Sea Level Changes and Tsunamis, Environmental Stress and Migration Overseas. The Case of the Maldives and Sri Lanka

  • Nils-Axel Mörner (Autor/in)

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The decadal to centennial changes in sea level during the last 5000 years are dominated by the redistribution of water masses over the globe. The driving mechanism is the interchange of angular momentum between the solid Earth and the hydrosphere (and the atmosphere, too). Therefore, short-term sea level changes, ocean current switches, air pressure changes and local to regional climatic changes (temperature and precipitation) are interrelated. In this paper the Indian Ocean Situation is investigated. A new sea level curve for the Maldives is presented. Some of the recorded changes may have induced migration and trading overseas. Past tsunamis are recorded both on Sri Lanka and on the Maldives. The predominant view of a rapid rise in sea level seems no longer tenable, and no signs of any ongoing sea level rise were found in the Maldives. Therefore, our new observational data seem to give the allclear as regards extensive flooding of lowlying coastal areas and islands in the near future.