Sunday, October 04, 2009

Reference: Vanishing islands look to the world, Bangkok Post, October 4, 2009

One cannot but sympathize with the hardships of a nation that consists of nine tiny atolls straddling the middle of nowhere amid the vast South Pacific and subjected to nature's whims (Vanishing islands look to the world, Bangkok Post, October 4, 2009). They live in the path of South Pacific tropical cyclones that form annually during the cyclone season and that often cause coastal erosion and crop damage not to speak of the loss of life and property. As well, the land they live on is not terra firma but instead a dynamic and ever changing balance between coral growth and a sinking underwater volcanic island on which the atoll is perched; gaining elevation when the rate of coral growth exceeds the rate of subduction and sinking when the rate of subduction exceeds that of coral growth. These are cruel equations but neither can be changed by cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

Cha-am Jamal

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