Kiribati sea level story – Dr Nils-Axel Mörner responds exclusively

Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph carried yet another climate alarmism story, this time about the government of Kiribati negotiating to buy land in Fiji ‘so it can relocate islanders under threat from rising sea levels’.

Autonomous Mind contacted the former president of the International Association of Quaternary Research’s Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, Dr Nils-Axel Mörner to ask for his response to the story.  Dr Mörner has very kindly replied with an exclusive comment, below:

With respect to the article on March 7 by Paul Chapman on the future of Kiribati, I have to protest and urge all readers to consult the only “hard facts” there are, viz. the tide gauge record of the changes in sea level.

The graph reveals that there, in fact, is no ongoing sea level rise that threatens the habitation of the islands. This is the hard observational fact, which we should all face before starting to talk about future flooding and the need for evacuation.

If the president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, claims that the islands will soon be flooded and that there is an urgent need to buy new land for possible future refugees, it is the president’s own tactical idea in order to raise money from abroad. Let us respect the observational facts and stay away from invented disasters.

Once again the media rushes to print with an alarmist piece that is completely devoid of balance or contrary opinion and which completely ignores the overtly political motivations and background of what has been shared with the press.  The dramatisation of Earth’s ever changing climate for ulterior political motives needs to be challenged.

How long will it be also before people start to hold the media to account for acting as the propagandist mouthpiece of government and vested interests?

18 Responses to “Kiribati sea level story – Dr Nils-Axel Mörner responds exclusively”


  1. 1 Paul 08/03/2012 at 9:31 pm

    Going back to the year 2000 highlights the change in reporting from the BBC.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1035489.stm

  2. 2 James Murphy 08/03/2012 at 10:04 pm

    Utterly extraordinary times we live in: all adherence to the principle of simple honesty, all faith in objectivity, all measure of impartiality seems to have gone totally by the board in favour of vicious, bully-boy prejudice – whatever the area of discussion. When did we all become so weirdly, psychotically partisan? Though no Christian myself, I see where Isaiah was coming from when he Old Testamentally declared ‘where vision is not, the people perish..’ – It’s as if, bereft of guidance by any Transcendent Principle, the common mind of man relapses into a myopic, mental sewer of shallow prejudices…

  3. 3 Edward. 09/03/2012 at 12:07 am

    I think that the key sentence in this jejune piece of journalistic guff – is as follows:

    “What we need is the international community to come up with an urgent funding package to deal with that ambition, and the needs of countries like Kiribati.”

    Hmm, “International community”, is usually weasel speak for those rich northern nations and ‘evil MMCO2 polluters’ – it all their fault innit.

    But wait – haven’t you heard Mr. Tong?

    AGW, is a figment, sea level rise; is crying wolf and the great scam is dead, gone, expired.
    So, pack the begging bowl away, give it up lad and stop being such a wuss. Erm, I thought your Island hopping forebears were a seasoned bunch of very hardy, hard a**ed independent and innovative seafarers…………..what happened to your people – do they now all expect a free ride and the world to pick up the tab?

    Yet again, it is the UN [EU in the background] who are ultimately culpable and this sort of rot is rampant, at their annual [IPCC] global group-think doomsday gab-fests. For, ‘lighting a fire’ under delusional, unattainable and irresponsible expectations – it really all is their fault and helped along with a gang of idiot western [EU funded] agitprop eco-warriors agitating and fomenting faux scares and propagating scandalous lies.

    The UNIPCC ‘virtuous circle’? Corrupt cycle more like, of money grubbing mountebanks and snake-oil salesmen.

  4. 4 TomO 09/03/2012 at 1:07 am

    Just look at what the toxic, bullying AGW zealots get up to when they think nobody’s looking….

    Talk about shooting the messenger – utterly and unequivocally disgraceful

    It seems Australia is going bonkers.

  5. 5 Scrobs... 09/03/2012 at 5:09 am

    These guys will demand anything to move a market in the financial derivatives cobbled from grandiose half-stories.

    Either way, they’re betting on ‘something happening’, and the coffers get swamped, not the Figians.

    So the politicians fester even further.

  6. 6 AJC 09/03/2012 at 11:52 am

    Is it not the case that the islands are actually formed from dead coral washed for the surrounding reefs? Unless the sea level rose drastically and rapidly (ie. if it rose slowly if at all) the islands continue to accumulate dead coral from the surrounding reefs.

