Although you surely wouldn’t believe it by reading the mainstream media, trumpeting as they are the fact that an “island” has disappeared because of rising sea levels “caused by climate change”. The Sydney Morning Herald does a brilliant job of getting it all wrong:
In an unusual example of the effects of global climate change, rising sea levels in the Bay of Bengal have helped resolve a troublesome territorial dispute between two of the world’s most populated countries, a leading Indian oceanographer says.
Sugata Hazra, the head of oceanography at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University, says a flat muddy patch of land known as South Talpatti in Bangladesh and New Moore Island in India has disappeared under the Bay of Bengal. The landmass had been claimed by both countries but Professor Hazra says satellite images prove it has gone.
”It is now a submerged landmass, not an island,” Professor Hazra told the Herald.
”Only small parts can be seen in very, very low tide conditions.”
Sea-level rise caused by climate change was ”surely” a factor in the island’s inundation, Professor Hazra said.
”The rate of sea-level rise in this part of the northern Bay of Bengal is definitely attributable to climate change,” he said.
”There is a close correlation between the rate of sea-level rise and the sea surface temperature.”
The island was once about 3.5 kilometres long and three kilometres wide and situated four kilometres from the mouth of the Hariabhanga River, the waterway that marks a stretch of the border between south-western Bangladesh and India.
Scientists believe the disputed island was formed following a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal in 1970 and both countries laid claim to the land. (source)
Right, so what’s the reality? It’s not an island, as in a rocky outcrop, it’s a sand bar. As the article says, it was created following a cyclone just 40 years ago. It is in an estuary, an area of rapid erosion and deposition. “Islands” such as this are being created and destroyed on a regular basis all the time. Look at the sea level rise from the nearest official gauge – just 0.54mm per year. Whatever caused this sandbar to disappear, it sure as hell wasn’t “climate change.”
Thanks to Anthony Watts.