The Maldives have become a symbol of the dangers of global warming, amid fears the low-lying nation could disappear as a result of rising sea levels. But one team of scientists believes the truth is more complicated. The Maldives coral islands, they postulate, may be growing with the rising waters...More discussion and explanation at Der Spiegel.
The geomorphologists compared old aerial photographs taken in World War II with current satellite images. To their surprise, they found that most of the atolls they were studying had either grown or remained unchanged in the last few decades, even though the sea level has already risen by 12 centimeters (about 5 inches).
As soon as it was published, the study became ammunition in the political battle over global warming. Climate activists questioned its conclusions, which would normally be welcomed as good news. Skeptics of anthropogenic climate change, on the other hand, seized upon the study as evidence that all the excitement over global warming is completely unnecessary.