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Excerpt from NewsHub

A low-lying inhabited island in the Pacific thought to be at risk from rising sea levels has actually increased in size since 1943, scientists say.

And the new research from Auckland University researchers and their Canadian counterparts suggests the island isn’t alone.

There are 29 low-lying coral reef atolls making up the Marshall Islands, called the most endangered nation on earth due to the potential effects of sea-level rise.

They are made up of sediment from reefs deposited in the last 5000 years, but the way this sediment collects and forms on atolls isn’t very well understood.

In a new study, Dr Murray Ford from the University of Auckland and Professor Paul Kench from Simon Fraser University in Canada compared aerial photographs from 1943 and used satellite imagery and radiocarbon dating of sediment deposits on Jeh Island, on Ailinglaplap Atoll.

This shows the island has increased in land area by 13 percent since 1943 to 2.28 sq km by 2015 and is continuing to grow.

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