Friday, April 20, 2012

Is the sea ever actually level? The lesson of Bikeman, Kiribati

Ever wonder what's really happening to the low-lying islands in the tropics?

My former student Cory Kleinschmidt and I made this video about complicated geological and social dynamics at play in loss of Bikeman, an islet in the lagoon of Tarawa Atoll, the capital of Kiribati. The science behind this story and others in the ongoing "Battle of Tarawa" is described my feature in the latest issue of EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union.

I'm heading to Kiribati to do some climate and coral reef monitoring with colleagues in the local government. I'll try to post about our work periodically, provided the internet cooperates, and our boat doesn't sink.

1 comment:

MostlyHarmless said...

Full marks for objectivity. I don't know, and I don't need to know, your views on "global warming" and/or "climate change". Your narration speaks for itself.

I've been studying South Pacific sea-levels for a couple of years, and know that the story is in some cases simpler, and in others more complicated than those on both sides of the debate would have us believe, The only axe I have to grind is in debunking exaggerated claims, whatever their source. The data speaks for itself, and unbiased analysis tells the story, with anecdotes and pictures of the magnificent but fragile islands to leaven the effort.