Climate change refugees

George Monbiot says that about 2,600 people are evacuating from Carteret Islands in the tropical west Pacific. He attributes the evacuation to three things, mostly sea-level rise, but also the removal of mangroves and local volcanic activity. The sea-level rise apparently is manifest as high tides in springtime, which flood the very low atoll. The YouTube video below appears to corroborate the view that sea-level rise is pushing these people from their homes.

I don't have any real knowledge of this situation, but I have to admit that I am skeptical that this "sea-level rise" is due to global warming. There certainly has been measured sea-level rise, and some regions are likely to be harder hit than others, but the video appears to suggest this atoll has been cut into two by rising water, and the shoreline has receded by tens of meters (reportedly in just a few years). This does not suggest the kind of sea-level rise expected globally. The wikipedia page for the Carteret Islands also imply that there is not much evidence for this being a result of global warming, pointing out other influences that might be deleterious to the atoll, including normal erosive processes, isostatic adjustment, and use of dynamite fishing. If anyone knows of a true attribution study, that would be great, but until I see one, I am working under the assumption that this migration is probably related to human activities, but unlikely to be strongly related to global warming.

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