The Micronesian Federation and other low-lying island
nations in the Pacific are not sinking as fast as scientists
have previously claimed. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the islands are growing instead,
according to a geological study presented in the scientific
journal Global and Planetary Change in June. The study, made
by researchers from New Zealand and Fiji, is based, among
other things, on aerial photographs and satellite images
taken on 27 islands over 60 years. The study shows that most
of the islands have retained their former lands and some
have even grown. Several of the islands of the Micronesia
Federation have grown, as have islands in Kiribati and
Tuvalu. This could have been done by sediment and debris
from corals creating new land surface.
Researchers have previously said that Kiribati and other
low-lying island nations will be uninhabited in the 2050s.
According to the new study, it may instead take at least 100
years for residents to move. All researchers seem to agree
that the islands, especially Kiribati, the Micronesian
Federation and Tuvalu, are threatened by rising sea levels,
but the views fall apart as to how acute the threat is. The
researchers behind the current study point out that even if
the islands remain longer than previously thought, they may
not be habitable in the long term.