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The vanishing islands that failed to vanish

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The New York Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Recent research reveals that many low-lying tropical islands, expected to vanish due to rising sea levels, are actually stable or even growing
• Scientists, including Raymond Zhong and Jason Gulley, conducted extensive studies in the Maldives, discovering that islands' areas have not significantly decreased over the past few decades

🔭 The context: Decades ago, atoll nations were identified as early victims of climate change
• Researchers initially believed rising sea levels would submerge these islands
• However, new data from aerial and satellite imagery shows that islands can adapt, with sediments accumulating to offset erosion

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: This research challenges previous assumptions about the impacts of climate change on atoll nations, highlighting the dynamic nature of island ecosystems
• Understanding these processes is crucial for developing sustainable living strategies in vulnerable regions

⏭️ What's next: Scientists will continue to study these islands to understand why some grow while others shrink
• This knowledge will help inform policy decisions for atoll nations, balancing development with environmental preservation

💬 One quote: “People obsess on that end of the island. This side has got bigger,” said Dr. Paul Kench, illustrating the complex and varied responses of island coastlines to changing sea levels

📈 One stat: Nearly 42% of the islands studied lost ground to erosion, but a similar proportion (39%) remained stable, and 20% grew in size

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

 

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