Jul 20, 2015

Destruction or persistence of coral atoll islands in the face of 20th and 21st century sea‐level rise?

Roger McLean and Paul Kench
WIREs Climate Change
  • States that as a result of sea‐level rise, atoll islands are expected to become increasingly unstable and to be susceptible to potential depopulation by the end of the 21st century
  • Analyzes the physical changes in over 200 islands on 12 atolls in the central and western Pacific in the past few decades when sea level in the region increased at rates three to four times the global average
  • Results show little evidence of heightened erosion or reduction in island size.; instead island shores have adjusted their position and morphology in response to human impacts such as seawall construction and to variations in climate–ocean processes
  • Image: Map of the central and western Pacific showing reconstructed mean sea-level trends in mm/year between 1950 and 2009