen to extend this research for as long as possible, having proved conclusively that the more global warming scientists carrying out beach towel tests simultaneously, the less likely the sea level is to rise.

nb, global warming scientists have the technology to extrapolate data from warm ocean beaches, and can rely on seal and polar bear proxy data from colder regions, to create global averages. No beach towels have been harmed in carrying out this research.

Nov 21, 2015 at 2:42 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I wonder if a Synonym dictionary could be printed up showing the many synonyms that relate between "environmental reporting" and "false", "deceptive", "liar", "fabrication"?

Nov 21, 2015 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

At their present rate of growth they are projected to eventually cover thw whole planet. We are doomed I tell you, doomed!

Nov 21, 2015 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

I spoke to a grandmother on Thursday. She mentioned the 1,000s and 1,000s of people who had to flee their Pacific island do to the rising sea water.

I swear she said that. Where do common people get these notions?

Nov 21, 2015 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Stoval

Mark Stoval, some trainee global warming experts start their beach towel testing experiments at low tide. This has caused some spectacular results, that are often repeated twice every 24 hours, though waiting for the full moon provides the best video clips.

Global warming experts believe that no one has ever noticed this before, and like to park caravans such that wheels will be under water at the highest tides, and post videos on youtube as the best proof evah!

Nov 21, 2015 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I think that it's a race between the atolls and the ice to see which of them can increase faster these days.

Nov 21, 2015 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered Commenternicholas tesdorf

Let's give "climate scientists" a break, eh? They are complete effing idiots after all.

Nov 22, 2015 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Jimmy Haigh, maybe global warmists would get more sympathy if they tested beach towels within the Arctic circle, to prove they were genuinely interested in matters other than paid work in exotic tropical locations, with the lifestyle to match.

Nov 22, 2015 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

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