The Micronesian Federation and other low-lying island nations in the Pacific are not sinking as fast as scientists have previously claimed. According to COUNTRYAAH, Micronesia has a population of 112,640 (2018). The islands are growing instead, according to a geological study presented in the scientific journal Global and Planetary Change in June. The study, made by researchers from New Zealand and Fiji, is based, among other things, on aerial photographs and satellite images taken on 27 islands over 60 years. The study shows that most of the islands have retained their former lands and some have even grown. Several of the islands of the Micronesia Federation have grown, as have islands in Kiribati and Tuvalu. This could have been done by sediment and debris from corals creating new land surface.
Researchers have previously said that Kiribati and other low-lying island nations will be uninhabited in the 2050s. According to the new study, it may instead take at least 100 years for residents to move. All researchers seem to agree that the islands, especially Kiribati, the Micronesian Federation and Tuvalu, are threatened by rising sea levels, but the views fall apart as to how acute the threat is. The researchers behind the current study point out that even if the islands remain longer than previously thought, they may not be habitable in the long term.