Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Study: As Sea Levels Rise, Island ‘Drowning’ Is Not Inevitable

Coral reef islands across the world could naturally adapt to survive the impact of rising sea levels, according to new research.

The increased flooding caused by the changing global climate has been predicted to render such communities – where sandy or gravel islands sit on top of coral reef platforms – uninhabitable within decades.

However, an international study led by the University of Plymouth (UK) suggests that perceived fate is far from a foregone conclusion.

The research, published in Science Advances, for the first time uses numerical modeling of island morphology alongside physical model experiments to simulate how reef islands – which provide the only habitable land in atoll nations – can respond when sea levels rise.

The results show that islands composed of gravel material can evolve in the face of overtopping waves, with sediment from the beach face being transferred to the island’s surface.

This means the island’s crest is being raised as sea level rises, with scientists saying such natural adaptation may provide an alternative future that can potentially support near-term habitability, albeit with additional management challenges, possibly involving sediment nourishment, mobile infrastructure, and flood-proof housing.

The research was led by Gerd Masselink, Professor of Coastal Geomorphology in Plymouth, working with colleagues at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and Simon Fraser University (Canada).

Professor Masselink, who heads Plymouth’s Coastal Processes Research Group, said:

“In the face of climate change and sea-level rise, coral reef islands are among the most vulnerable coastal environments on the planet. Previous research into the future habitability of these islands typically considers them inert structures unable to adjust to rising sea level. Invariably, these studies predict significantly increased risk of coastal flooding and island inundation, and the concept of ‘island loss’ has become entrenched in discourses regarding the future of coral reef island communities. In turn, this has led to attention being focused on either building structural coastal defenses or the exodus of island communities, with limited consideration of alternative adaptation strategies.

“It is important to realize that these coral reef islands have developed over hundreds to thousands of years as a result of energetic wave conditions removing material from the reef structure and depositing the material towards the back of reef platforms, thereby creating islands. The height of their surface is actually determined by the most energetic wave conditions, therefore overtopping, flooding, and island inundation are necessary, albeit inconvenient and sometimes hazardous, processes required for island maintenance.”

Co-author Professor Paul Kench, currently Dean of Science at Simon Fraser University, Canada, said:

“The model provides a step-change in our ability to simulate future island responses to sea-level rise and better resolve what the on-ground transformations will look like for island communities. Importantly, our results suggest that island drowning within the next few decades is not universally inevitable. Understanding how islands will physically change due to sea-level rise provides alternative options for island communities to deal with the consequences of climate change. It is important to stress there is no one-size-fits-all strategy that will be viable for all island communities – but neither are all islands doomed.”

For the research, scientists created a scale model of Fatato Island, part of the Funafuti Atoll in Tuvalu, and placed it in the Coastal Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) Lab at the University of Plymouth.

It was then subjected to a series of experiments designed to simulate predicted sea level rises with the results showing that the island’s crest rose with the rising sea level while retreating inland, as a result of water overwashing the island and depositing sediment on the island’s surface.


New Climate Summary Debunks Ocean Acidification Scare

The oceans are not acidic, and more carbon dioxide is stimulating phytoplankton growth and marine life, reports a new summary published at ClimateAtAGlance.com. The new summary: Climate at a Glance: Ocean Acidification, documents that carbon dioxide’s benefits to marine life are similar to how more atmospheric carbon dioxide stimulates terrestrial plant growth and benefits life on the land.

The new summary documents that the ocean is far from acidic. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, with anything below 7 considered acidic. Ocean pH averages 8.1, which is alkaline rather than acidic.

To the extent computer models speculate (but have not verified) a decline in ocean pH since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, that estimated drop is only from pH 8.2 to 8.1 since 1750. This is hardly alarming or detrimental to marine life.

By contrast, a new white paper from scientists at the CO2 Coalition, Ocean Health – Is there an “Acidification” problem?, documents that ocean health is improved rather than harmed by more carbon dioxide. CO2 is food for phytoplankton that forms the foundation of the marine food chain. Also, studies show marine life thrive and enhance their growth rates in elevated CO2 conditions.


Fresh Proof Nature, Not Humans, Drives CO2 Levels

Statistical analysis of official data from the Mauna Loa Observatory of atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) reveals Nature, not humans determines the concentration of this trace gas.

Variances in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are shown to be well correlated with changes in the seasons, phases of the moon and El Niño events rather than human industrial activity.

No studies by climatologists endorsed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) address these factors.

