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    Re: Scilly News
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2007 Oct 03, 18:19 -0400

    Michael, you wrote:
    "Don't go there ...
    The Scillonians may well need the sternboard as a piece of emergency
    flotation equipment: the whole group was one island in the bronze age."
    LOL. Well, let's hope it doesn't sink before the end of the month! I
    wouldn't be shocked if the islands and reefs there were more connected 5000
    years ago, maybe with an overlay of earth dumped by the glaciers that has
    since mostly eroded away. Off the coast of New England, the large islands of
    Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and especially Block Island, were much larger
    back then. They are entirely glacial debris --no rocky core-- and in the
    long-term (thousands of years), they may disappear completely. I'm aware
    that some folks have inferred from ancient description that Scilly was a
    large land mass, but count me skeptical on the claim that the rocky core of
    the Scillies is actively sinking.
    "The steady geological sinking is continuing quickly enough for locals to
    notice the apparent change in sea level in one lifetime..."
    Globally, realtive sea level has been rising at a steady pace of about eight
    to twelve inches per century for at least 175 years (there are local
    variations since the land is also rising or falling in areas affected by the
    last Ice Age). And that is definitely noticeable if you pay close attention
    over many decades (or better yet, if you measure it with a proper tide
    gauge). What's suprising is perhaps the fact that this steady change has
    gone mostly un-noticed. It's happening in the Isles of Scilly and New York
    City, too. In Mystic, Connecticut, just off the headland where Mystic
    Seaport was built, there used to be a small muddy island. In photos from the
    19th century, it's often visible. Today, it only emerges a few times a year
    at extreme low water (very low astronomical tides accompanied by strong
    offshore breezes). The muddy patch is still called an island, and most
    locals assume it's just an ironic naming...
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