Sea Level Changes in the Indian Ocean: Observational
President Mohamed Nasheed
of the Maldives repeatedly claims:
”we are drowning, our
nation will disappear, we have to relocate the people”, and others claim that
people will become
refugees because of a rising sea level flooding the low-lying coasts of Bangladesh”. All this talk is totally
unfounded in observational reality, however.
In order to assess the reality, we need investigations carried our by real sea level
specialists in firm field studies in areas under discussion themselves. Computer
modelling by persons not even having visited the sites in questions is simply not
In year 2000, we started an international sea level project in the Maldives, where several distinguished
sea level specialists took part. Personally, I have been there six times, out of
which three were as leader of major research expeditions.
What is to be seen in
nature itself, from island to island, is clear and straightforward: there is no
ongoing rise in sea level at all. At about 1970, sea level fell by about 20 cm,
and has remained quite stable there after (i.e. for the last 30-40 years). We have
investigated several different shore environments (open coasts, rock-cut platforms,
sandy shores in erosion as well as in progradation, lagoons, lakes, fens, etc.)
with respect to stratigraphy, morphology, biology and chronology (with 55 new C14-dates).
Such an overwhelming mass and quality
of observational facts must, of course, outdo idle talk (like what is being
claimed by IPCC and exaggerated by President Nasheed). Scientific reports are published
in, for example, Global and Planetary Change (v.40, p.177-182, 2004) and Internationales
Asienforum (v.38, p.353-374, 2007).
In 2009, I visited the
Sunderban delta area in Bangladesh and was able to observe clear evidence of strong
coastal erosion but no rise in sea level. The stratigraphy, morphology, vegetational
evolution and habitation record a minor sea level lowering at around 1960, followed
by 40-50 years of stable sea level. Those sources of information are superior to
local tide-gauges in the Sunderban delta, which seem quite unstable. A scientific
report is published in Energy & Environment (v.213, p.249-263, 2010).
It seems significant that
both the tide-gauge of Mombai and Visaakhapatam in India record a significant sea
level drop in 1955-1962 followed by 50 years of stable sea level (op.cit.). In the Laccadives, the locals are quite aware
of the fact that sea level is not at all in a rising mode today, rather that new
land has been added, leaving previous shore to become overgrown and invaded by terrestrial
In conclusion, there is
no sea level rise going on at the moment in the Indian Ocean. All
talk about an alarming ongoing rise in sea level is nothing but an illusion to be
abandoned the sooner the better, because it steals the limelight from real problems
in the real world.
of sea-level change on coastal erosion and flooding: A case in Hong Kong
Dr. Yuanzhi Zhang
and Jinrong Hu
In recent years, sea-level rise has
been paid more and more attention. What
causes the sea-level rise or fall is a key issue of attention. The factors affecting
sea-level change are so complex that we still not completely understand its processing
so well. Sealevel change would lead to not only shoreline retreats and submerged
lands, but also the enhancement of marine motivation and the un-stability of currently coastal sustainability.
In this study, we present the analysis
of the causes and possible trends of sea-level rise or fall, and the discussion
of potential impacts of sea-level change on coastal erosion and flooding in Hong
Kong as a case study.
Shorelines changes and Sea level fluctuations
along the Gujarat Coast: Study based on the archaeological proxies
Shoreline shift coupled with sea-level change have
always remained intriguing aspects due to wider ramifications for the populations
living on the coast.
Different methods are employed to understand and explain
their causes and quantum. In this presentation an attempt is made to explain shoreline
and sea-level changes during the last 4000 years on the basis of archaeological
Changes in the shoreline at any
point could be due to various reasons such as tectonic disturbance or shift in sedimentological
regime causing erosion or deposition.
Many scientific investigations, focusing on
the palaeo-shoreline vis-à-vis sea level fluctuations in India based on numerous
geological techniques, have indicated that at about 6000 BP, the sea level was stabilized
at the present one with minor fluctuations.
We use archaeological data suggesting maritime practices,
as an indication for palaeo- shoreline of Gujarat. Examples from archaeological
sites belonging to the Harappan period have been cited to indicate shoreline movement
in relation to the last 4500 years.
Archaeological excavations at Bet Dwarka island
suggest that the Early historic habitation was situated below the present high water
line. This is an indication of a lower sea level during that period of settlement. Analysis of sea level versus ancient settlement
suggests that around the Christian era sea level was lower by 2 m than the present
around the island of Bet Dwarka. Similarly, at Pindara on the northwest Saurashtra coast an 11th century AD temple complex
is exposed during low tide about 300 m from the high waterline, indicating a lower
sea level during this period.