Figure 1 shows the atmospheric CO2 concentration measured weekly at the Mauna Loa Observatory (see Ref.1) for the period 29 March 1958 to 30 May 2020. The Observatory is at Latitude 19.54° North, Longitude 155.57° West, Elevation 3397 metres. It is on the northern slope of Mauna Loa, an active volcano on the island of Hawaii in the mid-North Pacific Ocean.

The series shows a regular seasonal variation superimposed on an upward trend. The linear trend for the whole period of 62 years was 1.58 ppm per annum. For the 3-year period March 29, 1958 to 1961, the rate was 0.55 ppm pa.

For the 3-year period May 2017 to 2020, the rate had steadily increased to 2.91 ppm pa, more than five times greater than 60 years earlier. The acceleration in the rate of generation of CO2 over the time of the measurements is attributed to an increase in biogenic CO2 in response to the gradual increase in temperature since the end of the Little Ice Age.

Justification for this claim can be seen in a comparison between the dearth of life at the cold Poles and the profusion of life, in a myriad of forms, in the warm Equatorial zone. Life forms flourish with greater temperature.

As there were missing values in the time sequence, interpolation was applied using a third order polynomial fit to adjoining data strings and a ‘weekly’ time interval of 7.02416 days, that is, one fifty second part of a year, for the following analysis of the CO2 concentration time series. The original time series consisted of 3173 values while the interpolated time series consisted of 3233 values at a uniform ‘weekly’ interval.

The amplitude of the seasonal variation ranged from 5.9 ppm early in the series to 9.3 ppm in the later part of the series, changing from year to year in an irregular fashion but clearly increasing in amplitude over time. The maximum in the seasonal variation occurred on average in mid-May at the start of Summer while the minimum occurred at the end of September, just prior to Winter.

It is attributed to the Summer sunshine causing an increase in photosynthesis which absorbs CO2 resulting in the fall in CO2 concentration. The decay of vegetation in the cold of Winter releases CO2 resulting in a rise in the CO2 concentration.

That is, the concentration is decreasing during the heat of Summer and increasing during the cool of Winter putting it at odds with the UN IPCC claim that an increase in CO2 concentration causes a temperature increase.


Australian kids as young as eight in public schools are told to study eco-warrior Greta Thunberg's speeches and spread her climate change message

Lesson plans telling primary school students to study climate activist Greta Thunberg and spread her message have been found on the NSW Education Department website.

The unapproved material on the official website was aimed at children between Years 3 and 5.

The material, in a lesson plan since taken down, asked students to watch and study a Thunberg speech.

'Read about Greta and the transcript of her speech … What is the key message?' the lesson plan prompted.

'What techniques does Greta use … Can you now state what needs to change and why?' the plan asked.

The lesson plan asked students to conduct an 'energy audit' of their school to find areas where change is needed.

The revelation prompted swift criticism from education researcher Kevin Donnelly who called the material 'indoctrination'.

'The great shame is education is no longer about being impartial or objective … it is about indoctrinating students,' he told The Daily Telegraph.

The lesson plan had a guidebook to go with it telling students that school air-conditioning adds 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. 

The NSW school system was heavily criticised last year during the so-called Climate Strike for allowing climate activists to indoctrinate impressionable young children.

Thousands of school children truanted school to take part in the Climate Strike street protests.

One father pulled his son out of a state primary school in Bilambil, northern NSW, at the time after he was asked to 'dress like a hippy' by his teacher.

Matt Karlos, 38, took his 10-year-old son Max out, saying the teachers were making the kids terrified for the future and scaring them with climate change.

'The ideologies were in his face all the time,' Mr Karlos said.

In September, Alan Jones accused teachers of brainwashing vulnerable children.

The former 2GB radio host pointed to a report which claimed children under the age of 10 were experiencing anxiety from the climate change debate.

'Young people are going to be concerned, they believe their teachers, they actually think that they're at school and what they're being told is true,' he said.

'The notion of using children in all of this is scandalous and the politics of climate change has become poisonous.'

In February last year, former NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes warned students and teachers they would be punished if they skipped school to join the climate strike rallies. 'School children, on school days, should be at school,' he said at the time.

Greta Thunberg's Twitter account responded, saying her followers didn't care. 'Ok. We hear you. And we don't care. Your statement belongs in a museum,' Ms Thunberg's Twitter account tweeted.

A spokesman from the NSW Education Department said they would investigate how the Thunberg lesson plans made it onto the official website. 'This web page was published without approval. We will have the web page taken down and reviewed,' he said.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


No comments: