Some Reef Islands Resilient To Climate Change: Study
Muhammad Irfan 3 months ago Tue 16th July 2019 | 11:00 AM
Wellington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Jul, 2019 ) :The Pacific's low-lying reef islands are likely to change shape in response to climate change, rather than simply sinking beneath rising seas and becoming uninhabitable as previously assumed, new research has found.
Atoll nations such as Tuvalu, Tokelau and Kiribati lie only a few metres above sea level and are considered the world's most vulnerable to global warming, with fears their populations will become climate refugees as waters rise.
But a study published this week found that such islands "morphodynamically respond" to the environment because they are composed of the skeletal remains of tiny reef-dwelling organisms, rather than solid rock.
The researchers said evidence that such islands slowly change like shifting sands had profound implications for climate change planning in affected nations.
"It will be up to governments and communities to decide how to respond over time, but we think this study highlights the fact that nature provides a template for adaptation and island communities may need to adapt too.
They found the crest of the island became higher and the entire landmass shifted across the underlying reef.
"These insights highlight an urgent need to incorporate island morphological dynamics into reassessments of future wave-driven flood risk projections for reef islands," the researchers said.
The concept of climate change forcing Pacific islanders from their homes is a sensitive issue in atoll nations.