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Building Artificial Islands That Rise With the Sea

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Building Artificial Islands That Rise With the Sea

Post by Naseem Abbas Malik on Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:17 am


Building Artificial Islands That Rise With the Sea






















By Katharine Gammon







Paradise Island As climate change causes the sea level to rise, people who live in low-lying areas could move to artificial floating isles.


Dutch Docklands International




With an average elevation of just five feet above sea level, the
Maldives—a nation comprising 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean—is the
lowest country in the world. Sea level, meanwhile, has risen by about
seven inches since 1900, and scientists predict that it will rise as
much as two more feet by 2100, pushing much of the population (about
390,000 and growing) out of their homes. In the past, engineers have
used sand and rubble to create islands elsewhere, but these structures
can disturb the sea and seafloor ecosystems.

THE SOLUTION


The Maldivian government has started a joint venture with the
architectural firm Dutch Docklands International to build the world’s
largest artificial floating-island project, which will stay above water
no matter how many glaciers melt. In the Netherlands, the company has
already built floating islands for prisons and housing from slabs of
concrete and polystyrene foam. For the Maldives, it will anchor similar
structures to the seabed using cables or telescopic mooring piles,
making landforms that are stable even in storms. The design disturbs
only a small patch of the seafloor while preserving natural currents.
And many smaller islands are more ecologically sound than one large one
because they cast smaller shadows on the water, minimizing the impact on
sea life. Although the company is starting to build an island for 200
luxury residences and another for a floating golf course this year, it
is working on plans to construct islands for more affordable housing
next.
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Naseem Abbas Malik
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