Rising seas will drown mangroves, claim Australian scientists in a report in ABC News 1 July 2019.

Scientists at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory of Australia are studying mangrove swamps to assess the effect of climate change and rising sea levels. According to Madeline Goddard, one of the researchers, “Across the world the sea level is rising, increasing the amount of time mangroves spend underwater, potentially flooding and killing these valuable forests.” Jason Fowler, Northern Territory manager of the Australian Marine Conservation Society claims that mangroves could drown because sea levels were rising faster than sediment could accumulate. He commented: “So the mangroves will literally run out of mud, slowly get flooded, and drown out.”

Madeline Goddard is more hopeful that mangroves can adapt by moving landwards and many coastal regions in northern Australia are not developed so there are potential new habitats for them. She explained: “As you get elevated sea level rise you get increased flooding times, and so the area behind the mangroves has potential for them to move into.”


Editorial Comment: From John Mackay: I have looked at mangroves in many tropical subtropical areas and filmed them, from the really big ones on the Northland of New Zealand to the miniature ones way further south, and I recall my boyhood escapades finding pathways through the mangroves to favoured worming spots, as well as keeping track of where the sea level was, both for safety sake as well as general interest. From these observations I can say that around where I live, and the places I have visited, mangroves are roughly where they were was when I was a kid some 60 years ago. The oldest historic photographs I have seen also show it was in pretty much the same in the Moreton Bay and Brisbane area.

However, coastlines have changed in some places. There have been storms which have cut islands in two, made new waterways, and in some countries I visit, old locals tell me of regional sea level change caused by earthquakes yet in the same countries my photos and historic pics so show the oldest ‘port’ walls still with high tide level in about the same place.

Even good old David Attenborough’s documented change in sea level around the iconic Australian Great Barrier Reef having retreated some 100 m lower, and then advancing really quickly to flood the land where the ‘recent reef’ now grows have not really messed up mangrove existence at all. The changes were witnessed by aboriginals just a short time ago.

The same type of sea level change on a huge scale occurs in aboriginal traditions down around where I live (South East Queensland), where the famous Glasshouse Mountains are involved in a provably extensive sea change that has now retreated quite a bit, and is absolutely ‘mangroved’ in! The aboriginal story is the sea advanced incredibly rapidly around the base of the mountains and stayed a while before retreating, so that the natives where we have our Aussie Creation Museum (Gympie) have a traditional story that you didn’t even need to go out to sea to paddle your canoe down to where I currently live in Brisbane. Annoyingly, one of our biggest problems is the salt water mosquitoes breeding among all the mangroves.

As someone who also loved playing with the floating mangrove seeds you will enjoy the rest of this report from our co-editor Diane Eager.

The climate alarmists are really getting desperate for scare stories. If there is one kind of plant that can cope with changes in sea levels and coastlines it is mangroves. All species of mangroves produce fruit and/or seeds that float, and some have additional design features for spreading to new regions of coast.

The cannonball mangrove packs its seeds into large round fruits that explode when ripe, scattering the seeds into sea, where they then float away. The seeds of the looking glass mangrove have a prominent ridge on one side that acts like a sail to help propel them across the water until they lodge on another part of the coast or estuary.

Some other species do not drop there seeds straight away. The seeds germinate while the fruit is still attached to the tree and grow into a seedling, called a propagule. When these drop off the parent tree they float away. If a propagule is carried out to sea it will float on its side until it arrives in some brackish water on another coastline. In brackish water their root absorbs water becomes bottom heavy so the new plant floats in vertical position and will take root when it lands on the water’s edge. According to the American Museum Natural History these floating propagules can survive for up to a year, giving them plenty of time to find another tidal mudflat or estuary. Once mangrove seeds and propagules take root they spread out and trap particles and sediment, creating more mud, so we predict the world is not going to run out of mud or mangroves.

Sea level changes of the scale the climate alarmists are talking about will be no problem for mangroves. Based on Genesis, the created floating propagules of mangroves have already survived a world-wide flood that lasted a year and would have had an important role is stabilising newly formed coastlines as the flood receded. A brilliant design by the Creator and Judge who created the land and sea and living things, and Who also sent the world-wide flood of Noah’s time. Since that flood sea levels have fallen and risen by much greater amounts than the current climate warnings, and mangroves have survived very well.

Evidence News vol. 19, No. 12
3 July 2019
Creation Research Australia

Were you helped by this item? If so, consider making a donation so we can keep sending out Evidence News and add more items to this archive. For USA tax deductible donations click here. For UK tax deductible donations click here. For Australia and rest of world click here.