Some small atoll islands in the Pacific Ocean seem to actually have grown in size over the last decades, contrary to what is commonly expected as a result of rising sea levels. As so often reality seems to be more complex than one-size-fits-all generalizations. Increasing frequency of storms however is still a major risk for atolls’ survival.
The eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano has in a very clear way showed both the weaknesses and strenghts in modern communications. The mass cancellations of flights in large parts of Europe and across the north Atlantic have undoubtedly meant great disturbances in the international transportation sectors both logistically and economically. But the interruptions have also shown the strenghts of other communication networks, both physical ones and telecommunications. Because with todays technology in reality the need for physical travel in order to conduct business is lower than it used to be. In many cases vide and voice conferences can replace the physical meeting, and in the cases it cannot, there are still in many cases alternatives in the form of high-speed trains. In the best case the temporary closure of the European airspace will put a renewed focus on the almost as fast and environmentally sounder ways of inter-European transportation that exist and should be expanded upon.
When smaller farms are abandoned, the tropical forests get new space. These “secondary forests” have now started to be used as an argument in the debate on rainforest deforestation and the impact on climate change.