Thursday, February 07, 2008
Reference: Vanishing homelands - new twist to sad tale, Bangkok Post, February 7, 2008
Atolls form if and only if a volcanic island with coral growth begins to sink by subduction and continues to sink until the island in the middle disappears completely leaving only a ring of coral. Atolls remain as long as the rate of coral growth exceeds or breaks even with the rate at which the submerged island is sinking. When it does not break even, the surface of the atoll begins to go under water. This phenomenon is a geological oddity and has nothing whatsoever to do with greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels or with global warming. It is a sad tale indeed for residents of sinking atolls but there is no new twist.