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Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island

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Posted by tallex on December 24, 2006, 4:39 pm
 



http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2099971.ece

Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island



Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island
For the first time, an inhabited island has disappeared beneath
rising seas. Environment Editor Geoffrey Lean reports
Published: 24 December 2006
Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed
an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of
Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges
and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the
moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of
environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.

As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island
nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast
areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of
scores of coastal cities.

Eight years ago, as exclusively reported in The Independent on
Sunday, the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation
of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying
islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a
precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance
of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

It has been officially recorded in a six-year study of the Sunderbans
by researchers at Calcutta's Jadavpur University. So remote is the
island that the researchers first learned of its submergence, and
that of an uninhabited neighbouring island, Suparibhanga, when they
saw they had vanished from satellite pictures.

Two-thirds of nearby populated island Ghoramara has also been
permanently inundated. Dr Sugata Hazra, director of the university's
School of Oceanographic Studies, says "it is only a matter of some
years" before it is swallowed up too. Dr Hazra says there are now a
dozen "vanishing islands" in India's part of the delta. The area's
400 tigers are also in danger.

Until now the Carteret Islands off Papua New Guinea were expected to
be the first populated ones to disappear, in about eight years' time,
but Lohachara has beaten them to the dubious distinction.

Human cost of global warming: Rising seas will soon make 70,000
people homeless

Refugees from the vanished Lohachara island and the disappearing
Ghoramara island have fled to Sagar, but this island has already lost
7,500 acres of land to the sea. In all, a dozen islands, home to
70,000 people, are in danger of being submerged by the rising seas.


http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2099971.ece











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Posted by Gordon Richmond on December 24, 2006, 9:59 pm
 



Sheee-it, islands of this nature are pretty epehemeral phenomena at the best of
times.
We're talking about sand bars in a delta here. In other news, the sun will rise
tomorrow
morning.

Gordon Richmond

Posted by CJT on December 24, 2006, 10:19 pm
 

Gordon Richmond wrote:

<snip>

<snip>

of times.

rise tomorrow

You say it's a mere sand bar, but 10,000 people once lived there --
that's a pretty darn big sand bar.

--
The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
minimize spam.  Our true address is of the form che...@prodigy.net.

Posted by vaughnsimon@att.net on December 25, 2006, 4:05 am
 


CJT wrote:

     Agreed, but the earth is a changeable place and there is no
evidence given in the article that the demise of this particular island
actually has any connection to global warming.  (That said, I have
little doubt that global warming is a real problem.)


Posted by Derek Broughton on December 25, 2006, 7:34 pm
 

CJT wrote:


True, but much as I believe in the threat of global warming, this seems much
more likely due to the facts that: even big sandbars shift, they were
(fairly) recently scoured by a tsunami, and there's an active tectonic
subduction zone.  Otherwise, I should be losing my shoreline, too.
--
derek

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