Despite popular opinion and calls to action, the Maldives are not being overrun by sea level rise

Watts Up With That?

When somebody mentions “Maldives”, the image above of a tropical paradise often springs to mind. Andy Revkin wrote a story recently about the Maldives  on his NYT Dot Earth blog that provoked quite an email exchange that I was privy to today. Here are some highlights. First the article:

Maldives Seeks Carbon Neutrality by 2020

By Andrew C. Revkin March 16, 2009, 8:39 am

No spot in the Maldives is more than six feet above sea level. (Click here for a narrated slide show describing this reporter’s first visit to the Maldives, in 1980.)

The Maldives, a strand of coral atolls south of India, is just about the most tenuous country on Earth. No patch of land in the island chain, where the population has risen from 200,000 to 400,000 in the last 25 years, is more than six feet or so above sea level. Even modest projections…

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