The Maldives may be growing with the rising waters, say a team of six scientists studying the sediments and growth of Maldivian islands.
“We take climate change very seriously,” says Paul Kench, a geologist from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. “But in order to correctly predict the real consequences for the atolls, we first have to understand how they will actually respond to rising sea levels in the future.”
The Maldives attained their current form about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, according to the scientists’ research. Even natural disasters like the 2004 tsunami, which killed at least 82 people in the Maldives, do not destroy the islands, Kench claims. On the contrary, the Indian Ocean tsunami even added new sediments. “We’ve measured up to 30 centimeters of growth in some places,” he says.