  7. 7 Agincourt 09/03/2012 at 12:26 pm

    I visited Tarawa, the main island group in the Kiribati group in mid 1991. Officials there at the time had been very irresponsibly misled (in my opinion) into believing that their very low-lying small island country would be awash within a very short time – eg 5 to 10 years. From my limited knowledge from reading at the time the Pacific Island Monthly magazine which had a few articles then on rising sea levels (which at the time was being treated as being probably correct), inundation was not likely for about 90 years – according to these articles. Well, it now seems that that may have been a huge exaggeration.

    But what horrified me at the time was how international alleged sea level & global warming experts had irresponsibly misled these people, including their senior local officials. And in a country where the only regular newspaper at the time was a weekly 4-page broadsheet from the neighbouring country, Micronesia – as Kiribati was (& presumably still is) too small to support its own newspaper.These foreign experts had left local officials thinking the inundation of their country Kiribati was imminent – regardless of the panic this could cause if it were in fact to be true. Doubtless, no one has since then told the people of Kiribati that these climate scares are probably false & instead are an elaborate anti-capitalist scam. No wonder then that Kiribati’s government is looking around for a safe haven – with Fiji (& probably the Solomons too, where there is a sizeable community of ex-Kiribati people also) a natural choice as a refuge palce as there is a large settlement there of ex-Kiribati people on Rambi Island in NE Fiji.

    But in my view the best advice for Kiribati’s people is to sit tight &, if global warming is the scam that many people now believe it to be, enjoy living on their ancestral island group home for many centuries yet to come!

  8. 8 Brian H 09/03/2012 at 7:43 pm

    The lure of free money from the big boys has reduced the governments of “island nations” almost everywhere to pathetic rent-seekers.

  9. 9 John of Cloverdale WA Australia. 09/03/2012 at 10:19 pm

    Forget real data only the models will do. Rubbish in, rubbish out! We all know that the result will always be in their favor for more funding and justifying government taxes.

  10. 10 manicbeancounter 09/03/2012 at 11:56 pm

    The Telegraph web site quite helpfully gives a link to related articles. When I spotted the article on the 7th March the following link was provided from 3rd June 2010
    “Pacific islands ‘growing not shrinking’ due to climate change”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/tuvalu/7799503/Pacific-islands-growing-not-shrinking-due-to-climate-change.html

  11. 11 coconutdog 11/03/2012 at 12:02 am

    I might go and buy me up a few hectares of prime Kiribati beach front. Should be going cheap.

  12. 12 Rossa 11/03/2012 at 5:19 pm

    Sorry to be a pain, but if you read this you will find that the person quoted did not say it was because of rising sea levels.
    Kind regards a long time reader from Yorkshire

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/10/so-many-people-so-little-rain/

  13. 13 KR 12/03/2012 at 3:53 am

    There’s a lot going on here – issues of fresh water supply and overpopulation, for example.

    However, if sea levels are rising (and note that Dr Nils-Axel Mörner is an _extreme_ outlier, working from a tiny data-set, quite unsupported), then as discussed elsewhere (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/09/kiribati-on-the-move-not-sinking/) the atolls will vanish within 50-150 years depending on sea level change rates.

    Atolls are firm coral bases (height set by _low tide_ in previous Holocene sea levels of ~8K years ago) covered with loose consolidate sand, coral debris, and ground cover. Once current _high tide_ overtops that foundation, the top-cover will quickly erode due to twice-daily submergence, and goodbye the atolls. Dates for this, depending on sea level rates, are 2170 to 2250 for Kiribati.

    Claiming that “atolls grow and shrink” or “rise and fall with sea level” means that the person claiming it simply doesn’t understand atoll formation.

  14. 14 james higham 13/03/2012 at 4:02 pm

    What we need is the international community to come up with an urgent funding package

    Ha ha – I need to come up with something like that – a bit skint just now.

  15. 15 Herkimer Pferdflecker 14/03/2012 at 9:15 pm

    The fact is, the land rises and sinks much more and much more often than actual changes in sea levels themselves. Land in subduction zones at the boundaries of tectonic plates is subsiding, land on the other side of the junction continues to grow and rise.

    The stone-age bozos which inhabit these islands can be easily misled by the army of Global Warming Morons.


  1. 1 Kiribati on the move – but not sinking | Watts Up With That? Trackback on 09/03/2012 at 8:00 pm
  2. 2 Μεγάλη ηλιακή έκλαμψη προς τη Γη: ΠΑΝΤΑ σεισμοί – οι μεγαλύτεροι εκεί που προηγείται μπαράζ προσεισμών « Συμφιλιωτική Αυτάρκεια-ΑΠΟΤ Trackback on 10/03/2012 at 12:52 pm
  3. 3 Kiribati on the move – but not sinking | Aftermath News Trackback on 11/03/2012 at 11:04 pm
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