[Coral-List] Atolls and SL rise

Paul Blanchon blanchons at gmail.com
Sun Oct 3 00:08:42 EDT 2010

Dear Richard and list,

The argument that some atolls  "may survive for generations"  and
should be considered for re-population seems just a little absurd,
regardless of the politics.
It is widely accepted that not only is the IPCC AR4 prediction of SL
rise a serious underestimation, but that over the last few decades
"...sea level has in fact risen 50% more than predicted by its
models..."  (see the illuminating climate-science blog at:

The IPCC underestimation has been the subject of several subsequent
publications which all conclude SL rise by 2100 will likely exceed one
meter: for example, Vermeer and Rahmstorf 2009 (PNAS 106: 21527-21532)
predict average rates over the 21st century will be 8-18 mm/year.
Thus, as Chip Fletcher implies, the experience of Micronesians is
likely to be repeated in all low-lying coastal communities, regardless
of past or future regional variation.

Re-population of any atoll would therefore seem to be an exceptionally bad idea.


Paul Blanchon
Marine Geoscience Lab.,
Reef Systems Unit,
Institute of Marine Sciences & Limnology
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Tel. +52  (998) 87-10009 Ext 166

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