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Islands disappearing?

Global warming may have far-reaching consequences, but possible international conflicts are avoidable

In September 2009 it was reported that, in spite of being on maps for centuries, the tiny island of Bermeja, in the Gulf of Mexico, could no longer be found.

The Mexican Government sent out planes and boats and used satellites to try to find it but it was gone. And, along with it, a large claim Mexico was making in the hydrocarbon-rich waters of the Gulf. Some in Mexico said that, clearly, the CIA had blown up their island to subvert their stake.

The United States’ response was clear: no island, no claim.

New Moore Island was a hotly contested island in the Bay of Bengal. Claimed by both India and Bangladesh, it was in a geostrategic position, at the mouth of the Hariabhanga river, the boundary between the two countries. For decades the two countries manoeuvred for control. No more.

A few weeks ago, news broke that New Moore Island had disappeared, probably due to rising sea level. And when the island disappeared, so did the claims.

With rising sea levels, the problem of land loss potentially leading to maritime zone loss is likely to come up more and more often. This is especially true in the Pacific, where there are entire nations composed of tiny, low-lying islands.



Rupert on 2/04/2010 6:26pm

These island are both either mud banks or sand banks which are by nature transient, just because they might have been around for a number of years, doesn’t mean they might erode away in the future.

For more on the farce that is Moore Island refer to

Turkey on 2/04/2010 6:25pm

Low lying sea islands are constantly appearing and disappearing, especially at the deltas of major rivers where they silt accumulates and erodes.

This has nothing to do with climate change… but, hey… any opportunity to add to the panic and funding is not to be missed if one is a climate ‘scientist’.

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