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  • Pacific Islands 'are expanding due to climate change'

Pacific Islands 'are expanding due to climate change'

Jun 03 2010 Read 1035 Times

Recent findings have shown that islands in the Pacific Ocean have grown over the past 60 years as a consequence of climate change.

The study, authored by professor Paul Kench of Auckland University and Dr Arthur Webb, an expert on coastal processes, showed that seven islands have enlarged by as much as 30 per cent, challenging the opinion that the islands were sinking.

Speaking to New Scientist magazine, professor Kench said: "We've now got evidence the physical foundations of these islands will still be there in 100 years."

The findings revealed that the islands have accumulated coral debris from the surrounding reefs in response to climate change forcing sea levels to rise.

This challenges scientists' previous thoughts that higher waters would cause the isles to sink.

Of the 27 islands studied, only four have decreased in size since the 1950s, while 80 per cent have grown.

Last month, the US Fish and Wildlife Service applied for proposals to help their project to support the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative, which addresses the effects of climate change in the area.

Posted by Lauren Steadman

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