Posts Tagged ‘sea level rise’

Recent studies have highlighted that Antarctica Glaciers are collapsing unstoppably, adding over 3 meters to sea-level rise (e.g., here and here). A short post then, because, damn, water is rising fast and I must hurry. We’ve all heard a lot about climate change, how it will make things much hotter and how critters will migrate north (and south in the Southern hemisphere). We’ve heard much less about a dramatic secondary effect : sea level rise. And that’s surprising, because it is a certain consequence of climate change, and because it is a very concrete threat for both society and biodiversity.

Our group studied the likely effects of  sea level rise on islands all over the world. And the result is pretty appalling: between 10,000 and 20,000 islands could be totally wiped out of the Earth by the end of the century. Many, many more will be significantly reduced by permanent immersion of a large proportion of their surface. The studies are here and here. Or read this if you want a shorter text.

Of course, the species living there will be at risk of disappearing, unless they can fly (which is rarely the case on islands) and unless they start growing fins. And to make things worst, even on spared islands they can’t move to follow their favourite climate, because their habitat is surrounded by water. So even with dry feet, things will get hot for them. Evolving on that paradisiac island suddenly doesn’t seem such a good idea, hey critter?